Yeah, another knitting post, and so soon, too! Okay, so this is a post all about Intarsia-style colour knitting in the round, as the title might suggest. See, when I was working on my pacman cap, I had this problem: when you knit Intarsia-style, you basically have colour strands for each “section” of the piece. So, if you’re knitting flat and you’re making a black field with a big yellow section, you’d knit with black, switch to yellow, knit across, then switch to a new strand of black and knit to the end of the row. Going back, you’d do the same thing, and each time you change colours, you do a little yarn wrapping trick to make sure there’s no gaps. The result is, on the back, there is no black carried across the yellow section, which is very nice as it means you have to worry less about puckering and tension, etc.
Problem is, suppose you’re knitting in the round. So you knit in black, switch to yellow, knit across, switch back to black, knit around… and then you’re back to the yellow section. Problem: you now have two black strands, and the yellow is way over on the other side of the yellow section. What do you do? What do you do??
Well, in my pacman hat, I basically cheated. When I got to the section of colour, I switched from round knitting to back-and-forth, and when the coloured rows were done, I switched back to knitting in the round. Then, during the finishing stage, I just sewed up the little seam. Pretty simple, really, but it left a bulky little seam there, and a) I hate bulky little seams, and b) I just hate seams.
So, what’s the real answer? Well, I could explain it, but instead, why don’t I leave it to Sara to answer that question? In an explanation that’s much better than anything I could compose, she outlines three different methods for dealing with the issue, one involving carrying strands around the piece, one using gapless short rows, and a third, far more ingenious technique that I really must try some time…
Here I am, part of the Men Who Knit webring, and I honestly can’t remember the last time I posted about knitting. “Who cares, no one reads this anyway,” you say? Okay, yeah, you’re right. But who isn’t up for a little linguistic masturbation from time to time, eh? If anything, at least it keeps my writing (read: rambling) skills bright and shiny. And, hey, at least Lenore probably reads this thing occasionally. Right?
Anyway, where was I? Oh, right, knitting. So, yeah, I haven’t posted about knitting in a while, but I figured I’d share a little project I whipped up recently. It’s a hat. Yeah, fine big deal, a hat. But it’s a special hat. Wanna see it? Of course you do! You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t, right? Okay, here it is:
Pretty cool, eh? Cooler yet, I actually designed this thing myself! Though, admittedly, I didn’t actually go through the effort of grabbing the graphics out of the game… a little search for “pacman ghosts” turned up this link, and voila! I was off to the races (oddly, that link is to a website called Sprite Stitch, a, quote, “Video game inspired craft weblog”… apparently I’m not the only one who had this idea). Once I had the graphics, it was a simple matter of charting out the pattern on graph paper, finding some yarn with the colours I needed, and then whipping the thing up.
Of course, charting the pattern did take a bit of effort. The trickiest thing when translating an image into a knitting pattern is altering the images to match your row/stitch gauge. You see, my knit stitches aren’t perfectly square. In fact, they’re a little wider than they are tall. But the images in your average video game are designed to be presented on a display with square pixels. The result is that, if you convert the images directly to a pattern, they come out distorted. So you have to either alter the images to stretch/squish them as necessary, or alter your row/stitch gauge. I opted to alter the images, squishing them horizontally, which was actually a bit challenging, as they’re already very low resolution. But I think the result is pretty nice.
But the question now, is, what next? I’m thinking another classic video game of some kind. One of the Mario Bros. characters, maybe? Or maybe something a little more obscure… Opa Opa, anyone?