Barbara Walker…week 10

Wow, it is a big book…but I am not going to cave…yet.  I am learning a lot while I do this project.  I thought, after 50 years of knitting, 40 of which I would call myself a fairly active knitter, that I would have pretty much covered knitting.  I was wrong.  I guess sometimes before, I would just reject stitches willy nilly.  Now, with this project, I am not allowed to.  For those of you that don’t know, I am trying to design (ooo.. did I just call myself a designer?) knitted items using the stitches as they present themselves in a book that was published a couple of years after I started knitting, A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker, 1968.  It has 500+ stitches in it.  My ‘rule’ is that I can use one or more stitches from any chapter or combination of chapters, but it must be the next stitch after the previous one I used in that chapter. I can, of course, throw in stockinette stitch and/or garter stitch whenever I feel the design requires it, otherwise things may get a little busy.  Not that I am usually averse to busy.  I am sure no one is keeping track, but there are some UFO’s (say it ain’t so, gill) and a couple of things I put in my knitting guild’s annual challenge, which I will show you next week when I get them back that represent some in between stitches.

first attempt

first attempt

back of first slouch

back of first attempt

This week was not a very productive week, partly because I have another baby sweater almost finished and the two hats I did finish have patterns that eat stitches for breakfast.  I hope it is obvious I was going for rasta-style hats here.  Last time, I did the colours, this time the shape.  I can’t say Barbara didn’t warn me that these stitches (Waffle stitch or Rose Fabric, pg 129 – purl version on the first hat and seed stitch version on the second hat) spread laterally, making a wider piece than you would expect.  She wasn’t kidding.  The first one is large and you would need a major set of dreds to fill it out.  I reduced the number of stitches by 10% (from 110 to 100) on the second one and it doesn’t seem to be that much smaller.  It took me a LONG time to get used to this stitch and, like lace, you have to go back stitch by stitch for a couple of rows before you recover your place if you have to rip back.  Which I did.  Several times.  The decreasing is weird because you keep knitting into the row below and collapsing the fabric, so the decreases become compressed.

second attempt

second attempt

back of second attempt

back of second attempt

I also used Mock Wave Cable, pg 115 on the first hat and Figure Eight Twisted Ribbing, pg 43 on the second hat.  Back to work today.  I am in the mills this week but next week I am joining the cooking unit, a change is a good as a rest as they say.  I will miss the guys, but I love new challenges.

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