I have been taken over by lace. It started out as an interest, quickly escalated to a war, then became an obsession of wills. The plus side of living in the Northeast is that you can wear scarves, “shawlettes” and bandanas and not melt after five minutes in the middle of Spring/Summer. I came to the conclusion my wardrobe needs these additions and, of course, I would make them. I decided to use my Plymouth Covington 2035 Yarn for the Springtime Bandit.
The pattern lists that it’s intermediate. Let me tell you, it’s ALL LIES! Don’t get me wrong, I love this pattern now, but it’s very advanced. Here are my reasons, it’s a chart only pattern – actually, it’s THREE charts, four sections, no written instructions for the body and the cast on is tricky. I wasn’t able to find a pattern tutorial all in one place and spent hours researching and figuring out the best way to get the desired result. I felt I owed it to others who follow to make an FAQ and a lace tutorial (of sorts). Don’t be scared away, I’ve done the hard part, figuring it out.
To give you my lace credentials, You might remember my wrap from the Juliet Scarf pattern or my Skinny Lace Scarf from the Cashsilk Fern Scarf pattern. “I’ve done lace before, nothing to worry about,” I assured myself. When I put this pattern in my queue I didn’t worry about going over the instructions. After frogging a different project, I turned to this one and the nightmare began…
Let’s start at casting on (it really does have to start here). The cast on is called Provisional (or invisible, or loop) Cast on. I chose to do the crochet chain method and found the tutorial from Jimmy Bean’s Wool extremely helpful and very easy. You can also do the method where using a knitting needle (check out Knittinghelp.com‘s video). Either way doesn’t matter, as long as you do it consistently and end up taking out the extra yarn.
When you get near the end of casting on, it reads, “K2, rotate work and pick up 1 st in each of 3 garter ridges,” You pick up from the left side on the garter ridge “knots.” The work goes from vertical to horizontal. The reason you have to cast on this way is because the edging of the bandit looks similar to the way this cast on looks. It keeps the shawl looking the same all the way around.
Now that you’ve got that down, let’s go on to the first chart. (If you never read a chart only pattern before, the best way to describe what you’re doing is reading a map. You have a legend, symbols/pictures and a distinct way of reading them. For more on how to read them, check out this Knitty post or Wendy knits ‘ post). These chart pattern read more advanced than tutorial charts you typically find. You read from right to left and when you get to the little green box, you read the same line from left to right, working “backwards.”
Example, line 1 reads: K2, yo, K1, yo, K1 (you still have three stitches left, now you go backwards), yo, K1, yo, K2
You only do the middle stitch once before you start working backwards. This chart only shows the right side rows, read page 2 “Notes on the Chart” section. Once you finish this chart, congratulations! You’ve finished a quarter of the way of the project. Keep going!
Cooking up part 2,