Saturday, February 14, 2009

American Beauty, Take One

Are you ready for some Valentine's Day fun? Find yourself a quiet place and read this post carefully! There is a ton of information here, and you'll need it all to make the most of this project. If you are new to the project (or new to my madness) please be sure you read all previous posts with the American Beauty tag to get up to speed. The materials list and the Chart Key have already been posted.

Please start by printing out the charts. I suggest you click on each chart to make it larger, right click to copy the chart and save it to a Word document. If you do that with each chart, you can format the charts to re-size them. You can also set your printer function to print each chart as one page in landscape mode. MOST (but not all) of the charts will be in landscape. It should be obvious if they are or are not.

The first chart today is an overview of the first part of the project. It is not intended for you to work from, but rather as a visual, so you see how the working charts fit together.

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This next chart is the Edging Chart A (AKA Bramble.) I suggest that you print six copies and use a highlighter to mark one row of the repeat on each of six copies (there are six rows in the row repeat!) This will help you keep track of which Edge row you are on as you knit. You can move the chart marked with the row you finish to the bottom of the stack of sheets...

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Next you have Working Chart A. Please be sure you read all the pattern notes AND all my notes on each chart.

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Pattern Notes:
Please read the chart key carefully for special notes about stitches. This project begins as a center (neck) start triangle, much as Autumn in New York did. Do not use my modified Turkish Cast-on for this project. Instead use a standard provisional cast-on or a standard Turkish Cast-on. That is because this is not a garter stitch neck edge. We went over links for those when we started Autumn in New York, so check back if you want suggestions. There are also previous discussions on adding beads, including a step-by-step from early Veil of Isis posts.

There are two Chart As. One shows you the full layout. The second is a “working chart.” The other charts will be presented only as “working charts.” Only the first Chart A will show both halves of the triangle and the Edge Charts. All the following charts will only show half of the triangle and no Edge Charts. All charts will show the center stitch (which runs down the center back.) There is also an Edge “working chart.” Only right side (odd numbered) rows are shown ON ALL CHARTS. Even numbered rows are worked as defined in the chart Key. Essentially, knit the garter (3) stitch edges and purl the knit stitches. Chart A has a row repeat and pattern repeat marked. I did not knit any row repeats, but it is here for those of you who prefer to continue in the Rose Petal (Chart A) motif. You can continue and make the shawl as large as you like, adding a simple cast-off when you are ready. For those who choose to knit on through the charts, do not repeat these rows, but rather proceed to Chart B when I post it. I repeat: Do Not Keep Knitting Chart A! You will continue with the Edge Chart, following the row repeats until Chart D. On Chart B there is an alternative stitch block for one section of the chart. If you choose to use this alternative, use it through Charts B, B2 and B3. Once you complete Chart B3, you can return to Chart A row repeats, and add a few repeats if you want your piece larger. There are ABOUT 54 more rows to the pattern AFTER Chart B3 WITHOUT any extra repeats, so only add repeats if you want your shawl larger than the 54 rows that will follow. Calculate how large that will be by checking your own row gauge after you finish this weeks knitting. Be sure to consider your bead and yarn usage, because more rows will use more beads and yarn! You need a set of four double pointed needles and a circular needle in the same size, large enough to hold a bunch of stitches, which we will have towards the end. I am using a 32 inch circular.

Using double pointed needles:
2 needles for step I and 4 needles for step II
Step I
-Cast-on 19 stitches using a provisional cast-on
-Row 1) knit 19, turn
-Row 2) Knit 3, purl 16, turn
Knit rows 1 and 2 a total of four times
-You will have 19 stitches on needle A
Step II
-Using a second double pointed needle, pick-up three stitches along the short edge of your piece and purl them. This is needle B, with 3 stitches.
-Using another double pointed needle, pick-up the 19 stitches from your provisional cast-on. Purl 16 and knit 3. This is now needle C, with 19 stitches.
Turn your work. The front is now facing you. Begin following the charts as follows:
-Knit Right Edge Chart row 1. Place a marker. You will have knit all the stitches from needle A and one stitch from needle B.
-Knit Chart A row 1. That is: Yarn-over, knit 1, yarn-over. Place a marker.
-Knit Left Edge Chart row 1. This will include one stitch from needle B and all the stitches from needle C (as shown in purple above.)
-Turn your piece and work a return row back. Be sure to maintain the garter stitch on either edge as shown on the charts.
-Continue following the Charts in sequence. Be sure to read all the notes.
-You should be able to switch from your double pointed needles to a circular needle after Chart A, row 25
Above, you can see the purple indicating where I switched to my circular needle (just after the second beaded round.) Once you complete Chart A, your piece should look like my piece, above. Take time this week to make the cast-on nice. It takes some care to get things set-up, but once you establish the pattern it should flow smoothly.

I'll be back next week with Chart B and maybe some pictures of my birthday goodies! Until then, knit on!


  1. Looks like another fun knit! Happy Birthday!

  2. This is absolutely WONDERFUL! You are so smart and thank you for sharing :D
    I should really explore more of the world of lace knitting. I have one question for you. I am very interested to know which software do you use for creating the charts. I have this one but it is very simple ( I would be grateful if you could advice on making charts. Thank you in advance!