Return of Extreme Double-knitting: Update #2

In the past month, I’ve made some knitting progress, and some planning progress.

First, the knitting progress: I cast on for the redesigned version of the Whorl’d Tree shoulder bag, which will be done with the same yarn (Valley Yarns Northampton) but with some subtle differences. This is a 4-color, nominally-two-pattern piece (nominally because the second pattern is simply a solid color). This means that the structure of the fabric is somewhat different than other double-knitting: instead of the fabric being locked together at every color change, this piece is hollow regardless of the color, except when the color on the two layers is the same in any given pair.

In the original version, I chose Color A (the white background color) to be the interior color as well. However, when you get to the shoulder strap and flap, which are worked flat, this makes the multi-color linked pairs more difficult to execute. To get a more predictable edge solution, I chose to make the interior color Color B (the light blue). This is the only other color that shows up in every row (Colors C and D take breaks for entire rows/rounds), and also the only other color that’s light-colored enough to use inside the bag. Of course, this will change depending on what colors others choose. The issue is that, if you cut out the motifs in Colors C and D, there’s quite a lot of empty space between Color B motifs, which means that there’s more hollow space between the layers.

So I’m going to rely on the properties of the yarn: Valley Yarns Northampton is a workhorse non-superwash wool, which should felt somewhat through use and perhaps a little during blocking. To make sure that happens, I need to make sure that both layers remain as close together as possible. To do that, I need to make sure that there’s not as much tension on the many strands inside the work, which will pull Layer 1 taut and cause Layer 2, which has no strands, to buckle outward. To help with that, I’ve introduced a new chart element which identifies the areas where one needs to be most careful about the length of your strand(s) and give them a little extra slack. It’s working tolerably well but we’ll see how it works in the long term.

Second, the planning progress: In order for me to best use my own time, I need to have other people knit some of my sample patterns for me (for adequate compensation, of course) — and I will also have need of test knitters for some patterns that require more eyes and hands on them before they’re ready for prime time. To this end, I’ve created a new email list for people interested in test-knitting or sample-knitting for me. This is something I probably should have done some time ago, but better late than never. The list, which was advertised primarily to my main email list, has a sufficient number of people — but if you really want to get on it, please feel free to contact me and we can talk.

Still no progress on the actual rights reversion from Cooperative Press, but it may be due to a misunderstanding on my part. I’ve sent an email to try to clear that up, so perhaps there’ll be news on that front in next month’s update. Thanks for staying tuned!

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