Posts Tagged 'patterns'

Knitting on the Edge

Woodcut1Whenever I work on a lace shawl (or some other project where the design isn’t apparent until one blocks the knitting) I feel like I’m knitting on the edge. Give me a Fair Isle mitten any day for intuitively understanding if you’re knitting to the correct pattern (although possibly not if your gauge will fit the intended wearer).

Did I miss a yarn over? Are my stitches slanting the right way for the pattern? Did I mess up the first stitches that set up the pattern (the ones closest to my shoulders in this case, where they will be really hard to ignore)? I’ll move forward, like I always do, confident that even if I don’t get the pattern just so, I will still use it and learn from the experience. Call it knitter’s faith.

The design is beautiful: a sweet shawl called Woodcut designed by Karie Westermann. The current view of my project is not beautiful. If you’ve dealt with rice noodles in a packet…. that’s what it looks like (only super colorful). A jumble of strands with a small bit of patterning to clue you that I mean it to look that way.

No idea if the whole thing will break when I block it. It’s very fine yarn…. and I know it’s too thin technically for the pattern specs, but I was so curious to see how it would look knit up.


  • Yarn: Schaeffer Yarn Company, Trenna
  • Colorway: Rosa Parks
  • Pattern can be found in This Thing of Paper

So, if you knit, do pottery, paint, or otherwise craft: what is on the edge of your comfort level? Do you find yourself re-doing steps, in an attempt to follow your idea, or do you step out blindly?


Living vicariously

The posts I’ve seen about others’ trips to see the eclipse let me live vicariously. I would have loved to have planned something to go view it (we were in an area of partial eclipse, and were struggling to find an area of the yard free of clouds). Friends of mine went to the Jersey shore to view from the beach. Other friends drove to South Carolina.

I watched the NASA feed, and then enjoyed reading about trips to view the dance of the moon in front of the sun.  Check out Blonde Coyote’s post here. Lovely write up of a trip to Wyoming, and camping. You can see videos on the NASA website, if you were out of the viewing area, or fighting with clouds to view the shadows through a colander.

I’m also contemplating new patterns to knit, using lovely gift yarn. This pattern is really tempting: Woolly Woolhead’s Toph. And it reminds me a little bit of the patterns I could see through tree shadows during the eclipse. Tamara Adams posted a lovely pattern of coasters for the eclipse (link goes to Ravelry), which might be fun to create for tree decorations this year.

Keep looking up (unless there’s an eclipse and you don’t have special glasses…. then look down for shadows).



Getting back to normal-ish

Between this being the year of personal life challenges (loss of a beloved cat, loss of a dearly loved aunt) and struggling to fight against the negative energy in the air these days…. I’ve found that after I finish knit projects, I just *don’t* pick up the needles again. The world has been a bit too distracting and poisonous for me to trust my gauge. This lack of knitting mojo is not normal.

Reading has also been a bit “meh”. I’ll get started on a book, and then the characters feel flimsy, or the book doesn’t work with my mood (think I found a good one though… if it sticks to darkly farcical instead of veering into horror writing, I will be relieved).

I’ve been sketching. Nothing for the press yet, but I’m getting close. I’m contemplating something written with my next print piece, so we’ll see how far I get on it.

Today, I’m reading with a great deal of interest.

  • Ancyra by Susan Schira combines mosaic design with colors like antique smalti (visit Ancyra pattern here).
  • Wolkig by Martina Behm looks like a cowl in an upscale window on the Konigstrasse. I love how it looks, but would want to use a light, misty blue or copper for this design. Very inspiring.
  • And if you have scrap yarn that you want to show off, Longwing looks like a project that you could do while watching t.v. or reading. Am I right, or is it more complicated?
  • The cool tools section provides a lot of ideas for knitter gifts (hint, hint). Currently in love with this book.

Amy and co. have upped their game. Tusen tak!

And while things are getting back to normal-ish, the WordTapstry blog is likely to continue to be sporadic. Although I might manage to get pics up of the garden. It’s been glorious.


Test driving knitting books

Now that I have discovered where [Fine Arts department, near the sheet music] the main branch of the library has stashed the knitting books, I am test driving The Knitter’s Book of Socks by Clara Parkes. I’m currently struggling with the same emotions I experienced when first reading Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

How do you pick just one recipe to see if you like the book? Which sock is the one that will salvage my pink Lorna’s Laces yarn (it’s been tried on 2 sock patterns from other books already, and now I’m dithering between Stepping Stones, Isabella d’Este, or Darjeeling). The recipe that sold Classic to me was the chicken stuffed with 2 lemons, and I’m hoping to find something unexpectedly simple and fun in this test drive.

Little 2 square baby hat

Today’s amateur* pattern is for a little 2-square baby hat (pattern section on the hat). Head diameter is for around 18″, so you may wish to size up in needles to adjust if the baby you’re knitting for is larger. I was knitting this for donation to a local hospital. *Note the word amateur. This pattern hasn’t been proofread or test knit. It’s just a recipe for what I did to make this hat.

Needles: US size 2 for the ribbing, followed by US size 1 for plain knitting rows. My gauge in the plain knitting section is:

Other tools: 7 stitch markers (one in a contrasting color for row starts).

Yarn: Baby Ull Dalegarn. Main color (mc): aqua blue (Farge: 7502, Parti: 6632). Contrast color (cc): lime green (Farge: 9013)

CO: 140 stitches in the round. Join.

Knit ribbing with cc: K4, P4 for 19 rows. (You might wish to knit longer for more of a cuff)

Join in mc and knit plain in mc for 18 rows.

Join in cc color and knit with cc color for 1 to 2 rows.

Start pattern:

Rows 1 & 2: mc K2, cc K2.

Rows 3 & 4: cc K2, mc K2.

Repeat pattern 3 times.

Pattern rows 13 & 14: mc K2, cc K2.

Knit 1 row in cc, adding stitch markers every 20 stitches. (It is helpful to have a contrasting color stitch marker for the beginning of the row.) 7 markers total.

Switch to mc: Decreases begin.

Decrease row 1: decrease stitches before and after each marker (14 decreases in total; 126 stitches left).

Knit 10 rows. Decrease row 2: decrease stitches before and after each marker (14 decreases in total; 112 stitches left).

Knit 3 rows. Decrease row 3: decrease stitches before and after each marker (14 decreases in total; 98 stitches left).

Knit 3 rows. Decrease row 4: decrease stitches before and after each marker (14 decreases in total; 84 stitches left). Add cc.

Knit 3 rows. Decrease row 5: decrease stitches before and after each marker (14 decreases in total; 70 stitches left).

Add/switch to mc: Knit 3 rows. Decrease row 6: decrease stitches before and after each marker (14 decreases in total; 56 stitches left).

Just weave in the ends, then put it in for a soak and lay flat to dry.

Knit 2 rows. Decrease row 7: decrease stitches before and after each marker (14 decreases; 42 stitches left).

Knit 1 row. Decrease row 8: decrease by combining 2 stitches each time, removing markers (21 stitches left). Then either bind off by pulling yarn through remaining loops or:

Decrease row optional: decrease by combining 2 stitches each time (11 stitches left) and pull yarn through remaining loops. Then you get to weave in the ends. (C) rjn, April 9, 2011

Sweet Norwegian baby cap

Was sighted on a friends’ FB page, so I guess it’s safe to reveal the picture now. Sadly, not with a newborn in it (the hat is too big right now, and baby doesn’t need to be in a blog — the kid’s Mom should decide when the kid gets a closeup on the internet). The gracious Miss Banister has offered to substitute for the baby in this instance, to give you an idea. The pattern is adorable, although I got distracted and ended up futzing some of the bind offs once I started the decreases (here’s a sample by someone else, who did a better job of interpreting the pattern). You’ll probably be able to see it pretty clearly either here, or on the version on flickr.

So, I have seldom ever knit anything without altering it or cobbling together some “fix” that seems good enough at the time but when I see it, the “fix” blazes with the white heat of a thousand, mortifying suns. (There’s at least one pair of baby booties that will never see the light of day. I just don’t think anything human could wear them. A goat, perhaps.) However, I think I might want to revisit the Sweet Norwegian Baby Cap, because it is a fun knit.

More gift knitting underway as we speak.

Christmas knitter confessions

OK, I’m curious. What are you looking forward to doing once the Christmas preparations are all done, people have unwrapped presents, and you no longer have deadline knitting?

Me, I have a pattern for mittens with birds on them. I have periwinkle and off-white yarn. And I have sticks. And I have very, very cold hands. Although I’ve recently heard enthusiasm from someone about what a pair of legwarmers could do in weather with snow above the bottom of the back door. So, after the tiny things created for tiny creatures are done… I will either have a case of finishitis and finish some of my other older projects. Or I’ll cast on for mittens. How ’bout you?