I, like many of you, tend to spend a lot of time planning projects – fibers, colors, stitches, etc. Even when I am using someone else’s pattern, I can really get a bit crazy just choosing colors and fibers: “Maybe the pale blue-green silk with the darker green mohair? Or, perhaps some lovely rose pink cashmere with a medium grey merino? No, wait! How about undyed camel fiber combined with a rust colored brush-tail possum?” I am sure you can relate!
So, when a mystery KAL or CAL comes along, I usually jump at the chance because it frees me from making a lot of choices. I will typically go with the suggested yarn and just pick maybe two colors – a primary and a possible accent color. This provides me with an opportunity to relax and just enjoy the stitches.
That is why I decided to try out Knit Purl Hunter’s 14 Carat KAL. I knew it would be a poncho, but had no idea what style that poncho would take nor what stitches would be used. I also knew we’d be using HiKoo CoBaSi fingering. Other than that…nada. Zilch. Zippo. Not knowing what to expect, I decided to go with just two colors – Really Red (accents) and Really Red Tonal (primary). The red is being used to highlight the diamond lace and the tonal is being used everywhere else.
We started about 18 days ago (on Apr 7) and, of course, I am behind. But, I am enjoying things so far. I got to learn how to do a crochet cast on and use life lines as well as practice some lace work.
I had one tense moment because I knew I made a mistake but I wasn’t sure how to fix it. My mistake was in the previous row and my closest lifeline was 8 rows away. But, Liz at Maker’s Mercantile got me straightened away! Thanks, Liz. I promise – no more knitting while nodding off. Clearly, that’s just too much knitting dangerously for me.
Other than the night of knitting dangerously, I can see in the above photo at least one other mistake. Can you spot my mistake(s)? Also, I think if I were to do this again, I might gradually taper the tonal (following the lines of the diamond) instead of a hard 90 degree angle. But, it is kinda hard for me to really know until I complete more of this poncho. Finally, I think I would have started the red just a bit sooner at the bottom. Three rows sooner and I would have had a more symmetrical border.
Tools & Techniques
Knitter’s Pride Symfonie Cubics needles – The square shape and blunt point make the lace work fairly easy. I do think I tend to knit a little looser with these needles for some reason.
Lifelines 3 Ways (featuring Endless Knits) – I tried all three ways. My favorite way is similar to #3 (attach line to needle). If you don’t have interchangeable needles, I found that highlighter tape works well and doesn’t leave a residue on the needle. Also, on circlular needles, I like to tape the line on the cord right below where the cord goes into the body of the needle. It seems less fiddly that way than taping it to the body of the needle.
Crochet Cast On (featuring Knit Purl Hunter) – Since I’m an experienced crocheter, this cast on seemed very natural to me and it went very quickly!