In praise of mitered squares

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m knitting the vest on the cover of the September issue of Creative Knitting which is done in mitered squares.  I didn’t realize when I started this vest that mitered squares are as addictive as eating salted peanuts.  You start one, you finish it and immediately want to start another.  This vest is knitting up faster than I had expected … and it’s all due to those mitered squares.

One of the beauties of mitered squares is that each row is getting shorter.  This is unlike most triangle shaped shawls where each row is longer than the last one and by the time the shawl is approaching its final size, the rows seem unending.  Knitting a row is a serious plod.  But when each row is shorter than the previous one, you speed up and before you know it, it’s time to start a new square.

As I suspected, I do not have enough of my original yarn to finish this vest.  It is ever thus when I try to use yarn from my stash for a project.  So I searched on the Internet to see if I could perchance buy another ball (or two) of my yarn.  It was discontinued some years ago.  Evidently, all who bought it promptly knit it up because no one had a ball to sell.  So I thought about what to do.  The vest has a collar and a bottom band.  Those could be knit in a contrast color.  But I wasn’t sure I wanted such a band at my widest spot.  So I went in search of another variegated yarn which had at least some of the same colors in it that I could use to stripe the front yokes of my vest. 

The yarn I purchased shares two of the original colors.  I knit two rows with the new yarn followed by two rows of the old yarn.  This is working up so attractively that I’m now thinking I’ll do the collar this way and probably the band as well.  The shift from the original to the stripes isn’t all that obvious, due to the shared colors in the two yarns.  I believe I’ve been knitting on this for about three weeks.  I’m just about to finish the first front piece.

How do I handle knitting with two yarns without getting them tangled?  It works best, for me, to lay the two balls on a table (or my desk when I’m at the computer) in front of me.  When it’s time to switch, I just move the new ball’s thread under the thread from the old one and begin knitting.  At the next switch, I move it back.  This keeps them from tangling.  I always bring the new yarn under the old yarn so it’s anchored in place. 

I’m looking forward to wearing this vest.  It won’t be long until I can.

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