I spoke about my problem with a straight edge with garter stitch if I'm not concentrating. The trick is to gently pull the yarn to tension when the first stitch has been knitted onto the right-hand needle and the needle through the second stitch ready to knit. I don't usually come across the straight edge necessity very often.
The Coulomb, which appears here didn't involve much worry about tension and straight edges. All the edges were sewn in mattress stitch and that always sorts that out, or in the case of the eyes the edges were sewn over - hey presto and dodgy bits hidden. Of course the eyelash yarn (for the fluffy body) hides all sorts of sins, and remember to stocking stitch and use the purl side out (some call it reverse stocking stitch) for extra fluffiness.
Above are three of the Shetland Lace projects I've done in the last year. The first two are stoles in Shetland wool and the third is a smaller scarf done in silk. I don't have any of my Shetland Lace projects and these are the only ones I have photos of. Two were sold, one was a gift.
Now the really really great thing about Shetland Lace is you don't have to worry about tension at all - it all self-corrects in the 'dressing', or washing-and-stretching-out-with-pins-until-it's-dry. Also with what are, essentially, fairly simple sets of yarn overs and knit togethers (just watch the counting, not something to be done when tired or after wine) you can produce some rather intricate designs. Here are some details from the white stole:
Now, don't get me wrong, Shetland Lace takes time (a lot) and concentration, it is not something you can rip back a certain number of rows if you make a mistake, but if you don't go insane before it's finished it's incredibly rewarding.
Back to the Naked Pirate - halfway through one of the sleeves for his coat. I keep being distracted, which basically means I'm not enjoying knitting the coat (never was much of a fan of garter stitch). Next time, I think I'll change the pattern.