A blog about my life, knitting, and other stuff.

April 2, 2013

The Possibilities of a Tube

A few weeks ago I was about to head to the movies with Older Son to see Silver Linings Playbook (believe the hype, it's really good). I like to knit at the movies. It keeps me from fidgeting and from biting my nails. However I can only knit stockinette in the dark. My true preference is stockinette in the round. I usually cast on for a charity hat before a movie and knit the ribbing earlier in the day then knit the plain stockinette at the show. But on this day I didn't have time to knit an edging so I just did a provisional cast on in this 100% alpaca. I thought I'd knit the hat then put the edging on later. Alpaca is one of my favorite fibers but it's really not great for hats. It's slack, has no memory and gets kind of slithery as headgear. Then I thought I'd make a cowl. And lastly I decided to make a baby vest.

Here's my tube with a (barely visible) provisional cast on along the bottom edge and three "kangaroo pouches" started. Two are the armholes and one is for the neckline. A kangaroo pouch is an Elizabeth Zimmermann technique for placing a steek in the middle of your work. You slip stitches onto waste yarn then cast on steek stitches (you can use backward loop, it doesn't have to be pretty) over those stitches and continue knitting. I'll continue decreasing along these lines to shape the armhole and the neckline and once I've joined the shoulders I can cut the steeks and finish those edges.

I'm really happy I chose to do this since I can just play with my knitting. There's no pattern to follow. I decide what the openings should be like. Frankly, I'm not very experienced using these techniques to create shaping so it's a bit of an experiment. But in the end if I'm not 100% in love with the result it will still keep a baby warm so there's no harm in exploring.

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