It has been a ridiculously long time since the last post and, before I age any further, (birthday coming on Monday -gulp), I thought I’d better write a yarn-related article on my poor, neglected blog. I have had a rough time of things health wise and I am now signed off work for a couple of weeks. It gives me more time at least to finally put virtual pen to paper at least…
The mistress of mosaic is Barbara Walker and I have been diligently going through her charts, thinking about how to incorporate this intricate – and very useful – technique into garments of my own. I came up with the idea of knitting a few swatch blocks of different designs, just on straight needles back and forth, and then finishing with a small rib section, then joining the whole thing by sewing the ends together. The result: a rather lovely headband that ended up on a rather lovely head. Not mine as it turned out, but on Nadia’s, one very kind lady at my local cafe who took her tired customer and friend under her wing yesterday and allowed her to sit quietly by the window to knit over too many cups of coffee. She was so taken by my headband that she tried it on and then we decided from now on, it really had to be hers! Her equally kind husband, Ibbe, insisted on driving me home after they closed shop and they both kept throwing free goodies in my bag as we stepped out blinking into the Stockholm sunshine towards the car.
There is a feature on mosaic knitting: http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer03/FEATslipstitch.html and I recommend looking up anything by Barbara Walker on this topic.
It is a new twist to colour knitting that I am finding really interesting and handy. As a seasoned knitter of fair isle/multi-stranded knitting I am used to following complex charts and twisting behind the work as I go. With this technique only one colour strand is in play on each two row run along the pattern, so there is no need to keep lose ends running and twisting behind the work. It does affect what patterns will work though. The colour that is not the “live” yarn for that row is simply a slip stich and for that to work, the row below has to have the right colour. Luckily my not so mathematical brain has not had to construct the charts from scratch but I can take those charts and incorporate these lovely designs into works of my own imagination. Such as the headband. And such as the dark blue with white-grey stripe item also shown on the photos. Don’t actually know what it will be yet, but that is half the fun! Also the texture is really nice under the fingers with the garter stitch ridges creating an effect, especially when alternating the colours, every other stitch to make the small dots. These indentations and ridges and the softness of the yarn all play their part as much as the visual effect.
My aforementioned – not mathematical but pretty tired – brain did manage to work out the error on chart #44 in Walker’s book and with a little adjustment the magic mosaic square turned out well, the symmetrical square shown in dark blue with white-grey striped contrast (yarn is Ragg Soft, Norwegian.)
I do have various WIPs on the go which might reflect my unfocused state, quite far from the A1 square or the percentage of 100. I am riding out the ups and downs as best I can. Around numerous medical appointments, I am taking time to rest and recuperate with sleep and yarn in equal measure. In my better moments I get creative… or is it that I get creative that I have my better moments? I’ll decide after an afternoon nap.
Happy yarn creations one and all!