Friday, October 4, 2013

TGAAA Square #4

 

It's once again time to announce the next square for The Great American Aran Afghan Knit A Long!!!

So far we've learned how to do a basic twist and a basic cable and I sneakily made it a reversible cable with completely reversible square #1!  In Square #2 we learned traveling stitches and that some charts are purposely written opposite of standard charts.  For square #3 we learned how to make bobbles and add some texture fill while practicing our new cabling skills.
For square #4 we are going to do more traveling stitches, learn the trinity stitch and learn how a plait works.  We will learn all of this with the square on page 32 designed by Hanna Burns!  This square features "DNA" strands spiraling away from each other with a beautifully plaited cable up the center framed by elongated twists.  Two side panels of trinity stitch really help to accentuate the purl background making the DNA strands really pop!

For the most part I think most of you will do well with this block, it's still in the easier category.  My first suggestion to help you is to be sure to copy the charts, enlarging them if needed, and using highlighter tape, sticky notes or magnets to block off all the lines except the one you're working.  I say this because I find the traveling stitch symbols difficult to distinguish one from another.  They kind of visually run together.  All become very clear when the rows above and below are blocked off.  Do note that chart B on the left sides of the square begins with row 17 so that it spirals opposite of chart B on the right side.

(And yes for you science nerds like me, this DNA spiral is only a 2 dimensional, artistic representation and is not a true double helix but it's still very pretty! Here is a link with other DNA helix patterns on ChemKnit's blog if you wish to make a true double helix.)

The trinity stitch, aka blackberry stitch, is a pretty texture stitch that makes three stitches out of one and one out of three.  This is done by knitting the next stitch on the left hand needle but don't drop the stitch off the left needle. Instead, yarn forward and purl into the same stitch and still leave it on the needle.  Then yarn back and knit into this same stitch again. This time dropping the stitch off the left needle to complete the three stitches out of one.

The trinity stitch increases your stitch count by two each time you work it. These extra stitches must then be balanced by decreases to keep your stitch count the same. This decrease is done with a purl 3 together (p3tog). This is done just like purling 2 together except you catch 3 stitches instead of 2. A double decrease is the result, turning three stitches into 1. If you have trouble getting your needle through all three stitches try a needle with a sharper point or slipping all three stitches onto a crochet hook purlwise then pulling the yarn through and returning the single remaining stitch back to the right hand needle, being careful not to twist it.

You'll notice that the trinity stitch creates offset rows with diagonal lines. Whereas the moss stitch which looks somewhat similar, is all horizontal and vertical lines.

I hope you enjoy this square! If you have any questions or comment please don't hesitate to send me an email or ask in our Ravelry group thread. I've created a special thread just for asking questions so they don't get lost in the general chat. If you don't already belong to Ravelry I urge you to sign up. It's free and you don't get any unwanted email. It's a wonderful resource for finding patterns, connecting with other knitters & crocheters and keeping track of your projects, needles and stash!

We're seeing some lovely squares completed! Here are those that have been post during the last two weeks.(Sorry for the funky placement, it's not terribly easy to arrange photos in blogger.)

Angela's Square 1
Anna's square 1

Donna's Square 1














Lovely first squares everyone! I love the colors each person is choosing! Many people are using Cascade 220 superwash with great results.

Katy is doing an ombre and chose MadelineTosh Denim for her first square, shown below.


Katy's Square 1
Steph's Square 1


Sandee's Square 2

Anna's Square 2
Angela's square 2














Anna's Square 3
Tanya's Square 3
As for me, I'm only about 2 inches into square 2. I've been working on some other projects that have deadlines. I hope to be back to making some progress on my square after this weekend.

Happy Knitting!
Terry

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