I cast this on yesterday, and have finished the bottom border and about ten rows of the pattern chart. Telemark is a good yarn for this, but its finer then the Coldharbour Mill Aran called for. I’ve sized up to size eight (5mm) needles, since my solitary pair of size 7 (4.5mm) is committed to dishcloth knitting right now.
The pattern is on the challenging side , as it’s rating suggests, but so far it’s more a matter of the pattern being challenging, not the knitting itself. It’s written pretty fast and dirty, so if you’re not used to colorwork, be prepared to be spending a lot of time looking things up and/or pondering them to figure out how to knit it. I have been.
The first stumbling block I ran into was the first row of the pattern for the bottom border. It’s one row of the contrast colour (CC). The second row uses both the main colour (MC) and the CC. So, if you add the CC at the beginning of the row as usual, you end up at the end of the row with the CC yarn at one end, the MC yarn at the other end, and the need to work a row using both of them.
If you’re knitting on circular needles (I am) this is an easy fix — just turn the work, and start the CC on the other side of the knitting, and work back to where you left off the the MC. You could pull this trick with straights too, if you are willing to carefully move all the stitches to another needle to “turn” the fabric.
Otherwise, you get to 1) carry the MC all the way across that first row, weaving it in every few stitches or 2) cut the MC yarn, and start it again on on the other side after that row. You could also 3) just work two rows of CC instead of one. The pattern would look just as nice, and if I hadn’t figured out the dodge with my circulars, this is the option I would have taken. From the looks of the pictures of the bag, this may be what Erssie did when she knit it.
The only other big puzzler I’ve had was about how to read the pattern chart – there’s no indication of whether it is a ‘right side only’ or ‘both sides back and forth’ chart. A careful read of the instructions and study of the pictures helped me figure out that it is a ‘both sides back and forth’ chart. Probably a no brainer if you do a lot of colour work, but I don’t, so it took me a bit to sort out.
All in all, it’s a pleasant knit, and coming along nicely.
That is looking fabulous!
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I am sorry you found the colourwork on the pattern confusing. When designers put too much instruction on how to use a chart, it generally gets edited out as we are not expected for it to be a tutorial on colourwork. My original chart did have arrows saying START HERE and explained how to work back and forth, I also included a note about using a circular needle but you see all this takes up valuable space and eventually it has to be assumed that a knitter will be intelligent enough to work it out or already have this information because the Fair Isle techniques are not out of the ordinary. I do hope you managed to finish the bag. The Anticraft omitted my instructions for the shoulder strap but I am sure you found it again. Do send me a pic of the finished item. I use my bag to transport wool for holiday projects and as a beach bag. The sand seems to waqsh out of it easily.