21 January 2011

q&a: ninja biking mask of AWESOMENESS

There's been a lot of interest in my ninja mask (Ravelry link) which is super awesome! But it's not a simple pattern and some parts are downright mindbending.  I've been answering questions individually, but I realized today that it might be useful to aggregate the questions and answers in one spot.  Instead of hiding this useful info in the comments or cluttering up the Ravelry project page, I've decided to put up a Q&A page here (I have a blog, might as well use it!).

Known Issue:

Will this thing slouch? Slouching is not awesome. :(

Yes, unfortunately, this will slouch in the back. And once the back starts slouching, the rest will follow. :P You can use your helmet or a beanie hat to sort of hold it up. But on its own? I haven't come up with a solution yet.

Some of my thoughts are:
- Add some support cables (or some other stiff knitted thing) at the back.
- Add a head strap, suspender style. This is so nerdy.
- Add some sort of hardware for clipping to a helmet.

[Jan 2011] From tinkerplinkmama on Ravelry:

I am trying to knit a Ninja Mask for my toddler son, and am having a hard time with the nose area - I know, I’ve just barely started! Here’s where I’m having trouble - each cheek marker falls only 9 stitches from the center, which doesn’t allow for many W&Ts, if they are to move inward each time. I’ve done 2 for the shaping, and have come to the second section of the nose, which you’ve called the “turning” part. I can’t keep coming in, as I’m only 1 rib away from the center already (I think, my project is downstairs and I’m nursing my youngest). What would you recommend?

Wow! Please let me know how your project goes - I must say, I never thought about how well it would work for a non-adult sized head. :D

If I’m understanding correctly what you’ve knit so far and the problem you’re facing, I think there’s actually not problem at all. The part you’ve already completed, “Nose Short Rows” Part 1, involved moving the stitch markers inwards. Part 2 (the “turning” part) actually moves them outwards.

If you’ve knit socks before, this is just like a short row heel, where Part 1 is where you knit the first “V”, and Part 2 is where you knit the matching “V”, picking up all the wraps. (Except my pattern skips the picking up of existing wraps).

Let me know if this makes sense!

tinkerplinkmama's response: Thanks so much! I missed the fact that the wraps are now going to move outward. I’ve never knit socks before, always little baby things. I’ll give it a go and see how well it works out.

[Jan 2011] From strangemamma on Ravelry:

And a little freaked out as I read on. I’m new to knitting in general and find myself learning new techniques as I try out projects I like. I’m excited about this one, I just hope I get it done before winter’s over here. I am curious about the provisional cast on though. You don’t mention it later or say why you do it that way. I only have one colour of the appropriate weight yarn and figured if it was just for the trim or if it makes a stretchier edge. Any light you can shed is much appreciated.

Hi! It is definitely an intimidating looking pattern! It really helps if you already have experience with short rows (like sock heels), ribbing, increasing and decreasing. It’s a lot to take in at once, which is why I tried to break it down into smaller segments.


To answer your actual question, the live stitches of the provisional cast on are used at the end to knit a hem. You could knit this hem at the beginning, but I didn’t want to tell people this since I’m not sure the maths for the # of cast on stitches works in every case and pre-knitting a hem will make ripping that much more painful.

[Nov 2010] From a fellow Raveller:

I love the mask. One question, does it make eye glasses fog over? That has always been my problem with other masks and it would be dangerous to ride without my glasses.

Unfortunately it will make your glasses fog up. I added eyelets around the nose and mouth, but they weren’t enough. :(

How adventurous are you? Because if you knit some slits at the mouth and nose instead, I’m pretty sure that would solve that problem (it’s in the plans for my next mask, but I don’t know when I’ll get around to that).

[2011.01.22] Edited: lilirious (Rav) added some nose-pinching mechanism to hopefully ameliorate this problem in a rather brilliant way. She took inspiration for a surgical mask and tried to mimic it with wire. I'm not sure how it went, but it's an appropriately awesome idea!

1 comment:

  1. Hi!
    I'm pretty new to knitting after patterns so this AWSOME ninja mask is a pretty fun (and annoying) challenge for me. I've made it quite far but now I'm stuck. I am just aboout the place the stitch markers after the chin parabol bit. The problem is that I have 194 stitches (somehow) and divided by eight that's 24,25. When I try to place the markers it end up being completely wrong, partly because it's more stitches than the pattern but also because I don't understad the instructions for placing them. Am I supposed to knit 24, then place the marker, then kit another 24 and place MF? Because that's completely off... I'm sorry for the hassle.I so wanna make this mask, it's so cool and I will be so happy if I manage to do it ^^