Monthly Archives: September 2015

Barbara is really seeing things in black and white this time

gillianknits.comI love the graphic impact of black and white.  This is a pretty simple hat which uses two stitches. For the ribbing, I cast on 104 stitches and used Twist-Four Mock Cable, page 116.  This is a nice cable and doesn’t take a lot of time because you don’t use a cable needle.  It only works one way though.  If you want the cables to twist the other way, I am pretty sure you would have to bite it and use the cable needle.  The body of the hat is Woven Stripe Pattern, pg 61.  To do the decreases, I knit 6, k2tog around in one of the plain wide stripes.  I did k 5, k2tog in the next, then k4, k2tog…etc.

I finished work last week (yeah! so far) and hope to be more rigorous about knitting and posting. I am only going to do one item per post and I am aiming for posting on Tuesdays and Fridays. We’ll see.

Hey Barbara…have you met Tim Gunn?

gillianknits.comThis hat bears absolutely no relation to the hat I thought I was going to make when I cast on. As I was making this hat, I kept screwing up and making bad decisions, digging myself into design holes that threatened to be graves and cause me to say RIP!  My design style these days basically involves picking the next stitch in THE BOOK (A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker), deciding how many stitches around the hundred mark I should cast on to do the repeats, then wing it from there.  I am still pretty much only working with Patons Classic Wool, worsted weight.  When deciding how much to cast on, I take into consideration how much it looks like the stitch will draw in.  I go up a repeat or two if it looks like it will pull in a little or a lot, and down one if it looks like it will be a loose stitch. Knit-togethers and lots of colour work tend to draw in, at least the way I knit.

I cast on thinking I was going to be doing the Broken Plaid Pattern (pg 62) which is a repeat of 8, so I cast on 104 stitches.  I had a concept in mind, which I will probably make soonish.  As I was trying to set this up, I knitted the first row when I really should have purled and that got the bottom looking funny for what I had in mind, so I decided to put a patterny stitch below the colour work.  To the Fancy Texture Pattern chapter I went and found the next stitch to be Trinity, Cluster or Bramble Stitch on page 129 (luckily a repeat of four, so that would work).  Up I went for  awhile…time to switch to colour…may look funny…maybe put in a roll before…ok…do a garter stitch roll…gillianknits.comI probably should have decided to ditch “the concept” and go up from here because I thought it looked ok and I could have finished it up and had a decent hat, but no, I was still stuck on the colour thing, so roll it I did and then realized that I should be doing Bricks (also page 62), not the plaid anyway…still a repeat of 4 so phew…OK…do some colour work and ended up with… a big hot mess that had taken quite a bit of effort to get to….

a hot mess...

a hot mess…

The roll was too big and saggy, swamping the trinity stitch and it didn’t look good with the bricks.  When Heather was in high school, we spent a lot of (quality?) time together watching Project Runway.  Tim Gunn used to regularly come in to the design studio and find someone with a hot mess on their mannequin.  He always said the same thing…”make it work”.  He is one of my (sometimes annoying) design heroes because of this phrase, and I often hear him saying it to me in my head.  The thing about knitting is it takes a long time so he says it A LOT and I occasionally want to kick him as I knit toward what I hope will be a solution.  I actually had another row of bricks knitted before I realized this was NOT going to fly.  Before I took this picture there was a small rip back so the bricks would be the same height as the trinity stitch when I rejoined to the cast-on row, which makes the hat reversible.  I didn’t want to lose trinity stitch in my stitch count and have to redo it in another project.gillianknits,com

I decided once I got things joined back together that it would look funny on the trinity stitch side if I had a line through the pattern for no reason, so I looked and the design gods were smiling on me because the next fancy texture stitch was Allover Cross Stitch, pg 130, and it both had a four stitch repeat and would look good on the back…yeah!…I did this up to the decrease section, then realized that the only way to reduce this pattern well at the top would be in sets of 4 stitches.  I had 104 stitches which doesn’t lend itself to division AT ALL.  I decided to put a garter stitch top on with a 10 point decrease (I knit 2 together on the knit rows, getting rid of 4 stitches first then 10 per time until I was done).


…and silly me, I just realized I could have done it if I had got rid of one set of four, then done a 5 point decrease…oh, well, the garter stitch at the top echoes that at the bottom, so fine by me…I might also put another couple of rows of garter stitch before the cross stitch, but better done than perfect.  Maybe.




Barbara, the owl and the pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat…

gillianknits.comBlue and green aren’t fit to be seen except on a midsummer nights colleen…at least that is what my Aunty Corinne used to tell me when I was little.  I think times may have changed, I know they have for me and I quite like green and blue together.  This hat uses Slip Stitch Ribbing Variation, pg 44 and Twisted Check Pattern, pg 117.  I cast on 100 stitches, did 15 rows of ribbing then reconnected to the cast on row, changed to green and did 12 rows of garter stitch, reconnected again with blue and did 2 repeats of the twisted check, switched back to green for 12 garter stitch rows, connected it back on itself again with blue and increased 5 stitches to 105.

gillianknits.comFor the top, I used Twist-Three Cables, pg 116,  I did one full repeat, then got rid of every third cable, did another repeat and got rid of every other cable, did another repeat and got rid of the rest of the cables and then just decreased to nothing.