Tuesday, May 2

I unvented something....

So, the other night I decided to try out a slightly different variation of the construction on my 4th log cabin square...I found some DPN's of the right size. It turns out that I'm knitting a whole damn bedspread with size 3.00mm needles. The implications of that revelation really do make me wonder about my sanity. But I like the fabric that I'm getting with my stash DK yarn, and this gauge, so I will perservere.

I'm sure this has been done before, I mean, I just can't be the first person to have come up with it... But man, I got so tired of binding off every log, and then picking up the stitches from the bind off row, I mean really - Is it just me, or does that seem a bit redundant and time consuming? I mean when you're looking at a project of this scope you start looking for every little time saver that you can find.

So basically what I'm doing instead of binding off every block or log, is just holding the last row of live stitches on dpn's. If you have an interchangeable needle set, like the Denise needles, that would be ideal for this method. Unfortunately the smallest needles available are too small for *my* particular needs.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here ya go...Obviously the red is the starting block, and very traditional for log cabins. It represents the hearth, which was the center of the home.

In this example I cast on 20 stitches and worked for 40 rows, or 20 garter ridges. I also purl the last stitch and slip the first stitch of every row. This creates a sort of braided edge, which I think looks nice, and has the added bonus of making it very obvious where exactly you are supposed to be picking up your stitch from.
Using the dark blue I picked up one stitch from every garter ridge, and then knit back and forth in garter for 4 ridges. I used a dpn to knit the last row, which, using the old method would have been the bind off row.
Switching colors to light blue I then picked up one stitch for every ridge of the previous log (dark blue), and then picked up one stitch for every cast on stitch. Knit back and forth for 4 ridges and lather, rinse, repeat.

Here's a pic of the block with logs added all the way around. DPN's holding all the live stitches, and waiting for a new color/log.

The picture below shows all the stitches picked up for another light blue log.

And just because I think it's pretty, here's a pic of my little cut out spindle nestled among some flowers - I have no idea what these are called, anyone know?

I'm just about ready to wind this off so I can finish plying the rest of my Caramel Swirl yarn


Monika said...

Hi Abi, I'm very interested in your new pick up method and how it will develope. Have you finished the last square? Does it LOOK the same and was just different to deal with? Still the same amount of ends to weave in? Could you show us the back side too? Lovely spindle. Wouldn't know what to do with it, but it's nice to look at. ;o)

String Bean said...

I'm also using a smaller needle to knit my afghan. I'm using US 5 circs with DK wt. yarn. It's not especially tedious and just means my afghan will be extra warm. Go go smaller needles!

I like the dpn idea, but I think I'll stick with picking up a bound off edge. Knowing me, I'd lose the dpn and the stitches.

Monika said...

Hi Abi, it's me again. I was just reading your comment on my blog, about a Mason Dixon knitalong. Is there such a thing? I've never joined a KAL, but read about it, so many do it. I think I'm done with the M.D. book. I did or am doing the three projects I liked the most; my mind is somewhere else already. But I'm still looking through it, because of the pictures and the funny articles. Hope to see more Lob Cabins from you soon, I just want to see how the squaeres develope. If I seem rude or pushy please forgive me, it's the ESL. ;o)

Monika said...

Hi Abi, here is a link to the Mason Dixon Kal. I thought you would like to know.
Hope to see your Log Cabin there! ;o)

Monika said...

Well, I don't know where else I can send you my response, so here it goes: You were absolutely right; i've picked up along the sides, one by one and made the mitered squares last. I DO NOT LIKE SEWING KNITTED STUFF, so if I have to pick up stiches for miles and miles, I don't care. You have figured it out correctly. My Log Cabin square is resting, sleeping not growing at all. As you can see with my last posting, I made another blanky , multidirectional. It's fun and you get fast results. ;o) How's yours coming along? By the way, I started a summer top for myself with 4mm needles, down from 4.5mm. When will I break the 4mm barrier? ;o)

Cindra said...

Hmmmm, like the idea of not binding off... and like your dpn's. Where can I find a set like that? I am trying a variation of the log cabin with just two colors with a very subtle color change... am using it for a baby gift. When I bind off I use a ribbon for the adding of new stitches so it outlines with a shiny pretty substance the lines of the log cabin. I will post what I've done later this week on MDKA.

JoAnne said...

Here's a thought - instead of using DPNs to hold your live stitches, why not put them on a stitch holder?

Abigale said...

The dpn's are Ivore brand Cassein needles that I ordered from Australia years and years ago - I got the whole set of dpns, and I love them! Except for 2 small problems - they taste bad, and my youngest son has been known to snap them like uncooked spaghetti noodles - snap, snap, snap. Tools, dude! Agghhh!

Anyway, I used these because they work for what I'm doing. Stitch holders would work fine, but just weren't to hand.

The ideal thing would have been if I could have used my Denise needles, they are so handy for this type of project - just change out the cables for different sections and presto! But I are a doofus and started this project on 3mm needles. Which are much smaller than the smallest size needle in the Denise kit.

When I began this project I just grabbed what was easy at the time, I'd misplaced my needle gauge, and don't have my needles organised by size or anything clever like that, I'm usually pretty good about eyeballing my needle sizes. Lesson learned: Start in haste, repent at your leisure!

I'm currently working on an Icarus shawl, but am definitely itching to get back to log cabinning.