Monday, February 28, 2011

Decisions, decisions - Your opinion counts!

Normally Sunday evenings are for family time at our house.  But last night, the boy was invited to a movie while R. was at work.  That gave me a few hours free to knit the edging of my Mara wrap.

One of the reasons I'm attracted to this pattern is that the ruffle reminds me of some swatches I knit in a "Swatch Lab" class a few years ago:
Swatches are (k2, p1) ribbing that changes to (k4, p2) ribbing.

Ever since I made these swatches I've wanted to work graduated ribbing into a project.  So when I saw some finished Mara wraps on Ravelry I instantly wanted to knit it.  But if you look closely at the photos on the original pattern you may notice that the ribbing on the sample does not match up with the instructions.  As noted in the Cabled Sheep blog, the ribbing in the photo is a 6 stitch repeat of (p1, k2, p2, k1), while the pattern instructs you to end with a (k2, p2) repeat.

I found it especially interesting to notice this in the first pattern I opted to knit following Stitches.  In my pattern writing class, Edie Eckman took us through a series of steps a designer should pay attention to when readying a pattern for publication.  The final step was to "Make sure that the finished item was made according to the instructions and that the discrepancies, if any, are noted."  When I first read this I thought it so obvious as to be unnecessary to be included.  But here in my very next knit is an example of such a discrepancy.

I am not bringing this up as a criticism of the Madelinetosh pattern.  Mara is a free download, which makes it understandable that the designer might not spend time and money fixing the discrepancy.   Besides, I love the pattern, and the availability of the free download convinced me to buy some of her wonderful Pashmina yarn and knit it up!  But it does leave me wondering how I would like my Mara ruffled edging to look.

I already decided that I like the Mara FOs from knitters who kept the (k1, p1) ribbed section short, and made the rest of the ruffle proportionally large.  Some examples are here and here.   I've followed their example so far, but last night I remembered how much I like the edging on Angie's November Ruffle Wrap as well, and started toying with the idea of increasing the ribbing to a (k3, p2) repeat.  I went ahead and started on the (k3, p2) section late at night. and then this morning I started worrying that the subsequent increase in the stitch count would make me run out of yarn before the edging is long enough.

Dithering about this little decision is helping to distract me from worrying about larger issues I have no control over this morning.  So I thought I would write a post about it and go fishing for other opinions.   I think I could eek (edited to add: Eek!  I misspelled eke!) out another inch of ribbing with my remaining yarn if I stick with the increased number of stitches, maybe more if I go back to (k2, p2) ribbing.
Here is what I have so far.
I enjoy getting other opinions, and a little added incentive never hurts, so if you've bothered to read this far and you take time to comment, you will automatically be entered in my next yarn giveaway.  (Giveaway to be announced soon!)   What do you think?  End the wrap by completing the edge in 2x2 ribbing, or 3x2 ribbing?

[edited to add:  Thanks to everyone who voted! The 3x2 ribbing won and I'm currently binding off now. The 10 of you earned an extra entry in my yarn giveaway.  Anyone else visiting must enter the giveaway by commenting on the next post!  Thanks!]


  1. I think if you still have the graduated ribbing on your brain you should give the 3x2 ribbing a try. I love the color you picked for this project. Can't wait to see it complete!

  2. Hmmm, three is my favorite number, and like Faith said, graduated ribbing is on your mind, so I would go with 3X2. Get crazy Shannon!

  3. I like the idea of the 3x2 ribbing for your shawl.

  4. I like the wavy effect that the 3x2 ribbing is adding. I agree that you should go for it. I'm a new reader to your blog but enjoying it - thanks!

  5. Good morning from IL. I enjoy reading your blog. Your trip to Stitches was a fun read.
    Go for the 3x2 rib.

  6. I really like the 3x2 ribbing. Don't forget that you have a handy dandy scale to measure the EXACT weight of yarn used for each row. It was super helpful when making my Nov. ruffle. I made sure I had enough left for 3 rows to bind off and I just make it with about a yard or so to go - whew! Good luck!

  7. I agree with the masses 3x2. You can borrow MY scale if you need too. Yup, that's right, I broke down and invested in one. I can't wait to see your shawl finished. The yarn is beautiful!!!

  8. Hmm, this is a tough one. On the one hand, I think the ruffles should be as long as possible. This would best be achieved by going with the 2x2 and thereby getting more length. Since it's a simple shawl pattern, the ruffles are the main design feature and focal point. The 3x2 would give it a unique, fluid look but sacrificing a little on the length. Ultimately, I think I would go with the 3x2 if you can squeeze out another inch.

  9. I took an intarsia class last year with Edie Eckman, she's a terrific teacher!

    Graduated ribbing is a new term for me so I'll just jump on the voting bandwagon.

    There's a vest pattern, maybe from Interweave, where the model in the photo is wearing it upside down. The designer said it's convertible to wear either way, but that wasn't in the original pattern notes. I can't remember the name of it though.

  10. Thank you everyone for your votes! The 3x2 ribbing won by a long shot so I continued the edge that way. I am ready to bind off now, so voting is closed. The 10 of you get an extra entry in my current yarn giveaway!