Yes, some days are bitter cold. Or wet and bitter cold. But others are mild, a bit steamy. The afternoon sun is warm on our shoulders as we do weekend errands. So it’s been time to pull out the unfinished winter projects – the last pair of mittens for the nieces, the remaining hats – for me, and one to send off to the Sioux elders.
Wanting to study twined knitting this year, I’ve been working on a couple of pairs of mittens that draw on a variety of twining and colorwork techniques. I finally finished a pair of mittens for the youngest niece-let (finally, because I seemed to have been knitting on fumes after the winter holiday rush to finish so many gloves and mitts). No pattern for these little dainties (but guided by those shared by other generous knitters here and here), some skeins of Araucania pink and magenta, US 3 (3.25 mm) dpns, and online discussion of twined knitting techniques. Somehow, I managed to include most of the technical elements I’d set out to study: multi-color casting-on (3-strand braided cast-on) and corrugated ribbing (on the cuffs), bands of twined “crook” or chain stitches (above the wrists). This project was a delight to research: twined knitting resources abound on the net (here and here, for instance), and it’s easy to find powerful inspiration from amazing twiners like Anna-Maj’s and Asplund.
A pair of multi-color
mittens (pattern by Kate Gilbert) finally came off the needles, a bit later than planned. Worked in a niece’s favorite earthy colors (Araucania Nature Wool Multi, US 2 / 2.75 mm – would go up a size next time around), these were a challenging treat to execute.
- Recharted the leaves, to turn them so that they point towards the fingers now;
- revised some of the twists so that they lay flatter, using decreases and increases instead of 3 st twists; and
- worked a thumb gusset at side instead of inset thumb on palm. Wish I’d gone up a size on the needles, but soldiered on, having frogged the cuffs once.
detail of the surface – compare twisted sts with dec and increase techniques
Vertigo hat by Kerstin Michler, just in time for the vernal equinox. A straightforward little pattern, which made a wonderful hat with the colors I anticipate from spring. Noro Silk Garden and US 6 (4.0 mm) needles (16″ circulars and dpns). Worked with 40 sts (instead of 45) for woman’s hat. Used just over 1 skein of yarn to knit the 11 sections required.
KOB Ying Yang Beret IV,
Noro Silk Garden, US 4 (3.5 mm) needles
Just because I love this pattern. Just because I want to try KOB instead of brioche. Just because I love Silk Garden yarns. Just because I could use a Noro hat to match my scarf. Just because my US 4/3.5 mm dpns are empty. Just because I could manage another rehearsal project.Nb. substituting KOB for brioche worked just fine. Made double increases in similar manner (k1, yo, k1 in same st), and decreases also work similarly. But, on next round, I worked sl1, k1 (to make only 1 yo in back instead of 2) in preparation for the decrease (next row), and then kkob to k2tog. Helped to place both strands on the needle before knitting. And, did a double braid at edge (I like it firmer). Otherwise, the beret seems indistinguishable from its traditional “brioche” twin.
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