A cautionary tale.
I am working on a shop model featuring Kenzie, a gorgeous blend from Skacel. It's 50% New Zealand Merino, 25% nylon, 10% alpaca, 10% angora, and 5% silk noils. While it is pretty in its tweedy pull skeins, it is one of those yarns that really grabs your attention when you start knitting it. The color palette is vibrant, but muted. Rich and inviting in a hot apple cider sort of way. I had a few different ideas about what to knit up as a model, but eventually decided on Laura Aylor's Oak Park scarf. The pattern is available as a Ravelry in-store download, and at $5 for the shawl, scarf, and cowl versions, it is a steal. Did I mention that the pattern comes with coloring pages? Coloring pages. Come have a seat at the big, round table, and I will set you up with my crayons and colored pencils. I have lots.
Once you've figured out your color combination, you have plenty of soothing garter stitch ahead of you. But the color switches keep things interesting. Now, you would think I could keep myself more or less out of trouble with that sort of thing, right? Well, mostly. I realized last night that I was in the middle of a...learning experience. Which I'll share.
The scarf is constructed modularly, and since I like that sort of thing, I was kind of looking forward to picking up lots of stitches down the long edge. The pattern instructs you to slip the first stitch of every row--which makes sense. I held my yarn in back, in spite of the fact that I was specifically told to hold the yarn in front. I just didn't think it through.
Below, the green edge is the long side; the blue and natural are being knit up from that edge after the stitches were picked up. It's neat enough, but if I had slipped the stitches as instructed, it would have been a very clear horizontal garter edge meeting a vertical garter edge.
Knitting in the other direction, I started following the instructions correctly, and you can see what a difference it will make when picking up from those edges.
The only correction I could make would be to start at the beginning, which I have decided not to do. It's been a useful lesson for me, to pay attention and think things through, and it will be a way to demonstrate how such a small thing can make a huge difference. So, onward.
Here's a photo of the scarf at its current stage of progress. I'm about midway through section 2, and there are six sections total, plus the border. You can see most of the colors--natural, olive, burgundy, and navy, with a little bit of a medium blue grey there at the end. I think it will be a nice piece when all is said and done, even with this misstep.