This month’s Patreon-funded stitch pattern is based on the word hibernate, suggested by Maura. Sometimes I wish I could hibernate at this time of year, but it really is a good time for knitting.
It is large and elaborate, and I like the way there’s almost little paisleys in it. (I could have made them more overt, but it would require either combining two decreases with a 1/1 RT, or doing a 1/1 RT on a wrong side row. I will leave this as an exercise for the reader.)
When I was at my knitting group yesterday, I showed someone how to join cotton yarn using this method, and the knitters around me all said whaaaaat? and so I thought I should post about it.
There are times when a particular effect in knitting is best accomplished by adding in some extra stitches – these are the steek – reinforcing those stitches, and then cutting up the middle of the extra stitches. Many modern knitters have an almost visceral negative reaction to this, as if the knitting will somehow disintegrate immediately, and yet this is a traditional method, well-established.
I have a pattern coming out soon that uses steeks, and so I thought I’d write a little bit about them.
Each month, my supporters on Patreon suggest a word for me to encode as charts; I make one knitting stitch and one chart for any craft that uses graph paper charts. This month’s word is hibernate.
So I posted this on Twitter this month:
(Fair warning: my Twitter has politics and other things mixed in with the fiber arts.)
And then there was speculation about what that might look like.
Since I am firmly of the opinion that things I do accidentally with my knitting are worth exploring for possible deliberate use, I decided that I should do that with this, too, and thought up some variations.
Somehow, the more I hang around other knitters, the more I end up with bags of random skeins from yarn swaps (very casual affairs: bring yarn you don’t want any more, take yarn you like, anything left goes to the reuse shop that sells lots of craft supplies). I’ve also had two people randomly thrust bags of yarn stash at me and ask me to find a home for it. Well, all right, I suppose. Until I run out of room and start to feel mentally blocked because of too much yarn.
Lately, I’ve been in stash buster mode. I just finished knitting one shawl design from discontinued yarn and am considering (though I had other plans) working on another with this yarn:
I tend not to be one for using specialized row counters with my knitting – it’s true that they help other people, and I’m glad of that, but they generally don’t fit in the flow of things for me.
If there’s a stitch pattern, I read my knitting to see where I am and count repetitions of the stitch pattern to know how many rows along I am. If there’s a lot of stockinette and I need to keep track of how many rows, I’ll put in coilless safety pins, locking stitch markers, or a yarn scrap every tenth row.
That said, sometimes I’ll be doing something in stockinette where I need to do something unusual every fourth or sixth row, and I’ll be so in the flow of knitting that I lose track of where I am.
I learned this trick around 2000 on the Knitter’s Review Forums, maybe from Fran? (I’m pretty sure it was Fran.) I can’t go back and check, because those Forums are no more, for very good reasons. But I thought I’d share the trick here.
Last year I made a stitch pattern for 2015 using the digits of the year as the basis for the design. I had so much fun doing it that I thought I’d do it again.
Happy New Year! May the year ahead be peaceful and content, with lots of time for knitting or whatever things you like to make.
Each month, my Patreon backers suggest words for me to encode into charts to use in arts and crafts. I make one into a knitting stitch (usually lace), and make another chart for crafts in general. This month’s word, suggested by Nim, is Frost, which I turned into numbers in base 9 and then laid out on a grid.