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Scientific Study of Color Affection

by on June 9, 2012

My several months long “Scientific Study” of Color Affection by Veera Valimaki

I believe this is the most fascinating pattern I have come across in some time. Not only has it compelled more than 12,000 Ravelry users to knit this garment, but it has made me make two immediately and Sheryl, one for the shop. Like potato chips, I tell customers, it’s tough to stop at one. What is so fascinating, that depending on the color combination you select, then which color you choose as your main – you produce a fabric that hardly resembles any others that have been knit!
However, there have been a few issues with the construction and I will run through a description of our shop’s three shawls.

Shawl number one followed the pattern EXACTLY. The shawl is knit top down, beginning with five stitches and the increases were created with M1L or M1R. The main color and contrasting color #1 and contrasting color #2 are twisted then carried. The designer recommends doing this loosely and refers the knitter to a tutorial.
Finished shawl number 1 prior to blocking had a unsightly twist, very tight cast on border running the length of the shawl, making it curl like a potato chip scarf. Causing, as you can imagine great panic and much research from yours truly.
I immediately cast on Shawl # 2 while Shawl # 1 was blocking (using wet blocking and blocking wires but beware, some Ravelry users have too vigorously blocked that cast on and have snapped the fibers!)

I decided to continue the M1L/M1R increase, but would not twist the additional colors as I carried them up the sides. I would simply pick them up as needed. While progressing, I noted the edging worked equally neat as Shawl #1. Meanwhile Shawl #1 had dried and the potato chip scarf effect had disappeared (collective sigh across the country) but the tight cast on border remained. Some would say, overcritical, but remember this is a scientific study.
Shawl #2 is bound off and the border is better, but still sadly quite tight. But we have eliminated the potato chip effect, so I know placing the blocking wires will be a snap.

Shawl #2 blocking, I eagerly cast on Shawl #3. Now I will not carry the colors and instead of M1L/R I will use YO at either ends for the increases. As you can imagine, number three flies off my needles as my excitement grows. Binding off I find the edging is springy, elastic, quite pleasing to the touch, but aesthetically unattractive. The YO’s do not meld with the linear symmetry of the garter stitch.
Now you may think I’ve completely lost my mind at this point. This is quite possible. But with the research and reading and Shawl #4, the solution is at hand. Do not carry the colors. For your increases, use YOs. Then on the wrong side rows, when you come to these YOs, PURL THROUGH THE BACK LOOP.

This closes the YO, keeps an elastic springy cast on, maintains the garter symmetry. Oh knitting joy, and the conclusion of this great color affection journey. (Must admit I love it so much, claimed one for myself and one for my Mom!)

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