It’s near time for the Dreambird KAL – do you have your yarn ready? Have you already tried your hand at a feather?
Judy has a blog post today on her tips which you may find helpful. Check it out. There’s a link to it in my sidebar.
I just finished feather number three last night. Some things I have learned while making my feathers — in no particular order and trying not to repeat anything Judy has already listed are:
- ** My background yarn is a different type of yarn than I’d used before. It feels more lineny than wooly. I love the color (which is why I chose it) with my feathers, I love the feel of it and it will drape very very nicely I think. It does, however, tend to show where the double stitches are more than a woolier yarn would. I don’t mind, I don’t think it looks bad – I just noticed it doesn’t “hide” them like the yarn suggested in the pattern would. And seriously, if anyone (other than a good friend who is telling me how incredibly gorgeous my shawl is) is standing close enough to me to notice that the double stitches show more — they need to stop invading my personal space and back away! pronto! 🙂
**I’m “row counter impaired”! Yes, confession time. No, I cannot remember to click a row counter each row — I start out doing it but then I go into knitting la la land and am so intent on starting the next lovely row that I forget to click. Or I drop it down the couch cushion next to me and add several clicks as I’m trying to dig it out. So I had to come up with an alternate method that works for me which is shown below.
**Definitely read all the directions. I made my first test feather up to row 28 using the full written instructions, then I switched to the row-by-row count. I found I liked the row by row and could easily follow that so opted to use the row-by-row but, in doing half a feather with the full instructions, I could better understand where things were headed.
**Since I’m using the row-by-row, it does not include where the double stitches are. However – simple rule – every row that is not a “knit to end” or “knit back to beginning”, bind off or cast on row, do a double stitch as soon as you turn to the other side to head back the other way.
**In using the row-by-row instructions, I prefer to read down a row rather than back and forth between columns. So I simply made my own cheat sheet and to solve my “row counter impairment” I added rows of boxes so as I look to see what the next row is, I remember to place a check mark on the row I just finished. I’m much better with check marking than row counter clicking.
Why are the lines looking sort of wavy and unclear – that’s just the photo. But I have all 70 rows printed out on the front and back of one sheet of paper (which I’m not showing all of due to the pattern being copyrighted) and you can see where I’ve check marked off the rows I’ve finished. Also when I typed up the table I made the print large enough and bold enough on the row instruction so it can lay on the couch next to me and I can read it easily with my wacky eyes without having to pick it up and hold it closer. What isn’t showing up due to the flash on the white sheet of paper, is that every other row across the table is shaded in the background a color which simply makes it easier to read from one row to the next but also denotes whether I’m on a right side row or a wrong side row.
This pattern may not be for everyone but I think anyone with basic knitting skills and some patience can accomplish this. I had never done the double stitch – there’s a video that can show you how to do it (and I think it may be my new favorite short row – no more wrap and turns). It’s easy to do.
Several people have commented they don’t think they could do a 22 page pattern. Why not? When I asked if they had looked at the pattern – no they hadn’t but if it was 22 pages they were sure they couldn’t do it. Poppycock!! Yes you heard what I said. 🙂 Yes, there are 22 pages you can print out. BUT I think they mistakenly think it’s 22 pages of knit this row, purl that row type instructions which seems daunting to them. Not so! – if you had the the pattern you would see the fist 6 pages are supplies and general info, schematics, and how to do double stitch — well there’s nothing difficult there except having to read it. There are six pages of the wordy (versus row by row) pattern instructions – tho two of those are half pages — that’s not so scary is it??? There’s a couple more pages of photos, the row-by row pages and then the last 5 pages for the mini version, a blank page for notes and a page for copyright info.
So, first I pulled out the schematics pages (which I don’t need to refer to and all the mini pattern info). I read through the rest. Now that I understand how the feathers are made, I pulled out all the “wordy” instructions, etc. So what I’m left with is the front and back of one page — my row by row checklist. So don’t let the fact that the pattern is so long scare you — your basically stitching the same 70 rows over and over and over and over so if you can do them once, piece of cake to just keep repeating them — just take it one row at a time. 🙂
Now I’m off to get that background area finished next to my third feather cause I can’t wait to see what color the next feather will be. My first one is the two tone brown, the middle one has 3 or 4 different colors in it and the third looks more solid but is I think three shades close in color — such fun to seam them each form.