Archive for February, 2008

My husband almost never asks me to knit for him. He isn’t a ‘sweater’ sort of guy, he doesn’t generally go for hand knitted hats (though he might be convinced to wear a nice, simple tam), and the entire household loses mittens and gloves. So, when he brought my attention to knitty’s binary scarf as posted in boing-boing. I knew I had to knit it for him some day. He knew from the beginning he didn’t want random code, he wanted binary code generated from the ascii for some particular phrase. Eventually he decided on the phrase he wanted, and I started the scarf in late December.

binary As much as I enjoy knitting in the round, I just couldn’t see knitting a tube and then squashing it down in a precise location – too much room to mess up, and it’s entirely unneccessary. There was never any doubt in my mind that this piece had to be what I called double knit (though Stitchdiva considers something else double knitting, so I need to learn the common term). I didn’t invent the technique, I ‘ve seen it used in a number of places, but I don’t know the technical term for it. It’s like double knitting but with only one skein of working yarn for both sides.

I cast on the thirty-three stitches which comprise one side and, for my first row, I knit the front and back of each stitch (kf&b). From there it was a matter of knitting a stitch, then slipping the next stitch with yarn in front (swyif) throughout the piece. After the second row I joined the second color, and held it together with the first for the swyif, and knit whichever color the pattern called for.

I’ve just finished the first repeat of the code. The fabric is super dense and warm, if a little heavy. Good for winter wear, not so much for a fashion statement. It’s also about half as long as the finished scarf should be. Easy enough, since Knitty instructs you to use a second chart for numbers after the midway point, but I decided I wanted a buffer between the two halves, so I’m going to put in a few rows of 1×1 ribbing (which begins and ends each side on a knit stitch, sort of a built in faux selvedge). I’ve discovered that when you purl you hold the unused color behind the work, not in front, but that’s not too hard.

I’m planning to put in a stripe of the contrast color in the purl stitches of rows 3 and 4 of the ‘bridge’ between the two halves, then two more rows of ribbing in the MC, then two in stockinette of the MC, then back to half two.

(Yes, I’ve posted this to ravelry too).

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