Those of you who know me well (or even casually, I guess) would probably never put "fleegle" and "normality" in the same sentence unless there's a negative conjunction lurking somewhere between the two words.
Rest assured--I haven't misplaced my eccentricity, I am just talking about a different normality than, um, normal, that is, the geometric one:
normal. normals are lines that run perpendicular to a plane.
Wait! Don't go away! Normality is really a inspiring concept when applied to knitted objects. After fooling around with geometric normality for a day or two, I invented a seamless sideways sweater and a completely new shawl construction that begins in the center and works outward to the two ends.
The shawl begins with a provisional Turkish cast on. Each side is knitted by beginning in the center--the widest point--and decreasing at one edge until there are no stitches remaining. I illustrate the construction of the first and second half below. The top picture shows the first half being worked to the left. The shawl is then turned around, and the waiting provisional stitches are just knitted in the same way.
This construction has many intriguing and convenient aspects.
- The border is knitted at the same time as the shawl body, so there is never a need to pick up any stitches and knit on an interminable border.
- The shape is easily altered by changing the decrease rate. A faster rate of decrease produced a narrower shawl; a slower rate a wider one.
- The size is easily changed by adjusting the number of pattern repeats.
- If you have a knitting book with 300 patterns, it now contains 600 patterns, because normality shawls show patterns sideways. And trust me, you will be amazed at how lovely and unusual many patterns appear when you view them from a 90-degree angle.
- You start at the widest point and your progression leads to fewer and fewer stitches on the needle. As you become sicker and tireder of the pattern, you will whiz through the rows faster and faster.
- The construction allows for interesting top borders, a part of shawl anatomy that is usually neglected.
- It's simple to make a little swatch with two or three repeats and see how the pattern looks. The micro-shawl is cute and can be used to wrap a chilly teddy bear.
I have knitted a prototype mini-sweater and started two normality shawls--one simple, and one-complex. I promise to bore you to tears with the designs in a later post. For now, you can study how I constructed a normality Shetland.