After satisfying my fair isle itch, there was only one lonely unfinished project left next to my knitting chair: Rogue. I cast-on in November, but after completing the hem, which is a little too tight, I ran into difficulty.
This pattern has a lovely Celtic knot featured on the cuff of each sleeve and at the waist on either side. To create a Celtic knot, you need to increase four stitches so the knot has somewhere to go, as it were. The pattern instructions call for increasing two stitches on the RS and the another two on WS, but my execution left unsightly holes. Not sure what I had done wrong, or how to do it differently, I put the project aside.
While I was at Madrona, I took a class in Celtic Cables from Fiona Ellis. She had us swatch a knot repeated in the two-tone blue cabled hoodie from Inspired Cable Knits.
Fiona instructed us to increase four stitches all at once on the RS (make 1 by picking up the strand between next 2 sts and k into the back of loop; k1, p1, k1 all into next st; then make 1 by picking up strand as before) and then purl straight across the back. My swatch turned out beautifully, with no holes.
Another useful bit Fiona taught us about cables, which has helped me to knit more intuitively: purl stitches are usually held to the back of the work in a cable crossing. She said to think of your purl stitches as shy stitches. Because of this tendency, next to a cable is a good place to hide a decrease in your work. Nestle a p2tog next to a cable and it will hide behind the stockinette column.
Encouraged, I frogged back two rows and tried it again. After redoing it twice, it finally worked. This project has miles and miles of plain stockinette punctuated with tiny bit of detail; this should make great work for Wintergrass.
Can you believe there are two great events, back to back, at the Tacoma Sheraton? This Friday, I leave for three days of bluegrass with my parents and Sophie. We had a fabulous time last year, and I expect this year to be even better since we know several returning bands.