Blogsam and Jetsam

Flotsam is the part of the wreckage of a ship or its cargo found floating on the water. Jetsam is cargo or parts of a ship that are deliberately thrown overboard, as to lighten the ship in an emergency, and that subsequently either sinks or is washed ashore. This is my personal blog version of the above. Loot freely.

My Photo
Location: The Hinterlands, Upstate NY

I'm annoyed that the world is going crazier faster than it used to be. But it's interesting to watch.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Afghan

Nothing like having too many irons in the fire so when Ray's wonderful superwash yarn came I had to cast on for a new afghan. That's Eldest demonstrating the first actual knitting I've done since a week or two before Christmas...and yes that's the longest I've gone without knitting in at least six years.

Youngest is pointing out the lovely paired decreases and contrasting color which give design interest

Here's how the layout will eventually work. I like the pointy edges quite a bit.

Although I've made my mother several knitted items, this is going to be the very first thing that was designed specifically for her from inception to completion. Even I don't yet know what kind of juju that will make.

I DO know that it's already caused me to rethink decreases. (Non-knitters stop right here lest you fall asleep due to boredom and spill beverage into your keyboard.) There are two ways to make a decrease (with the left-hand loop sitting on top or with the right-hand loop sitting on top) and the afghan uses both of them for a symmetric look. When combined with the garter-stitch contrast-color stripes one learns a very important lesson:

The way one does a decrease depends on what one did the row before.

Which means that on some rows of this afghan square you do "K2tog" followed by "Slip one, knit one, psso" or "SKP" or "SSK" (or whatever your preferred notation for "the opposite of knitting two together" but on some rows you do them in the opposite order.

This makes the "words" directions kind of senseless. This is also why charts are so good. They show the damned decrease so that you can make yours look like theirs via whatever method works...and usually have suggestions at the bottom about how.

Organic chemistry had a nomenclature revolution once and I think it's time that knitting did too. From now on I personally am going to think and use exclusively the terms LLD for "left-leaning decrease" and RLD for "right-leaning decrease" and hope it catches on.


Blogger Kenny said...

How funny. Annie Modesitt is a great proponent in that kind of terminology. In all her patterns, she will only say left leaning or right leaning. Check her out.

I need to go visit Ray. He lives here in Houston too, and his yarn looks beautiful.

Is it scratchy?

January 11, 2007 4:55 PM  
Blogger SamD said...

The yarn isn't a BIT scratchy.

Definitely you should hook up with Ray; I've already noticed the Houston connection!

January 12, 2007 10:24 AM  
Blogger Dharma said...

Looks lovely and now I see exactly what inspired your writing on the list.

January 13, 2007 7:01 PM  
Blogger SamD said...

Thanks...and yes the pattern does cause one to pay attention to that whole decrease terminology!

January 14, 2007 9:16 AM  

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