Sunday, December 29, 2013
JR's stripey toque (using Fair Isle to make the stripes)
JR requested a red and blue toque (beanie), stripes which were balanced like ying and yang. I wanted to knit so that the blue and red came into a ying yang swirl at the top - but this is difficult with knitting. My sister Wendy stopped me from using all these lengths of cut strings so I could have diagonal stripes (like how you change colours to knit a picture) and showed my this amazing simple knitting method called Fair Isle.
Basically you use two colours of wool at once, knitting 3 stitches of one then the other colour, just looping the unused colour round the back (in this case I did this on 3 double pointed needles so it went round and round). (You can also do 4 stitches of each.) Basically you have one extra stitch total in the round, so additional to the multiples of 3 (or 4 if you are doing 4), so the pattern is staggered by one each row. I charted how multiples of 3 or 4 would look, and chose a multiple of 3 as the stripes were thicker.
I still wanted to try to swirl the stripes into ying-yangs at the end, but it just wasn't the easy way the medium wanted to go. I did decrease only at the start and end of each needle so the hat kept swirling in a cool way at the top - decreasing did not wreck the pattern.