mods: I picked up one extra stitch from one of the black legs before I started my cast off in row 30 and then I cast off 16-I like how the black looks more ‘outlined’ that way.
Crochet edging (detailed at the end of these notes)
Tips: Complete one feather using the written instruction. Follow it word for word-don’t get ahead of yourself, just do what the pattern says. Once you do this, you get a ‘feel’ for what is expected of you.
After I got the ‘feel’ I went to the shortened counting row version of the pattern and zipped along. I didn’t need stitch markers or anything using that part of the pattern. It was very easy to follow along.
gauge: 20 stitches per 4”
My notes as I worked:
9-20-14: Before I start, let me say that THIS is the pattern that gave me the final kick in my rear to learn to knit. I had vowed long ago to never knit (see my blog about this dreaded broken vow). I had read a lot of notes before buying this pattern. I was really really scared. I only taught myself to knit in May, but have been looking upon this gorgeous thing for a long time with envious eyes…..
Using crap yarn, I followed the written out portion and it worked out pretty good-it was awfully wordy, but I was glad for it to really guide me as I went for my first feather. I was able to complete a feather without too much trauma. For the next feather I will attempt to follow the shorter, counting part of the pattern and see how it goes.
Now that I know that this is attainable to me I am going to purchase some wonderful yarn. I cannot wait. :)
9-22-14: Went to the foofoo yarn store and selected my colors. I really wanted something else, but this was all they had that was close to my vision and I couldn’t wait to order any because I AM INSANELY EXCITED TO START! :) First feather getting close to completion using the one page version of directions. Going very smoothly.
For my color changes, I am changing colors of the feather in row 16 after K2. I love this yarn and the slow color changes, but I wanted a more drastic change between the two halves of the feathers. Sometimes I will take from the other end of the skein sometimes from the next skein-depends on my mood.
Later that day: Second feather almost done, and I’ve not had issues with the pattern at all. I’m a little annoyed that I let my fear of what others say get in the way of my getting this pattern sooner!
9-23-14: I’ve gotten through three feathers (almost) and I do have a slight correction to the numbered lines-my count was off by the exact number two times in a row which makes me think it is not my error (see notes of 9-24-14 for what MY error was-I am leaving these notes here just in case anyone else comes to a counting issue-to show that you CAN modify it a bit without changing the look of it too much don’t flip out over counts if you are off a tad). When knitting to the end in row 15 (it says 45-it is really 49). Also, in row 18 I k 39 and p 7 to throw the double stitches off a bit-they were landing smack on top of each other. UPDATE: This is probably my error as per a convo with Irishwasp (who has AMAZING dreambirds finished). I’m going to pay special attention to my next feather and see if I can figure this out…Gas up the Mystery Machine Scooby!
I am in love LOVE with this pattern I tell you. I keep stopping my work so I can just stare at this stupid thing. how insane is that? VERY. I love everything about this pattern, and I think I shall marry this thing when it is all over. I finally got to the pink part in a feather and I almost died from excitement. I think this is seriously getting out of control. No one should be that in love with a project. It’s Wacky Shack worthy. I have found though, that I was pulling my double stitches a little too tight with this thinner thread (the crap yarn I was practicing on didn’t have that issue). So the first few feathers have a few little holes mainly because I was too diligent in pulling them tight…But my last feather is perfection. PERFECTION I tell you. Did I mention I love it? OMG I need sleep. Sleep? I’ll dream about my dreambird. Yes I will. Why? BECAUSE I LOVE IT.
9-24-14: I just completed feather number five and I was diligently paying attention to counts, trying to figure out where I was going wrong that would throw me off. I also looked at the chart and compared it to the written, and there is nothing that seems to conflict so obviously the issue is my own. I am thinking it could have something to do with my casting on-it is taking me so long to do that that I could be counting them wrong as I go. So….after I do my next cast on I will recount all my stitches and see if that helps to keep everything on track. BUT the moral of the story is that this is a very forgiving pattern. I can’t tell that there was that slight error in counting, so ain’t no thang! ;)
I have figured out what my problem is. In row 2 it says ‘k back 125” I took that to mean knit back to the beginning. I think that ‘back’ should be omitted because it is misleading since we are turning mostly ever row anyhow. So I did-every single time-which threw my numbers off by five exactly. DUHHHHHH. I’m so glad this got figured out because it was making me a little batty. Thank goodness it didn’t seem to make a difference in how the actual piece looks! :)
Later that day: I was really miffed when the orthodontist was able to blow through both my kids in record time-I hardly got any knitting done in the waiting room! Boo! Kids were happy though! haha! I have completed 6 feathers and cannot wait to start on my next one with my new found realization that I messed up that round 2 five previous times! doh! Did I mention I love this pattern?
9-25-14: Almost done with 8 feathers. Yes, I was doing that row 2 incorrectly which changed my counts to the correct count, made my ds’s all stagger properly and also made the bind off neck edge a little less ‘steppish.’ I have been having a lot of fun trying to figure out how to pull the colors out of the skeins. I’m glad I bought the three different colors-there are so many on each skein yet all in the same type of family that it is a blast figuring out what to do next. That being said, I’m actually unwinding the balls sometimes to get to the part I want to use. I feel like it is murderistic of this lovely yarn, but I don’t mind being a little homicidal because this is my dream project and I will use the scraps for a fun headband or hat or something.
Now I’m contemplating possible crocheting around the edge. I know blocking will help a bit with the feathers, but I want them to maintain a little swirl effect. I think I can best keep that if I did a crocheted edge….paying attention to the feather tips and enticing them to keep their curl.
Later that day: At dd’s kobudo I was a madwoman getting quite a bit done. I completed feather #9 and did a lot of yarn unwinding. I’m averaging about one feather every two hours-that takes into account yarn unwinding…But NOT my petting ogling and stopping to admire my work. I feel like a stalker. Stalking my own project. Good lord I need to get over this obsession. No I don’t.
9-26-14: I am nearing the end of my black skein. I know I won’t have enough to finish and I was very scared that I would run out over the weekend. My LYS isn’t opened on Sundays so I high tailed it over there to grab one more black. Turns out they ARE opened on Sundays they just had to update their facebook page to reflect their new fall hours. I was accused of being ‘an addict’ because I told them I could never go all weekend without working on the project. I am not sure why this felt like a compliment when usually being called an addict would be such a negative thing. I’m proudly wearing my yarn addict badge now. :)
I’m working on feather 11 now…and I’m proud to say I haven’t taken a single photo all day. Of course I made up for that by laying it out and staring at it a few extra times and had to make a change of color course….I decided I wanted the color changes to flow like this: quick changes in the beginning and slowly changing gradually…we shall see.
9-27: I was able to work a bit at dd’s tumbling and now I must wait to pick up ds from his homecoming dance so I get a whole two hours of uninterrupted knitting. I’m on feather 13 now and think that 16 will be enough….I’m nearing completion and I cannot wait to get to wearing it!! :) :) :)
9-28: I didn’t get much done today! Boo! I did manage to take another photo though! I do so love this thing. I really think I need to make a dress version of this as well. I can’t get over how fun it is to make and look at.
9-29-14: I got the dreaded phone call last night. My mom and aunt were coming for a visit. They don’t visit and then go home. They STAY ALL DAY. And expect me to TALK! That means I got ZERO knitting done. SO MAD. This is not a project that I can socialize while doing since I am doing the counting version of the pattern. So there it sat, in the chair next to me, ALL DAY LONG. At least I got so much ogling done I think I and safely say I can probably knit the remainder of it tomorrow and perhaps even begin on the crochet trim I envision!
9-30: I’ll be going on my 2 mile run after I fling the kids on the bus-something I do if I know I will be doing a lot of knitting or crochet so I feel less guilty about sitting on my rump.
FINISHED!!!! WHOHOOO!!!! For finishing I did sc around the edges…To keep the ‘curl’ at the end of the feather I did some sc, dec in the inner part of the curl and some sc, 2sc on the outer edge of the curl. I used the BL whenever possible. :) LOVEEEE this pattern, and if my facebook page is any indication, so does everyone else on the planet, a bunch of people have already told me they are downloading the pattern just because of the one they saw me make. :) This one gets a Dragonbird’s Two Talons Up.
Confession: I didn’t block mine. :P AND I’m not going to either! :P : P I think my crocheted edging helped a lot with keeping the feathers the way I wanted them, and a little steamy iron did the rest.