My son, Sam, is quite artistic. He's always been a doodler, and for the past couple of years, his doodles have been of this one particular celtic knot design. Above, you can see one of his first designs, which he drew onto the surface of his desk. Yes, I know that it looks like maybe it's on someone's skin, but no, it's on his desk, lol.
Here it is on his skin. I HATE it when folks draw on themselves - shame on you, Sam! You are going to get ink poisoning!
You can see the basic doodle in this fancier doodle, and you can also see it in the owl -
Sooooo..... I thought that it would be fun to try to knit this doodle!
I didn't know too much about cables, and I knew absolutely nothing about charting cables. I threw myself on the mercy of my email pal, Susan, who knows everything there is to know about knitting, and she launched me on the right track.
Many sheets of graph paper later, I had a design to swatch.
This is much harder than it looks! The pink swatch was my first one, and it's... meh.
What helped me to get a swatch that I like is to chart only the "pattern" rows. You know, like charting lace, where you chart the "pattern rows" but not the "resting rows." Eureka - I had that little brain storm and then I was able to actually make it work.
When I finally got a swatch that I liked, I trotted on down to the yarn store, and my friend, Joyce, was there and I made her pick out some yarn, heh. It's so nice to have such nice, accomodating friends! Joyce selected this wonderful, heathery, Cascade 220 in the most manly of manly colors - sort of a heathery army green. Perfect!
The way that I solved the problem of the "circles" is to not solve the problem at all. I find that this way is *always* the easiest, lol.
In the photo above, you can see that I got to a spot where the two smaller circles would have to cross the large, center circle, in an area where the slope of the upper circle is pretty much vertical. I swatched and swatched and scratched my head and scratched my head, and I never could figure out how I was going to make this work with traditional cable techniques, so I just ended the cable, put it on pins and decided to just sew them together. It works perfectly!!!
Actually, I didn't exactly sew the cables, it's more like I crocheted them. I held some yarn on the inside of the hat, and I fished a loop through one of the knit stitches of the cable. Then, I fished a loop through the other knit stitch of the cable. I found that this side-by-side arrangement is important so that the stitches sit properly.
My first attempt was to just embroider the cables with a chain stitch, and they came out way too flat and ... well... flat. Cables stand up from the knitting - the stitches are sort of at an angle to the plane of the reverse stockinette. Am I overanalyzing? Probably.
Anyway, so I fished the two loops through the last knitted loops of the cable. Then, I fished two more loops through and so on, always fishing the yarn up through from the inside of the hat, until I closed the gap, making sure that I had the over and under crossings correct.
The two little side circles took only two rounds of "fake knitting" while the large central circle took something like 6 or 8.
There's a little problem, though. The reverse stockinette background is visually composed of horizontal lines, right? Well, knitting going horizontal is also composed of horizontal lines... sigh. So, the cables don't pop quite like I'd like for them to, especially at the bottom of the design. However...
Sam loves his hat and recognized his doodle, straight away. YAY!
Oh, and yes, Sam's hair has blue streaks. This is what happens when you have long hair - and teenaged sisters. Sam's hair is wet in these pictures - when dry, the blue is MUCH bluer, heh heh heh.
Here is a side view...
And one from the top.
Do you see his hands? Next post - Sam's Mitts! Stay tuned!