Friday, May 25, 2012

K'done: Pop Block Wrap(let)

Ha! Victory is mine!

Pattern: Pop Block, by Veera Välimäki
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Tonal, in Nevermore
Needles: 8 mm / US 11

I know. I changed the yarn (worsted instead of DK), and changed the gauge (about 14 sts to 4", not 18), and I didn't have the yardage the designer said I would need (I had 3 skeins, which is 660 yards; pattern calls for almost twice that). I'm not the sort of person who ignores other people's instructions so brazenly.

Except. I kept looking at the sample photos, and looking at these skeins of yarn, and thinking this colourway would look terrific in garter stitch. This time around, the feeling that I should walk away from this yarn/pattern match because I didn't have the right yardage was mitigated by the fact that the yarn I had was heavier, so I could change the gauge. It seemed to me that worsted weight yarn would work up way too dense for a nice wrap at 18 sts to 4". Which would mean casting on fewer stitches to get the same width, and working fewer rows to get the same length. It seemed to me that it might work.

So I got bold, and showed the sample images to my sister - it's a wrap for her, after all - and she liked what she saw, and so I proceeded.

And got promptly smacked by gauge. I started with a 6 mm / US 10 needle. That probably would have worked for stockinette, but this is garter, and never the two shall behave the same. I worked a few inches of length, realized what I had was too firm, and pulled it apart.

Started over with a 6.5 mm / US 10.5 needle. The fabric was better, and I worked through three of the first set of pleats, and reached the end of the first skein, and realized if I continued, the piece would be too short to wrap nicely. I pulled it out again, grabbed an even larger needle, and did a bit of arithmetic, resulting in the following modifications:

I cast on 60 stitches.

I only worked three pleats per pleated section. Each pleat was 6 stitches wide, 8 rows deep, with 11 rows worked after one pleat before beginning the next within the section.

I only worked three pleated sections. The first and third were spaced 10 stitches from the side edge of the piece, the second was centered - 11 stitches after the first section, 11 stitches before the third section.

I worked about 12.5" after each pleated section before beginning the next.

When all was said and done - ends woven in and trimmed - I had this much leftover.

I'm pretty pleased with the result. In the end, it's about 49.5" long, and 17.5" wide.

Now the question is: to block, or not to block? All the pics in this post feature an unblocked piece. Normally I'm of the block everything mentality, but with this piece I'm not sure. It's garter stitch. Does garter stitch change dramatically once blocked?

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