What do we think?
I'm ready to cautiously say that I like it. The pattern is really satisfying to knit - the traveling lines that outline the diamonds and make up the intersecting lines wrap all the away around the tube with no inturruption, thanks to a handy little movement of the end-of-round with each row. Then, too, I'm really happy with the directions of the cable crosses - they go one way within the plain purl blocks and the other within the twisted stitch blocks, with the bisecting lines always going over the lines that outline blocks. Lots of fun so far, but we won't know till it's on the foot.
Anja brought up an interesting point the other day:
I've been trying out several different patterns with travelling stitches lately (I'm using EZ's directions for doing them) and somehow all the stitches that are leaning to the left look awful. The ones that go to the right are nice and even. What can I do?
I wish I could say. The sweater I made for Jeff last summer had a large central lattice made up of twisted-stitch traveling lines, and I noticed, too, that the left-leaning lines were uneven and wonky, while the right-leaning lines lay flat and smooth. The right and left leaning lines on this sock look pretty much equally even, and I'm guessing that it's a function of 1) very tight gauge, so sloppy stitches are less noticable; 2) knitting in the round - there's no discord between purl and knit row gauge, and the stitches are twisted every round rather than every other, as they usually are in flat knitting; and 3) moving the line every row, rather than every other row, so the slope as seen as a continuous line rather than a stair-step. I might knit some experimental swatches flat and circular to figure out what's going on and how I can improve my own knitting, but for now, my best advice is to tighten up the left-leaning crosses as much as possible, to pay careful attention to purl row gauge, and to wet-block. The issues with Jeff's sweater mostly dissapeared after a thorough blocking.
The preparation continues. I'm not usually one for schematics and progress charts, but just to get an idea of what I'm in for, there's a rough scale diagram of the shawl, with the first 6.25% (that is, 1/16th, or what I should have finished the first night) marked in blue overlay. 53 rows, knitted circularly - I'm starting to maybe regret this, a little.
There's been some chatter recently about the nature of knitblogs, the purpose they serve, whether they're exclusionary, etc. It's all a little too meta for my tastes, and I hate this stuff where people see an opportunity to publicly air grievances, but still act all coy by saying "a certain popular knitblog" or "a certain Midwestern knitblog" or whatever. There have also been some very good, thought-provoking posts across the community, better expressed and more fair than I could be, so I encourage you to read those. Me? I hate blog drama, I hate public catfights, I hate the self-congratulatory, Mean Girls "you're so great", "no, YOU'RE so great, but she's not that great" stuff that goes on occasionally. I blog because not taking advantage of this incredible, immediate way to exchange information would be unbearable to me - I learn more about knitting through the comments you guys leave and by visiting your blogs than in any other way, and I feel it's only right to contribute as much as I have to offer. I'd like to think that we all present ourselves the same ways we would in person in a coffee shop at a knit night - with strong opinions, yeah, but not with snipes or condescension or brattiness - and for the most part, I think we do.