just kidding! But it is downloaded, printed and 28% completed.
Since two of the big wheels in knit-blogdom, Bonne Marie and Stephanie, blogged about joining Mystery Stole 3 (signups close any minute now) the number of members doubled in a couple hours. I trust Melanie can take the excitement. Why would so many people be willing to invest their knitting time and money into a project where they don't know what it will look like? And me, I even dyed yarn specially for this.
The first two clues have each have about 5000 stitches. Not too overwhelming, especially in installments. I do expect to be finished with clue two today or tomorrow. Lace provides such a fun challenge. Melanie has added to that with a hidden theme. She won't reveal the theme for a while, but we do know that a stole closely following the theme would be either white or black but she warned us not plan to use this as a wedding shawl. Most likely the theme is a tragic love story. (Madame Butterfly? Swhan Lake? Othello? Knitters have been guessing.)
I do enjoy knitting for intellectual puzzles. New stitches, new stitch patterns, new yarns, new yarn combinations, new colors all stimulate the desire to knit. Erika offered a different sort of kntting challenge, when a while ago she discovered a handwritten cryptic pattern in her great aunt's knitting books. Numbers, letters in knitting shorthand and just a few words. Two important words --- sleeve & body --- told us that it's a sweater. The 'k' is clearly a knit stitch, but nothing else was evident. Page one seems to be missing, this starts on row 29. What's the size, the gauge, the cast-on? Can we reconstruct a pattern from it? To follow the discussion so far, go to Erika's blog, find the search box in the right hand column and search for Helen.
If you do, you can see many different interpretations were considered. I took a mathematical approach. How many k's, o's, sp's were in each row? How did the number of stitches change from row to row? In answering those questions, I finally narrowed it down. The only way I could make it work was to identify the o's as yarn overs and the sp's as a double decrease. That's the crux. Who, at first glance would think of a double decrease?
Basic pattern. multiple of 6 plus 3.
DD = double decrease. I slip two together knitwise, knit one, pass two stitches over.
Row 1: K3 *yo DD yo K3* repeat in asterisk til end of row.
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K6 *yo DD yo K3* repeat til last three stitches, K3
Row 4: Purl
repeat for pattern.
Helen's notes look a lot more complicated because she's making a sweater from the top down, with raglan increases following the stitch pattern. Can you see in the swatch below where I increased? Swatch is done with Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece on US7s. This would make a nice simple lacy summery sweater.