The Panda Owl

The Panda Owl

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Gift of Knitted Gift Giving, Part 2 (How Did You Do THAT?!)

My grandmother is 80 something, rather independent, and loves to go shopping. Even though she's a pretty cool nana, I don't think she knows what a kerchief is for. Thus, when she is presented with her gift, it's going to be called a scarf and I'm going to have to demo how to wrap it around her neck so that it keeps her warm, but doesn't make her look like Billy the Kid. It turns out that many kerchiefs (and shawls) are started using the garter tab cast-on to create their triangular shape. I was unfamiliar with this knitting technique before this project. This ties into the lesson I learned from working on her gift. You should definitely add to your knitting time if you encounter a technique that you have not used before (i.e. a different cast-on method, a unique stitch pattern, etc). It will probably take you more time than you think to get the hang of it. I had to do some research (reading online tutorials and watching videos) before I figured out how to do the garter tab cast-on properly (FYI – you can do it using a crochet hook or just with regular knitting needles). After completing the garter tab and starting to knit, I also had trouble seeing how the kerchief was forming. I took some photos throughout the project to document my progress and show everyone how the garter tab becomes a triangular piece of knitting.

The garter tab cast-on

Here is a close up of the garter tab cast-on

This is the result after knitting a few more rows 

Slipped knitted piece onto circular needles to accommodate the increasing number of stitches. A kerchief is basically an *isosceles triangle. I can see now that the row attached to the needles is forming to become the two equal sides of the isosceles triangle and the row at the bottom is forming to become the unequal side of the isosceles triangle (the long side of the kerchief).

Finished kerchief. The bound off edge form the two equal (and shorter) sides of the isosceles triangle.

Finished kerchief on me. Gun slinging cowgirl? Or Williamsburg hipster? 

*FYI – An isosceles triangle is a triangle that has two sides that are equal length. The third side can be shorter or longer in length than the two equal sides. In the example of a kerchief, the third side is longer.


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