Judy Sumner Afghan Square – Take Three

Thanksgiving is over and I’ve pretty much finished catching up with the laundry and straightening up the house.  That means it is time to get out the Great American Aran Afghan book again and tackle the Judy Sumner square once more.  This is the square that our group is supposed to be finishing before our next class meeting.  I’m telling you…..a few weeks on the back burner and it’s like I’ve never seen it before.  Oy!

The first thing I did was dig out my handy dandy cable cheat card that I made up earlier.  I am practicing doing cables without a cable needle and this little card helps remind me of the tricks to it.

I’m also on “Take Three” of my attempt to do a pattern modification.  I was never very keen on knitting that honking big spider or those little flies or bees or whatever insects those are at the top of the square.  I started out giving it the old college try but decided that I would leave out the spider and just knit the “X” which are the spider’s legs and then come up with some sort of 3-dimensional flower to applique over the “X” in place of the spider.  Well, after struggling with those silly twisted cable stitches for several rows, I decided that I had better things to do than crawl along, torturing myself stitch by stitch, row by row on this square.  I looked the pattern over again and decided to try another approach.  “Take Three” is going to be leaving out all the bugs and forgetting the “X” from the point at which I became frustrated.  Thus, I am doing plain purl stitches for Chart “C” on the right side of the square and plain stockinette stitches on the wrong side of the square for Chart “C”.  I was not about to go back and frog the darn thing to take out the little bit of the “X” that I had knit so I’ve decided that I shall knit up two I-cord “stems” and applique those onto the front up to the little “blips” that might resemble “buds” if you use your imagination.  And thus a unique “design element” is born.  I’ll still do the honeycomb pattern which is Chart “D” on the top right corner because the chart looks rather pleasant to knit.

I’m finding several tricks to be indispensable for knitting up this square.  The first trick is to sketch out a chart sequence line.  This really helps you keep it straight in your mind as to which chart comes next as you are knitting along, because you don’t want to fall into the trap of following the same chart sequence when you are coming back on the wrong side of the square.  (Ask me how I know!)  For example, if you are knitting up your border stitches and then Chart A, Chart C, Chart B, Chart A and then the ending border stitches on the right side of the square, then when you come back on the wrong side of the square you will be reversing that sequence.  Thus, you will knit the border stitches, Chart A, Chart B, Chart C, Chart A, and then the border stitches.

The other trick is to keep a row count completed by chart for each row.  This is really handy because you might be working row 6 of Chart C when you are working row 10 of Chart A.  You won’t be working the same row for every chart.  It can get mightly confusing if you don’t do this.  Trust me!  You don’t have to come up with anything fancy.  Simple hash marks under the chart letters will do.

And so I’m off to the races (well, crawling is more like it) once again on this square.  I must say that after knitting a garter stitched shawl over the past month which was blissfully mindless, this constant need for concentration is hard to get used to.  The Commander is quickly getting the message that he needs to tiptoe past and NOT interrupt me if he sees me knitting with charts spread out all around.


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