On Yarn Overs, and a problem solved (and some books!)

Some weeks ago I started knitting Stephen West's Pogona Shawl, and unravelled it - twice - because I wasn't happy with the yarn overs which were different on either side of the shawl meaning it wasn't symmetrical. You can see the problem in this picture, the yarn overs on the right side are much bigger...



You may recall that I asked for help as I really wasn't happy with this. It seemed that most people felt blocking would be sufficient, but when I pinned it out I knew that I wouldn't be satisfied. I'm definitely not averse to bodging, but I wasn't really happy with that answer - there had to be better solution, a 'proper' solution.  A few days after my plea, a new reader (who was visiting for another post) left a comment...


This was the answer I was looking for - thank you Annie! I filed the answer in the "things to come back to" section of my addled brain and forgot about Pogona and YOs until recently I was reading through the pattern for Carina Spencer's Whippoorwill (one of the June Shawl Knitalong options - the vote for this is still open in the right hand sidebar). The pattern includes a whole section on this very topic, which begins "All yarnovers are not created equal - or more specifically of equal size". Carina goes on to describe how Whippoorwill is written to include SYMMETRICAL yarn overs *yay* and this is written into the pattern to ensure that both sides of the shawl are of equal width. I'm hoping that Whippoorwill will win the vote, partly because I really want to follow the pattern to try these YOs, and partly because I love this one and I have the same yarn already in my stash.


Despite balling some mini-skeins and thrifting a teak bowl for them to live on my table to tempt me back to the Beekeeper's Quilt, I confess there has been a lot more reading than knitting this week. I've added just a few rows on Framlingham (test knit for Not So Granny), finished two books and started TWO more!

After a few weeks reading Royal Assassin I have moved onto the final part of the Farseer Trilogy - Assassin's Quest. I love this trilogy and have been pleased to read the comments on my previous posts which suggest the author's other books are as good, for I'll surely be reading those before too long. I've also started Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting by Noel Janis-Norton which I'm blogging about at Natural Mamas, although I'm yet to put it into practice *blush*.

Our book club read this month is The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes which I sped through, finishing it in just over one sitting. It's the first time I have read this author and I adored the way he crafted this novella so that it packed much into just 150 pages. I don't want to give away the plot, but this is a story about how we remember the past, how we manipulate it to suit our own perspective and how  this means that history and time are subjective and unreliable:
History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation. 
Not since my English Lit A-level has a book had so many highlights in it after a single read (albeit virtual highlights) and the ending left me desperate to discuss the book with others - I found a great thread on The Literary Stew. If you've read the book, you may like to read the comments, but if not it contains spoilers!

34 comments

  1. Thank you Sarah for posting the comment that helped you with your shawl as I think it will help a good many knitter's.
    Your projects are very lovely and I especially love the purple yarn.
    Have a lovely yarn along day!

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    1. Thanks. I hope that others will find it useful too - it's a shame when designers don't all address these issues in their patterns really.

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  2. wow you seem busy, i love the colour of the stephen west shawl - i hope you pick it back up soon and get cracking, I am glad you got the help you needed though. have a knitty wednesday xxx

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  3. I love that there always seems to be a solution out there ! I have book marked this post for if I ever find time to knit again! xx

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    1. I've just put a link to it on the "Useful" page as well :)

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  4. Don't you just love great advice from other knitters. I hope it solves your YO issues. Jacinta

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    1. Yes! There is always someone out there with the right answer :)

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  5. Thank you for the new read recommendation. You have been busy! I appreciate so much when others help me puzzle through a problem. It is also nice when a designer includes bit to help the knitting.

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  6. Awesome that you were able to get some help from a reader! I love it when my readers bring something up to me that I didn't know :-)

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  7. I love how much knitting help is out there! I had a similar issue recently when knitting Ishbel.
    On the right side it was K3 YO, Knit the middle bit, YO, K3.
    On the purl side it was K3, YO, Purl to last 3, YO, K3.
    It looked wrong, so I changed the wrong side row to:
    K3, YO, K1, Purl to last 3, K1, YO, K3.
    It made so little difference to the appearance, and evened out those pesky yarn overs! :-)

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  8. Thanks for all the book recommendations!! (Amazon LOVES me on Wednesdays!!!!)

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    1. Oh me too! I tend to download loads of samples so I can remember to come back to the books later :)

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  9. I'm so glad you got the answer you needed! YO's always baffle me. When I have a project that has them it takes me forever to begin liking it. Once I "get it" though it's no big deal. The answer Annie gave you is awesome. I'm stashing it for the next time I need help too!

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    1. Annie's blog is wonderful, I'm so glad she left the comment as I may not have found her otherwise :)

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  10. What a pretty bowl of mini-skeins - that would definitely tempt me! Glad you got the yarn overs sorted out.
    Also, thanks for the book review. I've looked at that one from Julian Barnes, so I think you've sold me on it.

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  11. Love the teak bowl and those mini skeins. I have the beekeeper's quilt pattern but have done nothing with it. Maybe over the summer. Glad that you worked out your yo woes.

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  12. I guess I'm not a good enough knitter to understand the solution, but glad you found it. As I read your problem I kept thinking leaning left and leaning right, like when one makes a M1, that perhaps that could come into play, but at lass, you've got it working for you.

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  13. Wow! You have been busy...I love the color you are using on your shawl...so pretty.

    ~~Renee

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  14. I'm really pleased you enjoyed "The sense of an ending" I really love the author and I'm dying to read this one by him! Also pleased to hear you found a solution to your yo!

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  15. Wow, reader Annie is a smartypants! I had no idea about any of this differently sized YO business, but I feel cheered that it's rumbling around in the back of my brain now, just in case. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hopefully you'll remember it when you need it :)

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  16. Lovely color on that shawl! Have some tissues nearby towards the end of Assassin's Quest. At least, I remember it being a little difficult to read towards the end! (Still enjoyable, but I tend to feel pain for my favorite characters when the going is tough for them!)

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    1. I am not looking forward to it ending - there are certain things that I am expecting MUST come to a conclusion and I know it will be sad! :(

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  17. Love the colours in the shawl - so glad you got an answer to the conundrum.
    The little bowl with the pretty colours in it looks amazing no need to spoil the display by knitting with it yet.
    Gorgeous colour in the sample knit - pretty pattern too.

    Enjoy the reading.

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    1. I keep thinking the same - it looks nice as it is! Shame I have a huge basket full of hexipuffs but not enough to make a quilt yet though, I should get on with it instead of procrastinating!

      :)

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  18. The shawl is a lovely colour- glad you figured it out! Ive just finished assassins quest- and I didnt want it to end! Im going to have to find another robin hobb to read to feed my imagination this weekend! Jxx

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  19. Hi Sarah, I stumbled across your blog and am so chuffed I did - I love it, its fab. I am also the biggest Robin Hobb fan and have read all her book....a true treat for your to look forward to! Anyway, I will be back for a visit!

    Cheers
    Maryanne (Woolhogs)

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  20. hi sarah,
    to get the progress bars, just go here: http://www.ravelry.com/help/api and there are instruction on how to get your own xxx

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  21. Thanks for re-posting that comment. As a fairly new but very technically-minded knitter, I'm gathering a list of tips and tricks like this - the kinds of things that you have to go in search of when you need them. Since I have a habit of picking up projects that are WAY above my skill-level, it's useful for me to have them in advance!

    The yarn for the Pogona is beautiful, though. Hope you can get some progress on it soon, because it looks like it will be worth it :)

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  22. Love the shawl and glad you got the answer you needed. The colors are perfection. :)

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  23. Missed this. So glad the tip helped. And thank you to those who have commented so kindly on my suggestion, you too Sarah of course.

    Whipporwill is a lovely pattern, I hope it gets the vote :D (Just voted and it's trailing by one, oh dear)

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