Monday, December 09, 2013

Thick Chill FAQ; Or, Short Rows! What do I do!?

Thick Chill is a quick knit, and a great little project to try out for your first foray into working short rows.

I've had a few knitters ask about this technique, so I thought it best to do up my own wee explan-a-post all about the short rows in Thick Chill!

If you're more of a visual person, here's a few links to youtube vids on short rows.

Imagining the Short Rows' Function
When I was learning how short rows work, I found it helpful to imagine the short rows I was working as a wedge. This wedge has slanted sides. These slanted sides are created because each time you work the next row, you’re working one less stitch (hence the term short rows!)
To make this wedge, you're knitting a wrong side AND a right side. That is, you're knitting back and forth.

Remember, Short Rows are worked FLAT
Through the entire “Short Rows” section, you’re working the rows flat, even though the rest of the cowl is knit in the round.
These two lines in the “Short Rows” section can be confusing:
“Rep last 2 rows 16 more times.
There are now 18 wrapped sts on each side of the cowl.”
These two lines mean you’re working flat.
You shouldn’t be working the “Picking up Wraps” section until you’ve totally completed the “Short Rows” section.
Don't Get Tripped Up: w&t are different from Picking Up Stitches
Some knitters have been confused by the wrap and turn (w&t) and picking up stitches instructions. These are two different steps. 
An example from Thick Chill would be that you knit to 10 sts before the end of the round and do your w&t. You then work your WS short row.
On the next row, you work to 11 sts before the marker (so, that is, creating the slanted side of that wedge you imagined above), then w&t. You then work your WS short row.
Next row, you work to 12 sts before the marker, then w&t. You then work your WS short row.

And so on. This is how that imaginary wedge shape is created, and how Thick Chill gets that little bend in it so that it sits nicely around your shoulders and up on your head!

Make sure you're...
  • not wrapping the same stitch over and over. See the "Don't Get Tripped Up" section above.
  • completing the Short Rows section of the pattern BEFORE you move on to the Picking Up Stitches section.
  • aware that generally in a pattern, "Row" means you're working flat. As in, right side row or wrong side row, and that "Round" means you're working in the round. Thick Chill is knit both in the round and flat.
  • working only ONE picking-up-stitches round. Several people have been confused, and thought that they had to work 18 picking-up-stitches rounds. When you pick up the stitches, you’re asked to simply ”pick up wrap with st and K tog, rep 17 more times” (1 call out + 17 rep = 18). So if you’ll recall from the "Short Rows" section, you did 18 pairs of short rows. That’s why it asks you to pick up a total of 18 sts in the Picking Up Wraps section.
  • not slipping the marker in the Short Rows section. You only slip the marker once you’re working the Picking Up the Wraps section. This may indicate that you're working in the round, rather than working flat.
It's important to me that knitters enjoy my patterns, and I hope what I’ve written above will help you. If it isn’t clear please email me and we can to work together to figuring the issue out.

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