After working last weekend to get gauge, I spent this week casting on and knitting the ribbing. I did the lion's share of it yesterday and finished the ribbing this afternoon.
The ribbing is done on US1 (2.5mm) needles, so the fabric is a bit dense and cramped. It's made in a 2x2 pattern, with the lighter background colors from the main pattern being knit, and the darker pattern colors purled. To execute this, the colors have to be held in the opposite hands from where they will be held once the pattern starts. Confusing, no?
In the ribbing, both the pattern and background colors flow from dark to light and back to dark, which isn't exactly how it works in the pattern. And the turquoise (or Caspian) is grouped with the pattern colors, whereas on the charts it is a background color. I thought it would be eye-searingly bright, but I have to admit it works here.
Now I get to multitask through switching to a larger needle while simultaneously starting the pattern and remembering to increase every 15 stitches. Piece of cake, right? I predict the next row of knitting will take hours. I'm looking forward to getting this on the "larger" needles and watching the pattern develop. That's really my favorite thing about stranded knitting. I just need to remember to take my time and consult the pattern from time to time to make sure I'm on track.
Oh -- and while trying to be patient between swatch making, swatch washing, and swatch drying last weekend, I managed to crank out an additional Christmas Ball. I like how the motif flows from one quarter-panel to the next in this one. I've used so many red beads (over 300 so far!) that I'll need to go purchase some more soon. And some fiber fill for stuffing. I've been going through that stuff like there's no tomorrow.