Saturday, June 27, 2009

2009: The Year of the Afghan (the FAQ)

This post will be updated as needed, as more questions come in

Why are there different cast-on numbers if all the squares are supposed to be the same size?
Different stitch patterns have different number repeats, and whereas some patterns (stockinette; simple knit and purl patterns like basketweave) have little to no effect on the yarn, some patterns (specifically cables) can pull the yarn in and sort of squish it together. Yes, squish is a technical term! So if we're doing a pattern that's going to pull in more, there has to be more stitches there-- otherwise it will be smaller than the others.

Why isn't my square coming out to be the same size as the one pictured?
Knitters knit differently! Both you and I might be using worsted weight yarn and US 8 needles, but one of us might get 5 stitches to the inch, and the other might get 4.5 stitches to the inch. Or you might even get a different gauge yourself, depending on how you hold your yarn, or if you're more stressed out or more relaxed when you're knitting different squares. As of writing this, I've made about 15 squares and none of them are exactly the same size.

Will this afghan be reversible?
No, that's not the way it was designed. The first couple of patterns also looked nice on the reverse side, but that was just the luck of that particular pattern; we never intended to make the afghan reversible.

I'm on a Mac and am having trouble opening the PDF from your website! It's just a bunch of symbols and squiggles. What do I do?
The answer to this one comes in from one of our customers (thanks, unclelori!) -
Here’s the scoop: this works when opening in Adobe Acrobat, which is the default PDF reader on most computers. However, it does not work in Preview, which is the usual Mac application for PDFs. I asked someone about this, and he said the 11MB file was probably just too big for Preview to handle. If you have this issue, open the document in Acrobat - it should work fine.
Why do the patterns keep getting more complicated as the months go on?
This afghan was designed to be a sort of learn-more-as-you-go project. While you could certainly make an afghan out of the first couple of months, we're hoping that as we up the challenge level that you will rise to the occasion and take on some new skills. Many of the people taking the classes at our shop have mentioned that they feel like they are much better knitters than they were at the beginning of the year, and that they don't know why they were always afraid of introducing new colors/cabling/cabling without a cable needle/etc.

January - why are my blocks longer than the one in the picture?
Some people found the row four/row five division to be a little confusing. Row four and row five are exactly the same, only row four is knitted across the back of the square and row five is knitted across the front. If you accidentally skipped the instructions for row 5, and went straight to the instructions for row six, this would make the boxes longer.

April - how do you bring in the second color?
Stop knitting with - but do not cut - color A. Leaving about a 4-6inch tail with color B, pick it up and knit as you were with color A. When you get back to picking up color A, do not cut color B-- because these row repeats are even numbers, color A (or B) will always be on the correct side when you go to use them (unless you accidentally do an extra row). You can simply wrap one yarn around the other and carry both yarns up the side.

April - how do I slip my stitches?
In general, you should slip the stitches holding your needle as if to purl, rather than if to knit. However; on Row 5, you will want to keep your working yarn in the back of your work when slipping stitches (and don't forget that you're dropping those two extra wraps off the needle to elongate those slipped stitches in order to accommodate them stretching over four rows), as you're working on the front side of the square. On Row 6 you will need to move your working yarn to the front when slipping; even though you are knitting (not purling), as you're on the back side and you want the yarn to not block the view of the slipped stitches on the front. On Row 7, even though you are purling (not knitting) and you are slipping your stitches while holding your needle as if to purl, you will want to move your working yarn to the back when slipping stitches, as you're working on the front side of the square and you don't want the working yarn to hide or come across the slipped stitches. Row 8 is exactly like Row 6.

What can you tell me about blocking?
Blocking will definitely improve the look of not only each individual square, but the afghan as a whole. Blocking evens out stitches and makes everything looks more smooth, and blocking can also be used as a tool to help your square get to a certain size (within reason). There is a good article on About.com that talks about different methods of blocking here.

How are we going to seam this?
We've previously talked about seaming here.

When is the next pattern coming out?
Patterns come out on the 1st of the month, unless the 1st is a Tuesday (we're closed on Tuesdays and are busy eating bonbons and watching soap operas doing laundry and cleaning our houses). In that case... say, in September, the pattern will be released on the 2nd.

1 comment:

sully8253 said...

I need to find someone who is willing to send me months 4-11. Months 12-3 were published on Ravelry which I thought was so nice of you.

Can you tell me where I might find the months not published on Ravelry?
I would appreciate it very much

Sully8253