And abject, overwhelming joy. I'm now so deliriously happy with my Takoma that I stayed up until 4:00 in the morning knitting and watching PBS' Downton Abbey. Oh my goodness, what a tremendous show! I can't wait until this evening when I spend another long night with Bates, my humble, honest, stoic, and heroic favorite character. He's so handsome - and fictional. Oh well, I have a nice boyfriend already. :-)
Last night, I added in the third color, a warm antique gold that coordinates nicely with the dark olive and contrasts beautifully with the deep red. Rich and luscious and vibrant - unlike my eternally sleepy dog! No matter what Moose thinks, I'm truly excited about this project.
Yesterday Robin (thanks for reading, girl) asked how the stranded purling is going. Excellent question. The Takoma is designed to be knitted flat and seamed, but many KAL participants are knitting theirs in the round with a steek. I decided to make the pattern as Julia Farwell-Clay wrote it, which means doing colorwork on both the knit and purl sides of this stockinette stitch piece.
I have to admit it's a bit tricky. What this means is that you knit conventionally from a chart, starting at the bottom right and moving to the left as shown in row 1. (FYI: The photographs below do NOT use the chart I'm using in this demonstration. I just wanted to give you a sense of how it works.)
At the end of the row, you turn your work. Now you're on the wrong side where you can see the strands from the previous row.
So now what? Well, you keep on stranding, but now you need to work backwards on the chart, moving from left to right, purling the stitches instead of knitting them.
Knit, purl, and repeat until you've completed the chart.
It didn't take me long to get the hang of this. But then things got really complicated. To shape the sleeves, you need to increase on each side every three rows - in pattern. YIKES. If I'm adding a stitch to the right of the pattern, where in the heck am I in this chart? It boggles the mind! But it is doable.
This issues explains why so many people are knitting the Takoma in the round. It's a lot easier to keep in pattern if you're not having to envision which color comes next in a colorwork pattern that you can't physically see. What would help (and I haven't done this yet) is to take the charts, copy them, and paste them together so you can more easily see what should come next.
To be honest, I'm enjoying the challenge. My knitting brain likes to stretch from time to time. Plus I love the results.
I have another great idea to share with you today. One of my fellow Takoma knitters, redheadeb on Ravelry, knitted herself a hat as a gauge swatch. Brilliant! What a terrific way to practice the stitchwork and ensure that you're making gauge, too. Plus you get a hat when you're finished. I love it.
Okay, enough waxing on and on about the Takoma. I'm going off now to work on the Carnation pattern. I've got a bevy of earnest test knitters waiting impatiently for me to finish, so back to the grindstone. I'm grateful for every one of them.