25 February 2007

The Alien Illusion

I'd give credit to the souces of this photo, except I don't remember where I got it from. If you recognize it, please let me know.

I mentioned, a few postings ago, that I was going to try knitting the Alien Illusion Scarf with the i-cord cast-on, selvege, and cast-off from Annie Modesitt. Well, I started that this afternoon. I really didn't like it, so I frogged it after about twelve rows. It just didn't work at all.

So then I started again with just the bare pattern. I'd copied the graph on my color all-in-one and blown it up until it was page-sized. That meant I'd clipped off the stitch key. Well, I was just sure that the colored squares on the chart were for the black rows, not the green ones. So I knitted away and, after twenty rows (nearly a thousand stitches), realized that I was knitting a black alien, not a green one. It was frogging time again, rip-it, rip-it, rip-it.

OK, here's the color key. Two rows of green stockinette stitch and two rows of black garter stitch for the background, two rows of green garter stitch and two rows of black stockinette stitch for the design. Or white is green, red (or gray) is black.

I've just finished the twentieth row and it really is a green alien on black this time. What a relief. The yarn, Lion Brand Microspun, is pretty resiliant, but even the best yarn has its limits.

If this scarf comes out looking reasonable, I'm going to do a Space Shuttle Orbiter scarf in white on black, using the planform. I may also try an SR-71 Blackbird planform in black on a blue background. Maybe an F-4 Phantom, too. The hardest part of drawing up the pattern is getting the aspect ratio right. Stockinette stitch and garter stitch arent the same height, so standard knitting graph paper doesn't work.

So, lessons learned:

1. Don't cut the stitch chart key off the copy.
2. If you do, don't pack the book in one of five cartons until you know it's working.
3. Size 4 (US) needles and DK (double knitting) yarn are a little too small to knit for hours.
4. There aren't many knitting patterns for aircraft, particularly classically handsome aircraft like the F-4 Phantom.

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