Monday, August 25, 2008

Major Progress

Chessboard complete

Needs washing and blocking, but other than that, the chessboard is finished.

Once I get started, it's hard to slow me down -- I got a lot of work done on this piece during the Olympics!

I've now started working on the chess pieces, and I think I'll be saving myself a lot of grief by knitting (in larger needles and yarn!) one of the kings up before I take on doing it for real with the tussah/camel. The thought of having to frog the thread (and likely more than once) is not an appealing one, so if I can get the bugs worked out first on a bigger version, I should be able to just rip through the ones I need.

OK, maybe rip is being more than a tad optimistic: it's going to take me awhile to knit the kings and the berserker, but by the time I finish them, knitting the pawn from looking at the pictures I've got should be less nerve-wracking.

she says fervently, crossing fingers and knocking on wood.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Moving Right Along

A bit more than half-done

I finished the first half of the chessboard yesterday: if I apply myself, I can crank out a lot of 3"-squares in one day (yesterday, it was 11), which means that another two good days of solid knitting, and I'll be done this part of the project. (I also finished the next diagonal of brown squares after I took this picture.)

This morning, I knitted a swatch of the tussah silk/camel down yarn as well (below). Those two giant pins are actually standard dressmakers ones, and there's an inch between the two of them. On the 1.25 mm needles, my gauge is 13 stitches and (roughly!) 21 rows to the inch.

Tiny knitting

Given I need pieces that will mostly cover the squares, I'm looking at something a bit over 100 stitches per piece -- depending on how the patterns fit, that's like 27 or 28 stitches a side.

Knitting the swatch took less than an hour -- I cast on 30 stitches and worked away until I had a bit over a half-inch, as I didn't want to spend my entire day knitting a "full-sized" swatch. I'll use knitting the pawn, which is what I'm going to start with, as a better gauge of the number of rows I'm going to need.

Am very pleased with how well the knitting is going, and how much yarn I actually have left to do the tabs that I'll thread the oak dowels through to form sort of a stretcher system to keep it open and flat.