Short ribs

A small diversion from the Christmas decorations to Christmas knitting for Day 7 of the #blog12daysxmas challenge.

There was a very confusing set of instructions at the very end of the pattern for my Marash sweater which I decided I would just ignore, but as I’m now almost at the finish line it seems that I finally must turn my attention to them.

Marash features a ribbed collar, which I’ve done before on other sweaters, but this one is more sophisticated using short rows to add shape to the back of the neck.


My knitting helper, Kuma

It took me ages and I lost count of the number of times I ripped back before I finally figured it out and settled on a method for wrapping and turning.

The trouble, for me anyway, was that all the short row wrap instructions I found referred to the “knit side” and the “purl side” and my short rows are in 1×1 rib. Some of the instructions were a little sparse too on how you should pick up the yarn wraps to hide them, and they all talked about hiding the wraps on the purl side or the wrong side and I didn’t have a purl side. Hmmm.

After experimenting with Japanese short rows I decided to go down the traditional path, wrapping and turning and catching the wrapped yarn on the return row – although I’ll definitely try out Japanese short rows another time.

To adapt the instructions for wrapping and turning to 1×1 ribbing I worked in rib to the point of the turn and worked as if I was on the side for the last stitch before the turn. So if I wrapped on a purl stitch I used the wrapping instructions as for the previous knit stitch which kept my yarn in the right position. Then when I came back  to pick up the wrapped stitch I followed the instructions for that stitch, so if it was a wrapped purl stitch I used the instructions for the purl side.

wpid-img_20141230_054050.jpgIt worked out well – it’s quite magical really how the short rows turn knitting into a three dimensional shape – but I seem to have ended up on the collar’s right side when I should have ended on the wrong side, and I’ve also spotted one stitch that I didn’t “unwrap” correctly. This is something you need to do at a quiet time with no interuptions.

I know that the great Elizabeth Zimmermann said that if you couldn’t spot the mistake while galloping past on a horse, then don’t sweat it (I may have paraphrased) but I know that things this this worry me so I’m going to consider this the practice run and I’ll rip the collar back and do it again properly. On the weekend.

* My knitting helper Kuma has decided that he likes to snuggle his nose into my current knitting project, while I’m knitting it. Not really helping.


One response to “Short ribs

  1. I can see how those instructions would be confusing. And I love how you thought it through. And I REALLY love that you’re going to rip it out until it’s right. There are somethings that a knitter just cannot ignore. I get this. It’s looking great!

    Everyone needs a knitting helper like Kuma. At least he’s not eating it.

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