Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I-cord drama (and I do mean drama)

Hey gals - I got gauge last night with the 3mm - hooray! - and was all excited to really get started today. So I started the I-cord on the train this morning and was having a b**ch of a time getting it to be nice and round and even like Hanne says, on those teeny little needles. So after a few cm or so, I got the hang of it, pulling the first stitch on the row tight and then tugging the whole thing down after each 'row'. So far so good. It's a little lumpy, but not too bad. It's just SLOW.

So then a train ahead of mine hits and kills someone. No kidding. So I'm I-cording along there in the stopped train for aeons. 2 HOURS later, I'm at a measly 27 cm, not even halfway to the end of the bloody I-cord. And then... I pull to tighten my first stitch -- the same way I've been doing for 2 hours -- and the yarn breaks.


So here's my dilemma: do I try to add a new strand and keep going, or start again? 2 hours seems like a lot to lose - but I know folks have frogged and restarted with a lot more effort already put in. So I guess I've answered my own question... grr...

Any advice on making the I-cord-making less painful? Does mine look abnormally lumpy to you? Am I obsessing about completely minor details?

15 comments:

Becky said...

Billie, I think your icord will probably even out some when you pick up your stitches - I know mine did. Just make sure you pick them up at an even rate and all from the same column of stitches. And if one side of your cord looks better than the other, take that into account when deciding which column to pick up along.

And there's no reason you couldn't weave ends in and keep going with a new strand of yarn. I would recommend waiting to weave until you have it further along so you know which side is in the back so you can hide it better.

julie said...

It's wool, right? Spit splice it - you'll never be able to tell.

Not An Artist said...

I would soldier on -- as julie suggests, spit-splice and keep going. My i-cord was less than perfect when I started too.

Billie said...

Oooh! I almost never use wool, so I'd totally forgotten about spit splicing! Thanks gals - you just saved me 2 hours!

Any special trick on how to pull it taut enough not to gap, but still not pull apart the join?

I'm delighted to hear that some of your I-cords weren't perfect either - that's very encouraging, considering how good your Mermaids are looking. Thanks a million!

Elaine said...

Excuse my ignorance, but what is spit splicing?

Not An Artist said...

Check out the video at KnittingHelp.com on the 'felted join' (about halfway down the page).

Holly in CT said...

I ditto the sentiment to spit splice but also have a tip about the i-cord. I had the same problems with lumpy i-cord and even when picking up the sts it was still lumpy. The first row of sts after I picked up seemed stretched. Instead I used a provisional cast on for the # of sts for the size I was making knit a few rows and did an i-cord bind off. It looked perfect and I didn't have to go cross eyed picking up tiny sts in dark gray.

Becky said...

Holly's idea is a good one if you're having a lot of trouble with the icord or if you have a hard time seeing the stitches to pick (I sat under a good light and didn't have problems, but I have don't have bad eyes).

One thing to note if you use the method in the pattern is that you are not supposed to pick up from every stitch in the icord. There is a suggestion in the pattern (don't have it with me) that says how many stitches you should pick up every 10 cm. When you do the math it means like every third stitch or so (again, check pattern for exact #) you skip a row of the icord. This allows the icord to remain stretchy.

amy! said...

Becky -- I read that instruction as giving the gauge for the icord, not telling you to explicitly skip rows on the icord. Basically, you want the row gauge in your icord to match the stitches per-cm gauge in the garter parts. The fact that icord is stockinette will give you fewer rows per inch than the garter row gauge. But then you might need to go up a needle size in the icord to get it completely right. If you skip a lot of rows, then your bind-off icord won't match. I'm planning to start swatching soon. And I'm also planning to test the different icording suggestions posted here on some waste yarn so that I can get the two sides to match as closely as possible.

Becky said...

oh, darn. Hmm, I wonder if i can unravel my icord and pick up the stitches of the body and then do the icord bind off like holly suggested so I don't have to frog the whole thing.

amy! said...

Becky - seeing as you are knitting the medium, you should have plenty of extra yarn. I don't think unravelling is a possibility, but if you carefully snip the stitches of the icord and move the body stitches to a needle as you're doing it, then you should be able to do Holly's icord bind-off. Frogging shouldn't be necessary.

Billie said...

Wow - are you gals serious - you're really considering pulling out the I-cord and using an I-cord bind-off instead? So I might really want to start that way instead? Drat.

Spit splicing worked and I'm I-cording away, but now I'm worried that I should just start the other way instead.

Anyone have a good instruction site for an i-cord bind off?

amy! said...

Billie -- icord bind off is explained pretty well in the pattern, after the directions for the collar. Basically, you work the last icord stitch in a round together with the next stitch to bind off.

Someone else can probably point you to pictures though.

Becky said...

Billie, I don't think you have to do it this way. I'm only doing it because I messed up and don't want to frog everything. Plenty of people have done it as instructed with no problems. That being said, if you are having trouble with the icord, it's a good alternative.

Mari said...

for the icord, if you look at the instructions/gauge for it, you're supposed to get about 6 st/inch. when I did it the first time I only made a 25" cord, the stitches puckered and it wasn't springy. The 2nd time I did the icord, I went for 29 inches, slightly longer than the recommended length since the first part of the jacket cord has to go around your neck. Its much more springy and I was able to get all 181 stitches on it.

Oh and you can't unravel it, tried to the first time, it was a mess, I ended up cutting it out, and throwing out that yarn.

should have new pictures of mine by monday.