Friday, June 01, 2007


Not much to look at, but here's the start of a February baby sweater from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac.

I fell in love with this sweater the first time I saw it on someone's blog (can't remember whose!), eventually found out where to find the pattern, thought I wanted the book but could never find a hard copy to "test drive" before committing, and finally broke down and ordered it online, sight unseen, because even after all this time (well over a year) I still loved that sweater.

The book is a steal.

It arrived a couple of days ago, and I've raced through it as though it were a trashy adventure novel, flipping back again and again to reread the especially racy bits. Ahem.

The short of it is that, while I'm absolutely positive Cookie is right that another Baby Surprise is just the ticket, I have no enthusiasm to start another one immediately. So we're doing the February sweater. At least for now. Probably when it is finished, I will find that the two things are insufficiently twinny (as in, utterly different sizes), will have gotten over my Surprise aversion, and will end up starting over again for Twin No. 2.

But to the unventing -- I find it a little ironic that I have happened upon my best unventing yet (at least since the time I "discovered" the woven seam) while knitting an E.Z. design. But I suppose that it is only right and proper.

My New Favorite Increase!

I hate the m1, firm backwards loop.

I dislike working it, and I dislike working *into* it.

Working it really breaks up my rhythm. (Maybe this is only a problem for "pickers?" Or maybe it is just me.)

And working *into* it -- well, not sure what the problem is, but I always have a hard time getting my needle into that FIRM backwards loop. (Maybe it is something about the angle?)

So that's two rows of pain and suffering for the stupid one-stitch increase.

Generally, I substitute a different increase -- usually a kfb -- even if the m1 creates the best results under the circumstances.

But for the increases in the February sweater's garter yoke, the kfb wasn't going to work. So I bit the bullet and at least for the first set of increases (one every two stitches!), I used the m1.

And on the slow way back, knitting into those increases, I kept thinking "there's got to be a better way."

Then one of those stupid firm backwards loops hopped off my needle before I could work it, and when putting it back *on* the needle, I realized . . .

Does everyone else already know that you get the same m1 if you just do a "firm" YO on row one, and knit into it "through the back loop" (i.e., twisted) on row 2?

Much better!

I am giddy at the discovery.

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Blogger Cookie said...

Your way is better. You're saving the babies from being matchy-matchy and that's always a good thing.

Much better indeed!

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does a 'firm' YO mean a snug rather than loose one?

8:09 PM  
Anonymous angelarae said...

Knitter's Almanac is one of my favorites. I love the section about the pi shawl. One of these days, I'm going to make one.


2:15 AM  
Blogger Anonyknits said...

Gillian -- That's what I've always assumed "firm" means. Of course, I could be wrong!

4:50 PM  
Blogger annmarie said...

Love that blue~I need to get cracking and cast on for one of these little sweaters for a colleague who's due next month, but school lets out at the end of this month!

2:34 PM  

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