Picking up Deco Cardi

The last thing I showed you on Deco Cardi was back on January 6th, about designing the diamond shape. Later that week I took this picture which showed something important. Then I ripped back a few rows and then I had to leave the project because my shoulder really hurt. Then the cat fell ill and I followed suit and my brain went mush. Since then I’ve looked at this picture a couple of times and all I remember is that it shows something important but I’ve not been able to decipher what.

“Important”:

Last Wednesday I remembered!
Yes, Weird Wool Wednesday did turn out to be a good day for knitting, once I got out of bed. It seems after all these weeks of ME I finally got my knitting brain back and on Wednesday I understood knitting again!
There are particular things in the diamonds that do not please me.
The diamond shape is now defined by overlapping diagonal lines. Instead of just being outer lines of the shape it’s now all about the lines themselves. I don’t like the look of that.

Also I had employed some tricks to try and make the shape stand more apart from the background of plain stockinette stitch that were not working. All line stitches are knitted through the back loop and the shape itself has an extra border of purl stitches around it.
This doesn’t work well. Not all twisted stitches contribute. And the purl stitches have an issue with tension. That’s solvable but requires knitter compliance. Hmm. Not this month, thank you.

The last I did before I put this knitting project in time out was rip back to the beginning of the diamond. I did design something that addresses the two issues I mentioned and then I knit six rows anew. I noted the new diamond on a piece of paper. Did not take additional notes.
Then I put away the project. Lost my head.
I did carried it with me, to and from the city, in those weeks, but couldn’t understand it. Until two days ago!

On glorious, sunny Wednesday I sat down with the knitting. Couldn’t find the paper with the notes. Didn’t understand one word of the staccato blurbs I put on my Ravelry project page.
But I had the knitting and knitting I can read.
And boy, did I feel clever! Because I slowly started to understand what I saw. I understood the cabling, the twisting, the wideness of the diamond. It all made sense and it all fitted together.
My brain really functions again, yay!

The six rows I did knit way back in January had the start of a new shape and it’s a nice diamond, with clear defined edges but not too much “lineliness”. I was able to complete it.
The top is nice and crisp:

It’s a very clever top too. It looks like two lines start the shape but that’s actually a three stitch cable. The third stitch ends up in the middle, as a purl stitch. But there’s not one stitch crossing both its companions, because that would leave a hole somewhere. No, this is some sort of “braid cable”. Very clever, if I do say so myself. And I do.
Also: some of the stitches are twisted but some are not, to employ their “direction” to the maximum. At the bottom some change direction in twist.
I was able to knit the shape it a bit further, into the whole diamand you see above, trying to get a feel for the desired width and length.

I now had to make decisions: how large do I want these diamonde to grow? How and where should it meet the others? Should there be extra lines for emphasize? Interior decorations? How will they grow stems that are knitting all the way down and dissolve into the border of *k1,p3*?

I knitted a little swatch to figure out the exact shaping of the diamonds:

One is as large as the one on top, it’s a bit long, almost leave like, it also has a little detail inside. Meh. The right one is smaller, with clearer edges. More diamond shape. That’s the one. It cannot have interior decorations.

It is 7 stitches wide (5 centre stitches, 2 outline stitches). My border at the bottom will have a four stitch repeat: k1, p3 (with some k stitches slipped). I have 108 stitches on the needles and I remembered that this was significant. Further waist decreases will be nulled by hip increases, this 108 number was important…
108 is 27 repeats of *k1,p3*. (remember to account for edge stitches once you reach the bottom)

This will fit 13 diamonds. Next to each other or in a syncopate pattern. From each diamond and from the stitch between them a column of k stitches will descend.
I like these diamonds all to have the same width and same height. 13 is not a lot. Better use vertical stacking as the only design play. Use sparsely.
I scribbled a bit on a checkered notepad to get a feel for them. I really had a good time on Wednesday!

Since then I’ve ripped back to the top of the first diamond a few times. Because my tension is now different from when I knitted the top. It was more tense. Riprip. The second time around it was too loose. Riprip.
Now it’s acceptable. It still differs from before but it’s okay. It’s at the waist where the cardigan can be more fitted. And blocking might produce magic?

By now I’ve got this new diamond shape design down to a T. I love it!

But looking at the picture I see I’ve missed the bigger picture: the diamonds do not stack up correctly. The line from the top one goes straight on to form a line in the bottom one. That’s not what I want. I want individual diamonds stacked on top of each other. Not some trellis thing.

Back to the drawing board for me.
But I’m having fun! Glad to have my brain back in gear. And lovely to knit with this yarn again! It’s so soft and round and fast and its smell is so friendly!

I’m not sure… did you know that I like Donegal yarn?

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