I have started my 2012 Advent Calendar Scarf.
The designer, Kristen, who is Wollkistchen on Ravelry, posted the first pattern last night (it might have been midnight for her).
I started last night with the first 4 rows,
but had to stop because I didn't buy my beads,
I had thought to use the beads I had left over from last year... but where are they? At 10 am, I ran out to Beads and Beyond in downtown Bellevue, and bought 2 tubes of size 6/0 black beads. It was not tough to finish this row. I was a bit afraid that I would be super slow, as I well remember it taking me a full hour to do the bead row last year.
The spacer pattern calls for a k2tog (knit 2 together) or a right slanting decrease, a YO (yarn over), place bead and knit that stitch, YO again, then make a left slanting decrease. Kristen, the designer, uses a sl one stitch knit the next then pass the slipped stitch over. I did that mostly last year as I found using SSK (slip slip knit) to be very fiddly with lace weight yarn. Since I have gotten better at knitting with lace weight yarn, I decided to try the ssk left slanting decreases, and yay! they were pretty easy.
One other thing about the spacer section. It is tough to place the bead with a YO on the right needle. So I placed the bead, then did the YO and THEN knit the stitch with the bead.
First pattern section:
For row 2 (and all even rows) I "read" my knitting, so when it looked like a knit, I knit that one (those were the purls from row 1), so most of the row was purling as most of row 1 was knitting. I also purled all of the YO's.
There are 3 interesting stitches in today's pattern. They all have to do with decreases. They have slipped stitches. The rule of thumb for how to slip a stitch, as I understand it, is that you slip as if to purl if you are just going to continue on the row, but if you are going to slip that stitch back to knit it, or pass it over something, etc., then you slip as if to knit, which twists the stitch so the "legs" are seated as though you knit it. This makes a big difference in the way the stitch looks when you are finished.
Kirsten uses some new-to-me symbols for them, so I will also try to put the Craft Yarn Council of America's standard symbols here, too.
The first is a Left Leaning double decrease: X: = Sl1 k2tog psso= slip 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches together, pass slipped stitch over. The stitch is slipped as if to knit. Craft Yarn Council Symbol: 3\
The second is a Right Leaning double decrease: :X = K3tog. Enough said. Craft Yarn Council Symbol: /3
The last is centered double decrease: Λ = sl2, k1, p2sso (she writes sl2 k1 psso), = slip two stitches together as if to knit, knit the next stitch, then pass the two slipped stitches over the stitch you just knit. Sorry, I couldn't find the Craft Yarn Council symbol for this one in my fonts.
For the last one, the Centered Double Decrease, you insert the right needle just like you are knitting 2 together,
but slip the stitches.
This both twists them, and changes their order on the needle. Then you knit the next stitch, and then pass both slipped stitches together back over the knit stitch.
It looks very cool when you are finished because you can see the middle stitch in the center.
I am planning on knitting the second spacer section up to the final row as the number of stitches needed for tomorrow's pattern might be different. Then I think I will crochet and/or spin a bit. I'm ready for a break. I am definitely faster than last year, but still, this is s-l-o-w knitting for me.
Anyway, this is what it looks like so far:
shaping the planet with section 1