Disappearing loop as a flat knitting cast-on for shawls

Disappearing loop as a flat knitting cast-on for shawls

I wrote recently about a start for a top-down triangular shawl I’d come up with, but there’s another that I’ve used in several shawl designs (most of them not yet published): modified disappearing loop. You can see it in use in Sycamore Creek.

Disappearing loop is generally used as the center of a shawl or something else to be worked in the round from the center outward. However, there’s no reason it can’t be used in cases where you need to cast on a small number of stitches for a shawl to be worked flat.

Here’s how.

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A start for a top-down triangle shawl

One of the difficulties of knitting a triangle shawl with a two-stitch garter selvedge from the center of the long edge outward is making a smooth transition along the center. The difficulty is that the stitches of a provisional cast-on that go up are offset by half a stitch from the ones that go down.

A solution to this came to mind based on a traditional technique described by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts in Ethnic Socks & Stockings.

I am reasonably certain that I’m not the first person to come up with this shawls tart. Nonetheless, here it is. I hope you find it useful. (It will be of most use to knitters who are already familiar with triangle shawls.)

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Purse Stitch crescent selvedges

Purse stitch crescent selvedges

Thinking about Purse Stitch made me think about how to incorporate it into crescent shawl selvedges. Understanding its structure helped me figure out how to mirror it along the two edges.

I like the result. It’s a bit unusual in how it’s worked, so I hope my instructions are clear enough. I’ve phrased it in three different ways. Please comment if you have trouble!

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Helianthe: a shawl pattern

Nim Teasdale and I collaborated together on Helianthe. She suggested sunflower to me and I encoded it as stitch patterns to suit the sorts of designs she likes to make. This is a pattern that will suit a variety of weights of yarns and can be worked to more than one size. Here’s more information on Ravelry. (No Ravelry account required for purchase.)
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Crescent shawl selvedges

Crescent shawl selvedge variations

One of the  common forms of knitted crescent shawls involves casting on a few stitches in the center top of the shawl, and then knitting back and forth while increasing three stitches on each side over every two rows.

The selvedges I’ve seen most frequently are in two parts: there’s a two stitch garter selvedge on the outside edges, and the increases take place just inside. There’s a pretty standard recipe for this that results in pretty large holes at the edge. These look great in some circumstances, but I don’t think they’re always right for any given crescent shawl. I’m sure other people have come up with variations, but here’s a couple of my own. Feel free to use them however you like.

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Two patterns released: mitts and shawl

 

This week I’ve published two more patterns: a pair of mitts called Meeting-of-the-Waters and Sycamore Creek, a shawl pattern.

Meeting-of-the-Waters looks like a very plain fingerless mitt pattern, but there’s two twists: one, they’re knit from the top down to make maximum use of your yarn, and two, they’re designed to make a pair of matching mitts from yarn that wouldn’t otherwise make that possible. The trick? Steeks! That is, knitting them in a single piece, cutting them apart, and sewing up the cut edges.

Sycamore Creek is a very deep shawl with an angled long edge. It covers the wearer’s back nicely and stays on the shoulders. It’s also great for stash busting!

Click through for more about each of these.

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Announcing New Hope Creek shawl

New Hope Creek: a striped garter shawl in a kind of crescent shape.

 

New Hope Creek is designed to be knit with two skeins of yarn that coordinate with each other but that don’t match exactly. The shape is crescent-like – formed by knitting five triangles pointing in alternating directions.

The sample is knit with one muted skein and one that’s wildly variegated with short runs of color; I think of this as one mild and one wild. Many variations are possible: one gradient and one wildly variegated yarn, two self-striping yarns with different length stripes, multiple scrap yarns left over from other projects, even two solid yarns. Instructions are also provided for working with a single yarn.

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Bread & Roses

Bread and Roses, a rectangular lace stole pattern whose design is based on numbers derived from the name.

The phrase bread and roses originated in the early twentieth century in the American labor movement. There are stories about it being sung as part of a song by strikers, which seems to be apocryphal. The meaning is not, however: Bread and Roses stands for the desire for both fair wages and dignity. The slogan has particularly come to be associated with a textile workers’ strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912.

I looked up the individual concepts for bread, roses, and labor unions in the Dewey Decimal System (used to catalog books in many libraries in the US) and then placed the numbers on a grid as a starting point for designing this lace. The yarn overs in the alternating columns of lace in the middle are placed based on bread and roses; the border is generated with the numbers for labor unions. Decreases were placed to form undulating lines; occasional two-stitch cables highlight this effect.

(For more on this method of designing stitch patterns, see my blog posts on embedding meaning in knitting or other crafts.)

This pattern can be used to knit a rectangular scarf or stole.

Regular price US$5; half price through September 7, 2014. (Discount appears at checkout.)

Happy Labor Day! (As observed in the US.)

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