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Dreambird

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Finished
February 29 2016
May 11 2016
Project info
Dreambird
Dreambird KAL by Nadita Swings
Knitting
me
Needles & yarn
US 4 - 3.5 mm
5.5 stitches and 7.7 rows = 1 inch
1,935 yards = 4.3 skeins
Knit Picks Palette
0.32 skeins = 1016.4 yards (929.4 meters), 16 grams
red
light, medium, and dark
Red
Knit Picks
Knit Picks Palette
0.32 skeins = 73.9 yards ( meters), 16 grams
light, medium, and dark
Orange
Knit Picks Palette
0.32 skeins = 73.9 yards ( meters), 16 grams
light, medium, and dark
Yellow
Knit Picks Palette
0.32 skeins = 73.9 yards ( meters), 16 grams
light, medium, and dark
Green
Knit Picks Palette
0.32 skeins = 73.9 yards ( meters), 16 grams
light, medium, and dark
Blue
Knit Picks Palette
0.32 skeins = 73.9 yards ( meters), 16 grams
light, medium, and dark
Purple
Knit Picks Palette
2.38 skeins = 549.8 yards ( meters), 119 grams
Blue
Notes

Size and Yarn Used

It’s about 14.5 inches perpendicularly from neck edge to the edge of the background wedge. The neck edge is about 38 inches, and measuring along the edge of the BG wedges is 96 inches.

Each feather used about 5.5 grams, and the BG wedge was about 7 grams.

February 29, 2016

Since I have three shades of the six rainbow colors (OK, yes, indigo is missing--close enough for government work), I want to play around with how to combine them for the best effect. I know what the two sides of garter look like if you change colors every other row (so every RS row), but I have little idea what it would look like to change them every row. If I decide to do something that drastic, well, it’s feltable wool, so I’ll just spit splice, then there are no ends to weave in! :assumes the Rocky pose:

Time to swatch!!!

March 28, 2016

Made a test feather in orange on 2.75 mm needles, which gave a blocked gauge of 25 sts/4 inches (sloppy not to check before I washed!). Since there are three shades of each feather color, I played around with working a whole ridge with one shade as well as mixing single rows of each shade. Single-row colors in garter stitch don’t look that great, so I’m considering holding (just holding, not winding!) two strands together at once to get some blending between the shades. Doing so may mean I make the smaller size since the single-strand one is 23 inches from tip to tip on the feather, which is probably about the right wearing length. But I have lots of yarn, so I may just go hog wild and work the full size anyway.

I do like the feathers in garter and the background in stockinette, and I’m not going to carry the BG yarn around the tips of the feathers as others have done.

The instructions are way overcomplicated, and I think I have a much simpler way to keep up with where all the short rows start and end--I’ll spell those details out once I’m sure it works.

I did figure out a way to use a crochet CO at the end of row 71/1 when prepping for subsequent feathers: Turn to the WS, put the crochet hook through the last stitch of the row below (so the parent stitch of the last stitch worked on the RS), have the working yarn below the needle, and pull a loop through from over the top of the needle, then do crochet CO in the normal way while looking at the WS of the WIP. No looseness, no fuss, no muss.

March 29, 2016

I decided to jump all the way to a US size 4/3.50 mm needle for the second test, which is the smallest size in my Knit Picks Rainbow (formerly Options) IC set. That lets me use a 32-inch cable so I can spread it out easily for pics. I like the fabric of the yellow feather WIP, and having blocked the orange feather with little or no change, I expect the yellow swatch to be fine after blocking as well.

Easier way to count stitches and uses markers/pins as signposts

So after casting on and working row one, I put some of my coilless pins between stitches thus (letters are marker identifiers and numbers are stitches between them and/or the end of the needle):

(feather tip) 5 A 5 B 5 C 5 D 5 E F 40 G 55 H 5 (neck edge)

All the counting for the first half of the feather is now complete, so we can just cruise back and forth. The directions below are quite wordy for completeness.

  1. For row two, work past all the pins to pin H (five sts from neck edge). Remove pin, turn, DS, and put pin H back on.
  2. Work past pin G to pin F. Remove pin, turn, DS, and put pin F back on.
  3. Work to pin G, remove pin, turn, DS, and put pin G back on.
  4. Work to pin F and set it aside, handle the DS that followed it, then continue on to pin E, remove pin, turn, DS, and put pin E back on.
  5. Work to four stitches before pin G. Why four instead of five per the directions? Because if we were working all the way to the neck edge, we would come to pin G before its DS, and its DS is one of the five stitches we’re supposed to count. So we work until there are only four stitches before pin G. Turn, DS, and place pin I.
  6. Work to pin E and set it aside, handle the DS that followed it, then continue on to pin D, remove pin, turn, DS, and put pin D back on.
  7. Work to four stitches before pin I. Turn, DS, and place pin J.
  8. Work to pin D and set it aside, handle the DS that followed it, then continue on to pin C, remove pin, turn, DS, and put pin C back on.
  9. Work to four stitches before pin J. Turn, DS, and place pin K.

You continue on in this fashion, using the pins to

  • alert you to the presence of a DS so you work it correctly or
  • have a precounted and marked stopping point to turn at the proper place

for each end of the short rows.

I won’t go any further in specifics than this, since it’s a paid pattern, but we do the same type of counting and pin placement for the partial triangle on the tip end of the feather on row 30, for the big block of background short rows after completing row 42, and place one pin after working row 59.

(Since I use circs exclusively, it was easier to place the pins when I could stretch the needle out straight, instead of doing it when I was partway through a row. That meant that sometimes I had to work past pins without turning. If you’re using straights, then you can do the pin placement right before you need them.)

Second Half of the Feather

The pins already in place from working the first half of the feather show the neck end of each short row in the second half, and for the tip end, the initial turn is made when there four stitches before the pin (because the DS, which counts as one of the five stitches where we’re supposed to include in the counting, is after the pin). Subsequent short rows on the tip end turn five stitches before the previous DS, and the initial turn at just four stitches means we don’t try to work the DSs at the neck end of the short rows on top of the DSs from the first half of the feather.

When I turned the first time on the WS, I already had a pin marking the position of a DS. After turning and making the DS on the RS, I now had the two DSs next to each other, so from the RS I had pin-DS-pin-DS. The same setup occurred each time I turned on the WS.

I used blueylittle’s suggestion to P5, K1 at the ends of the WS short rows so that the turned stitch looks a little better.

April 5, 2016

I have made quite a few swatches, trying out different techniques. But it’s just getting to be so much of a bother to me because I can’t decide what I want to do in the fine details. So it’s going to hibernate for a while.

Since even twenty-four feathers would barely make a dent in the yarn available, I’m going to design and work on a stranded sweater in the meantime.

April 26, 2016

Casting on today!

After some more swatching, I’ve decided to mirror-image the ridges in the three shades of each color once I complete the quill.

The pin placement I describe earlier makes the whole thing dead easy. In a few cases you cruise past a pin or two, then the pins both mark the turning points, and after turning and making the double stitch, I replace the pin as a reminder that there’s a DS just after it, so I will work the DS correctly when the time comes. Without the pin, I know I would blow right past the DS and work it wrong. And sometimes in the few seconds of removing the pin and placing it in its container, I forget that it’s a DS! Sigh.

April 27, 2016

Three feathers done! I will do either eighteen or twenty-four. Each feather is right at five inches, so eighteen would make it 7.5 feet along the bottom, which will almost certainly be big enough.

I’m spit splicing to start the next shade at the beginning of each ridge. The first set will go light-medium-dark, and after the quill the shades reverse. The second set will be medium-dark-light, and the third set will be dark-light-medium.

April 29, 2016

Each feather takes about 3.5 hours. I may need to do 24 feathers to get the length I want. Two more sets don’t look like they’ll be enough.

May 2, 2016

Slight setback. I started the second group (medium-dark-light) with the red, but I didn’t put ten stitches to the holder after completing the previous (purple) feather. Sigh. Had to rip back all the background after the purple feather to fix it.

Thought and mumbled some very bad words while trying to rip back to a known, or at least recoverable, state.

May 5, 2016

Having completed the medium-dark-light group, I’m almost certain I’ll need to do a fourth set of feathers, for a total of twenty-four.

The question now is, how do I arrange the three shades of each color???

May 11, 2016

As it turns out, trying on the WIP during the third block of six feathers showed me that eighteen feathers would be plenty big.

Finishing

After finishing the third purple feather, I worked row 29 as usual, dealing with the DSs, then turned and worked all the way back to the neck edge, which means I effectively skipped from row 29 to row 70. Then I turned, worked ten stitches to put them on the holder with all the other feathers’ first ten stitches, then BO the rest of the stitches purlwise, so that the BG border at the end would be the same width color-wise as the BG border at the beginning. (If I had worked to the end of “row 71,” then turned to BO on “row 72,” the last edge would have been wider than the first edge.)

To finish off the neck edge, I joined new yarn on the wrong side (so at the last feather), then knit across all the stitches put to a holder instead of being bound off on row 71 of each feather. As I went, I did a K2tog with the last stitch of one feather and the first stitch of the next feather, to help with the hiccup.

I knit two more rows, then BO purlwise on the RS.

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Finished
February 29 2016
May 11 2016
 
About this pattern
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About this yarn
by Knit Picks
Fingering
100% Wool
231 yards / 50 grams
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  • Project created: March 1, 2016
  • Finished: May 11, 2016
  • Updated: May 12, 2016
  • Progress updates: 7 updates