Lisa is a troublemaker. Her post yesterday, with the poor little ones all camera-shy, was heartbreaking. I was going to stick with my shawl and its newly-restarted-border-complete-with-ROW-COUNTER-this-time (I know better, really I do), but then I read Lisa's post and had to do this:
This is me in the process of working the stitch directly after a double yarnover. If it looks funny that's because its a ktbl. I hold the yarnovers in place with my right index finger until I get the needle in position for the following stitch. I do knit continental; I'm a picker, not a thrower, for most of my knitting. I ask you to please be impressed with this picture. I took it by myself. Alone. No one else here, both hands on the needles. I used both the close-up and the timer features on my camera, and it was Very Good. And yes, I need a manicure but that's neither here nor there, it was a case of photographic emergency to help a friend. Click on the picture and enlarge it; you can almost feel the yarn.
You can see a picture of the tension on my double yarnovers to the right. The yarnovers don't strangle the needle, but they're not flopping around either. If you do them exceedingly tightly, you won't be able to knit into them the next go 'round. A super close-up shot with almost microscopic detail of the yarn and the palm of my hand. I love my digital camera.
This will be another Flared_Lace_Smoke_Ring done in Froehlich wool/camel blend that I bought because its the nicest rose shade I've ever seen in yarn. It won't be as furry as the alpaca blend I used for the first one, which makes me feel like I licked a bunny every time I pull it over my head. No offense to the bunnies out there. Hi Peaches!).
Slight pattern correction: my copy (it may not be this way on yours) has a mistake in one spot in the pattern chart. If you're smarter than I am you'll figure it out. Otherwise: on chart B, row #1, my chart has a symbol that looks like a SSK or left leaning decrease. It should be a k2togTBL symbol instead. I had originally thought it was supposed to be p2tog, and that's what I did for the first one. It worked, its also a double decrease, but it didn't fit into the pattern as well. I am NOT giving out the pattern, you have to buy it if you like it. Jackie writes fantastic patterns and deserves to be paid for them; if you look at my finished items photos, I've got a history of loving Heartstrings patterns.
1. Use pointy needles. Addis were a major headache with this pattern and angora/alpaca (slippery) yarn. I actually went out and bought a new pair of 16" circs to use for my second one. The Addis are, to my taste, way too dull for lace knitting. I prefer Suzanne ebony needles or Aeros (from our friends up North). Unfortunately, ebony and rosewood needles don't seem to come in 16" circs, but bamboo would work too.
2. Cast on over two needles held together. Unless you're experienced with knitting things that will be blocked, do this. Let me have made the mistake for you so you don't have to. Cast on over two needles held together. Other than casting on onto a larger diameter needle all together, There Is No Other Way. You will get a Scrunched Lace Smoke Ring, not the Flared kind you signed up for. Trust me.
3. As in all lace knitting, when in doubt use five million markers. I use Goody brand "Ouchless" hair elastics because I can get 200+ of them for under $4. They're vinyl rather than rubber, slide well, and come in packs that have 3 sizes and many colors. Both of which are helpful features. I used them for .every. single. pattern repeat, and while casting on to help me count my cast on stitches.
4. Be careful when you go to knit or purl into the double yarnovers on the following row. In the process of switching from K to P, I had to be careful not to lose one of the yarnovers off my needle. I used a finger from my left hand to keep the yarnovers in place until they were knitted (or purled).
I have no pictures other than those in-progress that you see here. Having started another smoke ring, I didn't get that much work done on my Highland shawl. I blame it all on Lisa, but thats okay. I needed to start another small project. For carry-around knitting, of course.