The Andalusia Shawl has been published and is now available directly from this site or from Ravelry. This fabulous crescent shawl uses just one 100g skein of fingering weight/4-ply yarn (shown here in Schoppel Wolle Zauberball in the shade Fuchsia). The pattern features notes on …
There is a new pattern available in the shop, ready for download. This particular design is named Lumene for the twisting cables that lay within the flame-like elements on the socks. The pattern has been written to include both charted and fully written instructions, so …
Usually, the last thing a knitter wants to do is to drop a stitch. If you’re lucky, dextrous and patient it might be something that you can rescue, but it’s something that you’d usually want to avoid at all costs. There are some knitting stitches, however, that use dropped stitches in a controlled and structured way to add airy lace stitches to the knitting. The depth to which these stitches drop can be controlled with the placement of yarn overs, and stitches can be dropped in columns down the whole length of a piece or just to a specific point.
At the very beginning of the time when I started to learn how to knit I experimented with a few drop stitch patterns (by purpose!) but I haven’t really revisited the idea in all that time, because generally I have found more complex lace patterning to be more enjoyable to knit and more decorative in form.
The other day, however, I decided to knit a pattern that uses drop stitches for the lace motifs, just for a little change of pace and to have another go at the technique now that I am a better knitter, to see if it appeals to me any more now that I am better able to understand its uses and limitations.
I’m quite a bold knitter in most situations. I will often remind myself that I absolutely must use a lifeline, especially when knitting something important like the lace shawl I have knitted for my upcoming wedding, but do you know how many lifelines I inserted into that piece of knitting? Not one. I honestly meant to, I just kept finding that I couldn’t be bothered, so would think ‘on the next row’, and so it went on.
When knitting this project, however, I have inserted a nice, safe lifeline.
I am only a few inches into the project, yet there is already a line of smooth white dental floss running safely through a row of stitches.
Dental floss makes a great choice of lifeline. It is strong and smooth, so it slides right through the stitches and is easy to remove afterwards.
After the first section of dropped stitches I felt a nervousness that I rarely find in my creativity. watching the stitches travel down the knitting is quite thrilling, opening up the design from what looked to previously be just a length of stockinette stitch, but i couldn’t shake the feeling of just how I’d feel if one of those columns of stitches was dropped in the wrong place, or if I had forgotten to place that single YO that would prevent the stitches being topped past their designating terminating point. So, I have decided to run a lifeline through each line of stitches that marks a new section of the drop stitch motif. Just in case.
The main body piece of my new knitted jumper is complete. The ends have been woven in and tidied up and it now awaits sleeves and a neckline adding, to be finished off with a few cute little buttons which I hope to treat myself …
The other day I did something for the first time. Something exciting that caused, like all new exciting things, a bit of a flutter in the chest as the adrenaline made itself known around my body, spreading outwards until it reached the tips of my fingers, making them shake at the crucial moment. A few double, triple checks, I walked away, reconsidered, and then went for it. I pressed the button to purchase a whole jumper’s worth of yarn (or a sweater’s worth, if you speak a more Americanised English).
This is the first time I have been able to do something like this, and though even at half price a jumper’s worth of yarn is very expensive, I felt relieved and excited as soon as I purchased the yarn. It was out in the next morning’s post and delivered the following day.
Rowan’s Wool Cotton, a 50% Merino, 50% cotton blend was my choice for something that I could wear in the temperature controlled climate of an office that would feel more snuggly and substantial than just a shirt and yet not overwhelm me. The yarn feels smooth and with a good mixture of strength yet spring. It’s a lovely blend and has a very slight sheen to the tightly twisted plies.
I had been slightly worried that it would make for awkward knitting due to the restrictiveness sometimes found with cotton yarns, but the merino adds just enough give to make the yarn a pleasure to knit with.
I am not knitting from a pattern as such. I had started out hoping to knit one pattern in particular, but by the time the yarn arrived I decided I didn’t like that pattern so much any more. I started out knitting that pattern anyway, as per my original plans, but despite my gauge being as perfect as it could have possibly been the jumper was coming out too wide. So, I frogged it, started again using special Mimi version maths, and then decided to just knit whatever I fancied. So I got my stitch dictionaries out, found a diamond lace motif as a starting point and began knitting.
I know this sounds like risky business, but I am now a knitting adrenaline junkie, so my caution has been thrown headlong into the wind.
Each new row I knit of this jumper helps to remind me why I love knitting so much. It’s like a little adventure where you think you know what the ending will be but keep on needing to turn corners to get yourself closer to the conclusion of the story. I’m sure there are knitters who hate the feeling of unsureness and anticipation and so stick to tried and tested patterns, but for every little bit of risk taken the times that these lead to successes always feel that much sweeter. Plus, I can always unravel the lot and begin again.