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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Knit Surgery

I'm working on a new design this week. I've been knitting frantically trying to finish it before I leave for Bristol tomorrow. After meeting Vanessa in Bristol to see Mamma Mia live tomorrow night, I'm then going on to Cardiff for the weekend and teaching Fair Isle & Slip Stitch Colour Work at La Mercerie on Sunday. I'm desperate to finish this new poncho so I can wear it. This design, which is nameless so far, will be part of the Lace Wear Volume 1 collection. 

The poncho is worked in two halves. I had slightly less than a full skein of the purple (which is Oslo Micro Dyery Merino Light) because I'd originally started a shawl in it but changed my mind and when I ripped it out I ended up wasting some yarn due to tangles.

I thought I'd carefully weighed the yarn before I cast on, so I could reverse the design when I'd used up half the yarn. I obviously didn't weigh it carefully enough because in the early hours of this morning (I couldn't sleep - not because of the yarn amount situation) I lost the game of Yarn Chicken (where you knit faster and faster to try to finish before you run out of yarn). In the centre of the piece there's a lace repeat in each of the two colours and I decided that my best option would be to take these two sections out. 

Here's the piece before I started. I've inserted a knitting needle either side of the rows I'm taking out, which is the lace section in stocking stitch between the garter stitch sections.

First I inserted a knitting needle into the stitches either side of the section I want to rip out. This was fairly easy because it was at a colour change.

Below I've got a circular needle inserted into the last row before the lace section and into the first row after the lace section.

I need to preserve the purple yarn as I need that to finish the poncho. The other colour isn't so important. So I decided to start unpicking the purple yarn. At the edge of the last purple row, I carefully unpicked a row of knitting. Because I'd cut the yarn at this point I already had a loose end so didn't need to cut my knitting.

I unpicked a complete row of the purple and unravelled it down to my knitting needle. I then carefully made sure I hadn't missed any stitches. I then did the same with the other lace section.

I now have two halves with all the stitches on a needle each. I needed to graft (kitchener stitch) the two pieces together and to do that, I unpicked the last row of the beige/pale pink yarn. If I'd grafted it as it is now, I would have ended up with an extra row.

After unpicking the last row of the beige/pale pink, I held the two pieces with right sides together and grafted the two halves together. I was working on the wrong side so it would look like a purl row on the right side as that's the row I'd taken out.

Here's the final result. I'm pretty happy with it. Once I've blocked it, it won't be obvious that I took out 20 rows of lace. I'm now working on finishing the last 20 rows and then I'll be blocking it. Hopefully it'll be dry so I can wear it when I leave for Bristol tomorrow.

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