Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This Is Not A Knitting Blog (But It Plays One on the Internet)

Unmentionables Mosaic

My mother had a big health scare recently, which resulted in the serious neglect of this blog. Not to go into too much detail, she was three weeks in hospital and three weeks staying with me, so that I could give her daily antibiotic infusion therapy (trained by the in-home nursing staff) and aid in her recovery. She is back at her home and doing better now, so I am making tentative forays into the vast territory that is the internet.

While my mother was in residence, I didn't knit at all. There was no time. From sunup until far past sundown I was on my feet and working non-stop, tending to her and Arabis. And for the three weeks prior to that, while she was in hospital, the needles lay quiet as well. Now that my life has wound back to its normal levels of insanity, I cast on an adorable pattern for Arabis late last month: Emma's Unmentionables from the newest Knitty.

I have found it to be a refreshingly easy and straightforward knit. One error in the pattern, when you attach the legs to the body, but that was easily spotted and remedied. I began casting on the first lace ruffle one night at midnight which I know is never a good idea. On a whim, I reread the pattern the following morning. While the pattern calls for the body of the work to be done on a US 5 needle, the lace is to be worked on a US 6. Very subtle difference that I didn’t even notice on first reading. So I knit the lace as loosely as possible and it looks fine.

Before grafting the crotch stitches, the final step of the pattern, I tried the garment on Arabis and when I took it off her she had a fit.

“Mine, Mommy! Mine, mine, mine!! Want to wear!!”

In record time the stitches were grafted and she wore these for three days before I hid them to wash.

I have, of course, started a second pair, of which is about 75% done. This pair is in a lovely wisteria color, using the suggested yarn and the larger sized needles for the lace. I'm in love with this pattern and the compliments I've gotten on the finished garment have been wonderful.

Here's a link to my project page for all you Ravelry nuts out there. I really need to make a pair of these in black. They'd be a hit with the goth toddler crowd.

Pattern: Emma's Unmentionables from Knitty
Needle: US 5 (3.75mm) circulars 16 inch and 20 inch, two US 5(3.75mm) double pointed needles
Yarn: TLC Cotton Plus Solid in Kiwi (3643), 3 skeins
Size: 4T

Unmentionables for Arabis in Progress

Ruffle and Lace Detail

Arabis Loves Her Unmentionables

Arabis Loves Her Unmentionables


boogiemum said...

Those are so cute! Makes me wish I had a little girl to put them on...

Arabis is as beautiful as ever and SO BIG! I can't believe how old she looks now.

Artemis Rich said...

Thanks! The kid blows me away on a daily basis.

And I'm almost done with a second pair of those bloomers since she loves them so much!

John said...

Help, help! I had been cruising along on this same pattern until I reached the lace edging and I've come to a screeching halt. I can't figure out how to utilize the double pointed needles in this pattern (surely she doesn't intend to divide 5 stitches among 4 double pointed needles, right?). The owner of my knitting shop tried today for 45 minutes and she is jammed too. I would love to talk to someone who has completed the pattern to get any tips. Did you use one double pointed needle and slide back and forth? When I tried doing this it looks like I'm getting a tube instead of the lace. I'm not an advanced knitter so these questions may be really ignorant- I was pretty surprised when my knitting shop owner couldn't shed any light so I'm turning to cyberspace! Thanks for any help and your daughter is adorable. Just seeing her in the pants has me drooling to finish mine. my daughter is only 2 but I know I'll be hearing the same, "Mine, Mommy' that you did!!

Artemis Rich said...

Hi, Jennifer. Thanks for your comment and I'm hoping that I can help you.

First, breathe. Just relax. Both you and your knitting shop owner are making things way more complicated than they should be.

Take the pattern and read it very carefully. You will only be using TWO double pointed needles in one size larger than the needle that you used to knit the body of the pants (if you use the same size needle like I did in this pair, that's okay too, don't worry. A larger needle just makes the lace look a little...well, lacier).

Step 1: Cast 5 stitches onto one double pointed needle and with a second DPN work the first row of the lace pattern (Row 1 [WS]: Sl 1 knitwise, k1, [yo] twice, k2tog, k1. 6 sts.) This will leave you with six stitches on one DPN. This row is a wrong side row.

Step 2: It's time for the second row of the lace edging. If you read the row, you'll notice there are seven stitches to knit and not six, which is all you have on your needle. Where does that seventh stitch come from? Here, the magic begins.

Work the second row of the lace pattern (Row 2 [RS]: Sl 1 knitwise, k2, p1, k1, k2tog) but STOP just before the final k2tog. You'll see you have only one stitch on the left DPN. You're going to need a second stitch in order to be able to k2tog.

With the RS ruffle of the body of the bloomers in front of you (remember, the bottom of these still has all the stitches on a circlular needle) you will transfer the first stitch from the ruffle onto the left DPN for a total of two stitches. Those two stitches make up your k2tog. Knit those two stitches together.

Row 2 is now finished and you have begun attaching the lace to the edge of the ruffle.

Basically what you are doing is attaching the lace to the ruffle every RS row (every other row) by transferring one stitch at a time to the left DPN when it comes time to do the k2tog which comes at the end of each RS row.

To transfer the stitch, just slip it right off the end of the circular needle knit-wise so it lays before the final stitch on the DPN.

There are 8 rows in the lace pattern and you are attaching four stitches of the ruffle for every 8-row repeat you knit.

Take a look at this photo of the detail and it may make things more clear.

Yes, you will be knitting the lace for a long time, if you are a newish knitter, but after a while you will begin to see the pattern and learn to read the lace.

I hope this isn't too long winded and daunting. It's really very logical and I could show you in no time at all. Just take it slow, breathe, and it'll all become clear.

Let me know how you're doing and if anything still doesn't make sense, feel free to ask. I can't wait to see what they look like when you're finished!

Be warned though, everybody is going to want a pair. I've knit four already!

If you aren't on Ravelry, you may want to sign up. It's a great resource and can provide you with a lot of help, support and inspiration.

Good luck!