I know I said I would publish Gina's Afghan pattern every other week, but I thought last week's contribution was really too short, so this week I'm rolling out the next chart. This one takes us up through the 94th row. I'm hoping most of the charts from here on will be about 60 rows long. I want the charts to print easily on regular paper and be very easy to read. My charts are based on quarter-inch square grid, so that's about what will fit, length-wise.
From now on, the key to the different knitting symbols used on the charts will be on its own sheet, as a separate pdf file. If you are working along with me, you may want to download a new key every week. The key will grow and expand as the different twists we need also increase in number.
A little note about the key: in order to simplify the instructions on the key, I've written all of it as if you work with a cable needle.
I actually do not work with a cable needle most of the time. I do keep an extra knitting needle, or sometimes just a darning needle, around in case I drop a stitch and to help me get through some of the stranger crosses. Later on, when I am working crosses that are strange, I will do video tutorials for them, but for now, I'll just direct you to the Knit Princess's perfect description of the method I use here.
If you don't like that method, you could try one of the many in this article from Knitting Daily.
When I'm reading a pattern or a chart for the first time, I mentally act out what the cable needle is doing to the stitches, so that I can repeat the action, without the needle.
Also, I've given the afghan its own category within the Crafty Living page of patterns.
This week, the chart starts with what I think of as a "little snake" made very simply over a 2 by 2 ribbing. By crossing just 1 stitch over 1 stitch to the right and then, immediately, to the left, the cable doesn't follow the usual illusion of being twisted like a rope, but instead stands up on the fabric and weaves back and forth. This reminds me a tiny bit of a snake. I have seen this as an allover pattern on machine-made sweaters, but I haven't seen it a lot in the handknitting world. It's a shame because it's very easy to work and looks interesting.
Then, the chart leaps into a 3 by 1 rib. I used the 3 by 1 rib to explore uneven crossings of stitches. That is, crossing one number of stitches over or under a different number of stitches. Barbara Walker calls this sort of cable an "ancestral" cable. I think I misspoke and called it a "primitive" cable before. Either way, it's a fun way to see how a very small change can make a big difference in how a cable looks. We start by crossing 1 stitch over 2 stitches, then, later, cross 2 stitches over 1 stitch. The results are very different, but both are nice.
Lastly, I took advantage of the 3 by 1 ribbing to work the same little "snake" as before, only using that 3rd stitch to allow the twists to lie 1 stitch apart from each other, instead of directly over each other. Once again, a slight variation yields a very different look, but you can see that a lot of the same structure is there.
In the next chart, we'll explore some variations of crosses available on 4 by 2 ribbing. That should be coming up on November 7.
This week, I got to chat with Shannon Okey, also known as knitgrrl. She is entirely too awesome for words and we covered a lot of ground. For more on just about everything we talked about, please see the links below.
Knitgrrl Studio is also on Facebook