Saturday, April 26, 2008

Some Thoughts on Various Knitting Styles

I am right handed, (nominal)--that is I write with my right hand--Though there are plenty of things I do left handed by preference, and some things I can do equally as well with either hand.

I am not ambidextrous--To be ambidextrous, you need to be able to most things equally as well with either hand. I have mixed or double dexterity. I do some things well right handed and some things well left handed, and some (a very few)things well with either hand.

When I knit, I hold the yarn in my left hand (sort of a Continental style)--but I don't hold my index finger 'still'--rather I flick the yarn round the needle, using my left index finger.

In the standard Continental style of knitting, the right hand needle is twisted to create the stitch, not the left index finger.

To complicate things further, I wrap the yarn in a non-standard way (ie combo) for purls, --which then causes them to be mounted backwards, and requires me to knit into the back of the loop on KNITS, but the front of the loop on purls—this combination of styles --Knitting into back of loop/purling into the front of the loop is what gives combination (or combo) knitting its name.

One detail of combination knitting is, if you don't have any purls, (i.e., in stocking knit done in the round) the KNIT stitches never get “turned round” --so when knitting in STOCKING KNIT, in the Round, I work in Standard, aka, European, style.

But all this changes if I work in a pattern that has purls.. then my non standard wrap style results in 'through the front loop knits'( standard European style) and 'through the back loop on the purls”! It sounds confusing doesn't it?

I figured most of this out with out any help, eon's ago (well when JFK was still alive!)

My take on Combination/combo knitting, is, IT takes more thinking, but its physically easier to do.

Standard knitting --that is European, which, by the way is just the standard style in US and MOST English speaking parts of the world-- Requires less thinking.. but it's a bit harder to do.

But in the past 5 years, I have taught my self to knit in several styles..

First, I learned 'true left handed'--that is working my knitting from the right hand needle to the left hand needle--and I am not alone in learning this. LOTS OF KNITTERS have learned to do the same thing--especially if they do entralac--I learned when knitting an edge onto a HUGE poncho.

I didn't want to have to turn the mass of knitting in my lap ever 20 stitches..(I am lazy) and it was easier to learn to knit 'Backwards –more correctly, True left hand. Since the edge was a combination of knits and purls, I learned to do both knits and purls left handed—some knitters only learn to knit left handed.

I still USUALLY knit 'standard combo—but I know how to knit:

  1. Standard, continental
  2. True left handed (standard)
  3. True left handed (combo)

and I just learn

  1. Portuguese style (the yarn is held and moved by thumb, not index finger!)

I can't-- for the life of me-- knit with yarn in my right hand!--but lots of other knitter have mastered that--(and knit fair isle '2 handed').

I can do a stitch or two, but not a row! I learned both true left and Portuguese style in minutes. And could do both of them with almost no change in my gauge. Even with hours of practice, my right hand yarn hold knitting pathetic, sloppy and uneven. And I am frustrated by the slowness.. I can do right hand yarn hold knitting, but WHY?

There are lots of ways to knit... And learning Standard European knitting is useful, even if you rarely use it.

Since some 70% of knitters in US/Canada/and Western Europe knit in the standard style, there is a huge collection of pattern designed for this style.

But about 20% of knitters are combination/combo knitters, (and with the inter-net, this style is gaining more and more acceptance every day.

Still, there are 10% of knitters who have less common styles like True left handed or Portuguese.

Portuguese knitting is very interesting.. in the Portuguese style, the the knit stitch is worked with the yarn held to the front of work (purl position for "standard" knitting)..The knit is worked like a reverse 'Norwegian purl! If you don't find this video helpful, google Norwegian purl for many other video's and tutorials.

Some Links you might find useful:

This link is to one of Chuana's YouTube Videos--she has 10 others! Watch them all

Here is a less clear video, and this knitter is using eastern style needles (one end of the needle has a hook like crochet hook, the other end is pointed)

Andrea Wong has a web page and DVD's (for sale) also about Portuguese knitting.

There are several places to learn about Combination knitting,Anne Modisett blog for one,

Grumperina's blog for an other.

There are also lots of other places to learn about various styles of knitting—including Eastern style (one I didn't even mention!)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

Scattered through out this post, are some photo's of my garden (when I had one).

Years ago, before “Earth Day” existed, there was movement in many US cities that became Earth Day.

I was part of that first fledging effort. (It was more than 35 years ago—I know, because I was still in HS. (and I was long out of HS 35 years ago!)

The Science Department of Walton HS (Bronx) , headed up the effort, and I joined in.. not because I was particularly involved in ecology, but because it sounded like a lark! And it was..

Our project, involved a clean up effort in the Bronx Botanical Gardens. It was a day out of school—and what a glorious day it turned out to be.. warm, but not hot, sunny, and the Gardens where close to being the most magnificent..

More flower bloom (in the NY area) in May than any other month, and a warm spring had early lilac blooming with late daffodils and tulips. Many of the trees were in full bloom too, from the stately tulip trees in the allay at the gardens administrative building to a dozen varieties of magnolia's and many fruit trees.

Our task was to fill a large 'lawn and leaf' type bag with garbage.. (not plant matter, but candy wrappers and soda bottles (at that time, there was no refund/recycling of bottles in NYC) –Sadly, I was able to fill 2 bags in 2 hours.. But the field trip had us scheduled for 4 hours.. (most of the school day!) and since I was a 'walker' (I lived less than a mile from school--and less than a mile from the Botanical gardens) I was 'dismissed' as soon as I had filled 1 bag!

I spend the most of the rest of the school day in the Gardens, I love them, and considered them my 'backyard' –and for a city girl, who grew up in apartments, I know a lot about plants and gardening and learned most of it from my frequent forays into the Gardens.

The bonus came a few weeks later, when all the volunteers were invited to a reception at Wave Hill Environmental Center at the Wave Hill (it was a brand new park then).

Another day out of school, (with out cutting classes) and it too was a sunny day.

There were gardens to explore, and food, and champagne.. (and of course I took a one thought to question--the legal drinking age was 18 then, and we HS students were a very small part of the goings on. When it was noticed, (and that wasn't till I was on my second glass!) I was chastised by a teacher--but by then, what could she do?

Well talk about catching more flies with honey.. Who wouldn't be environmentalist with that kind of introduction? 2 glorious days out school, and champagne to boot!

NYC is home to several wonderful Botanical Gardens. The Brooklyn Gardens are spectacular, and well known, the Queens Gardens, (newer, and becoming year after year, more delightful) and the Bronx Gardens, my favorite still. There is another Botanical Garden on Staten Island, that I've haven't yet visited.

If you don't have any nearby gardens to visit today (or if the weather is less than optimal) take a virtual tour of these gardens, (or your favorite)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Fat Quarters Craft/Project Bag.. part 4

Warning--image intensive post (13 images!)

Now, if you are lucky, your tube will have nice straight even edges.. (1 chance in a thousand!)
--Note the edges in this image.. not straight and neat are they?

Actually, you are more likely to have even edged if you fabric started out from the same manufacturer.

You should also make a bar tack at the top edge of zipper (to hold the top edge of tube closed, even when the zipper is open)
>>In this image, the seam has already been trimmed, but see how the zipper is tacked together at the top?

If at this point your bag is right side out, invert it, so it is wrong side out (my wrong side is solid leaf green)

The fold the tube so zipper is on one side, and mark the other size (a small notch cut at edge)--This is to find the exact opposite point from the zipper.

Refold, and position zipper center at center of notch. This will center the zipper.
Pin, and sew a seam (½ to 5/8 seam allowance)

Just sew over the zipper--but make sure that you don't hit the metal tabs that are 'stops' at the top of the zipper (you'll break your sewing machine needle!)

Sew the top seam first.
After doing that un zip the the zipper at least half way, then sew the bottom edge.

Now you have a closed tube, (and can reach in and undo the zipper any time you need too!)

It's easier to sew the tube with the zipper closed.. so you close 100%, sew the top of bag (top of zipper) and then partial un zip, and sew the bottom of the bag (with the zipper still zipped at the bottom of the bag).

Next, the just sewn seams need to be trimmed, in order to make the corners, (which will change the flat tube to a 4 sided, 3 dimentional bag.

The process is measure, notch, trim(1), trim(2)--first the images, then the explaination



Trim (1)

Take the ruler, and measuring from a fixed point. For for me, the fixed point is the outside (folded edges)side edges of the tube, but you could also measure from the center of zipper. Find the half way point between the center front (zipper) and the outside edge of the bag.

This is not rocket science.. you can round up or round down, (or just pick 2 ¼ inches. )

(If you started with 22 inches of fabric, and 'used' a ½ inch or so for the zipper casing, and folded the fabric in half your tube will be ½ of 22 inches, (oe 11 inches) minus another ½ inch or about 10.5 inches.. so the half way point between the zipper and side (fold) will be about 2 ¼ inches. If your 'fat quarter' was a little bigger (22½ inches)or a little smaller, your measurement might be a little different.

You don't have to be exact, but do be consistent! If you chose 2¼ inches as your point, chose it on all 4 corners!

Make a notch (cut up to, but not into seam) and trim seam allowance close to seam, (about 1/8th inch) in center--but leave the seam allowance in place at the corners.

The last Trim(2) the folded edge of the corners-Then trim off the excess fabric from the corners.(see how the corners are now / and \ on each edge?

Now fold the corners of the tube.. (all 4) like this..

If you want, you can use the ruler as a straight edge, and mark a seam line (a plain old #2 pencil will work, or make a dotted line with a fine tipped marker, or use 'tailors chalk'--or you can just eye ball the seam/sewing line, using the pins as a guide.

Sew the corners.

WAIT.. if you want a handle on your bag, be sure to reach inside (to the right side) and tuck some ribbon into the points of the upper corners of the bag, so that when you sew the seam, the ribbon will be secured there (center the ribbon on the corner seam)

Sew the corner seams. Double stitch the seam.(and back tack the edges)

Repeat at all 4 corners!

Then trim again..

You're 99% done now!

All that is left is finishing the seams.

I like to zig zag over the corner seam, and enclose the top and bottom seam in bias tape.This is optional, but a nice finish. Bias tape can be just sewn in place--just fold it over the seam, and use a zig zag stitch to hold it in place.

The final details:

Turn the bag right side out.. (use a dull knitting needle to get sharp corners!)

Then top stitch (close to seam line) the bottom edge of bag, making sure as you do to sew through the bias tape enclosed seam--if you haven't bothered to enclose the seam, just finger press the seam to the bottom of the bag, and top stitch through all the layers (this is a bit of pain to do, but it gives the bag a nice finish.

Trim all and any loose threads, and you bag is done!
Back to first part of project
Link to part 2
Link to part 3

Friday, April 18, 2008

Making a Fat Quarter Craft/Project bag, part 3

An image intensive post (5 images)
Step 4
Top stitch the zipper.

You can, if desired, at this point stop and iron the lining/zipper tape edge.. but don't press the outer fabric. It is a PITA if you only have a full size iron, but not too bad if you have one of those mini irons used for quilting. It

Starting once again at the bottom of the zipper, top stitch the zipper.

I like to have a folded edge that hides the zipper teeth--it's a style-- but you could just top stitch the fabric an leave the teeth exposed.

If you've used a fancy zipper, (a heavy weight one, or one with jewels, or fancy teeth, leaving the teeth exposed is a very attractive finish--but for a plain zipper, a placket is nice. (and its harder to cut fancy zippers to length... and working with an 18 inch zipper (vs a 22 inch one) makes it harder to sew the project.

I used a plain vanilla zipper, so I made a folded edge, (and 'finger pressed' it in place) –you could finger press, (which is exactly what it sounds like.. you press the fabric with pressure from you finger!), or spend some time pressing with a cool iron (you don't want to have an iron touch the zipper teeth, they will melt and the zipper won't work!) or pin the fold in place.

This detail is one that shows, so take your time..

Top stitch both sides of the zipper--and again, start from bottom of zipper, and sew to top.

OK, you're half way done, and the hardest part is finished!

At this point, you'll want to zip up the zipper, and trim the extra length off..

To do this, use a wide zig zag stitch (or hand stitch a bar over zipper near to where you want to trim it.)

See how I first trimmed the zipper, an then realized the END of the zipper was still too long, and I added a second bar.. (in the next step, the first bar tack on the zipper will be trimmed off.)

You should 'close' the top of the zipper the same way.. this image shows the zipper tacked (and the seam sewn, and trimmed.. I forgot to take an image of the sewing the top of the zipper closed at the time I did it.

Just be careful not to break the sewing needle on the built in metal stops at the top of the zipper. And then un zip the zipper about half way. I can't say this often enough.. it's a real PITA if you continue working on the project with the zipper completely zipped.

Now you have a tube. The top of tube and the bottom of tube are still open--but not for long. and the hardest part is done.. the rest is easy compared to putting in the zipper. You should also notice, the tube is inside out.. (the solid green lining is visible, the water color outer fabric is inside.)

Back to first part of project
Link to part 2
Link to part 4(Not active now)

Making a "Fat Quarters" Craft Project bag-part 2

Warning--image intensive post! (13 images)

Once you have the material, it's easy to get started.
Step 1

Iron the fabrics, (getting rid of the fold lines)

Trim the interfacing and iron it on to the LINING fabric.

IF the lining fabric has a right and wrong side, be sure to iron onto the wrong side! (follow the directions that come with the interfacing for ironing it on to fabric)

It is OK if it doesn't perfect come up to edges.. some of the edges will be trimmed.

But, like any sewing project, the neat and more precise you are in each step, the nicer your finished project will be!

But be aware, not all fat quarters are perfectly 'square' (they don't always have perfectly straight edges, and some are smaller (only 17 3/4 inches, or only 21 1/2 inches) These minor variation don't matter much. the finished bags will be nominal the same size. In my case, the fabric I select for the lining was much smaller than the outer fabric.

Take the zipper out, and iron the zipper tape too, (not required, but it makes sewing it in easier)

Step 2,
Layer the fabrics, place the Right sides together, (wrong side out, facing you).

First the lining fabric goes down, (with right side facing up)
Then place outer fabric down, (with right side facing down)

Pin the zipper in place.

Fold back the edge of the outer fabric, and place zipper down, right side of zipper facing up.
The zipper will be parallel to one of the 18 inch edges of the fat quarters.
NOTE how the zipper extends beyond the edge of the fabric.

The top of the zipper will be at one edge, at the other end, the zipper will extend beyond the fabric.

The front of zipper should be facing up. (you see the zipper pull)

Place it on the lining fabric, about ¼ inch away from the 18 inch long edge.
(you can eyeball 1/4 of inch)

Position the Outer fabric on top, but make sure the edge of the outer fabric lines up with the edge of the zipper tape. Pin the zipper in place

(NOTE how it is pinned.. Pins positioned this way can be 'sewn over' (and removed latter)

(This un even lining up of the fabric will make the lining slightly smaller than the outside.. and that is what you want!)

Turn the fabric over and do the same thing to the other side of the zipper. To do this, you fold the lining and you fold the outer fabric-- (you'll have a tube, with one side of the tube the wrong side of the lining (interfacing showing) and the other side of the tube the wrong side of the outer fabric, (in the center of the tube, will be the zipper)

(the fabric will look like this.. (lining on one side, out fabric on the other side))
Once again, line out fabric edge up with zipper tape, and lining fabric is about ¼ inch away from edge of zipper tape.

You might think, I could save a few cents, and get an 18 inch zipper.. (not a 22 inch one) and Yes, you could, but you'll also increase the effort required to get a neat zipper installation.. its worth the few cents more to use a longer zipper.

Step 3 (sewing!)

Remove the standard foot, and put in the zipper foot.

See how the zipper foot can be moved? (the needle can either be on the left side of foot or right side)

Can you install a zipper with out a zipper foot? Yes.
But it takes more effort to get a nice finish.

Another 'trick' to having a neat zipper install, it to always sew in 1 direction--(in this case all seams will start at bottom of zipper and will be sewn to top (and here is were the extra length zipper makes things easier!)
First, roughly sew in zipper. OPEN the zipper (all the way!)

Place the seam under foot, and starting at bottom, sew in one edge of zipper.

The zipper foot should be on tape/outside edge of seam, and the needle to the left of the foot.

Use the outer edge (the raw edge) as a guide. Sew in first half of zipper

Reposition zipper foot, and sew second seam.

Remove all the pins, and turn the tube right side out.

(outer fabric will be outside, and you'll see the teeth of the zipper..)

You'll have a tube that can be opened, or zipped up!

Reposition zipper foot, and sew second seam.

Remove all the pins, and turn the tube in side out..

(outer fabric will be outside, and you'll see the teeth of the zipper..)

You'll have a tube that can be opened, or zipped up!

A “fat quarters” craft bag

This tutorial is photo intensive,(about 40 images from start to finish) so it will be broken up into several parts.

It got started as a request for some general sewing instructions.. and specific, ones too..

This is what the finished product looks like..

It takes about 2 hours for an experienced sewer to make, about double that time for someone with less experience. It has minimal cutting.. and once you get the concept, you can make bigger or smaller bags.

These bags are fully lined, and nicely finished--they cost about $7 to make, (a package of 5 co-ordinating fat quarters cost between $6 to $10, and from 5 fat quarters, you can make 2 bags.
Use of coupons (and many craft stores have 40% off coupouns) and sales can drive the price down. (And if you have fabric (at least 1/2 yard) you can make your own fat quarters.

Part 1

2 fat quarters of fabric (a fat quarter is about 22 X 18 inches) these can be found in fabric and in craft stores. (you can use remnants or buy a half yard of fabric, too)--the advantage to the fat quarter's is minimal cutting is required.

½ yard (18 inches) of iron on interfacing.
(interfacing comes in several weights..(feather weight to heavy weight)
I suggest medium, but you can use light weight (for a soft bag) or heavy weight (for a stiffer bag)--just be sure to get iron in (and not sew in) interfacing. Most interfacing is 24 or more inches wide. (all you need is 18 X 22 inches)

1 22 inch zipper (I used a standard dressmakers zipper--you could use fancier zippers--but not for the first bag--(fancy zippers often can't be cut to length, and that makes construction harder)

some single or double fold bias tape (optional) if you are a beginning sewer, use the wider double fold—its easier

some ribbon (for a handle or inside loop)--the handle is optional, too, (one of the bags above has one, one doesn't.)

A spool of sewing thread.
Ideally the fabric, zipper, ribbon, bias tape and thread should, if not match, co-ordinate—but how well they match/co-ordinate is up to you.. I tend to like close color matches.. but wild and crazy combo's are OK too!)

You'll also need:

An iron
A sewing machine (a zig-zag machine make it easier, but you could do this on a straight stitch only machine)
A bobbin for the same
A zipper foot for the machine
A sharp scissors
A small ruler (I used the ruler on a stitch gauge)
And a basic idea on how to operate a sewing machine.

This bag is pretty simple to make.. but it does take some skill.

So get your materials together, and get started.

Link to part 2
Link to part 3 (not yet active)
Link to part 4 (not yet active)
Link to part 5 (not yet active)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Clever Hans has nothing on me!

I'm pretty clever, and say so myself, all the time. I take inordinate pride in my ability to digging a hole and making a hill at the same time, as well as being able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

But I might have reached my limit with home produced videos.

I can, I know, do all the steps required:
I can plan, I can narrate, I can film—-and do a good job with each..
But, when I have do all 3 simultaneously, well, I am reaching beyond my limit!

Still, I do it any way.

At this point, my video's might be of more entertainment value than of educational value, but I know, I won't get better with out practice—and practice I will.

(and trust me, bad as these are, the are the very best I've done so far--many more clips have been deleted than posted!)

So bottom, line, I have made a few (attempting to produce?) You Tube video's demonstrating some cast on's—I have been trying to focus on my favorites; variations of long, tubular and other interesting ones.

Eventually, I will learn how to focus the camera, keep up a running commentary, and knit (all 3 at the same time.)--or I'll find a slave to hold the camera. The occasional metallic click you hear on some of the video's is the sound of the knitting needle hitting the leg of the tripod—It's not easy knitting through a camera view finder!

Until my skills improve, enjoy my You Tube series for what they are, first attempts... Not perfect. (not even on the same planet as perfect!) --eventually, I'll get better, and they will be replaced with better!

PS: if you notice that the 2 color cast on video (the first and oldest) seems better that others, you're right! Lisa (aka Tsock Tsarina acted as cameraman (or is it camera woman?) on that video.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

What gives?

Well, for one, I haven't been doing to much knitting!

Last year, a small north east chain of fabric craft stores went out of business, and while I got some wool, (they didn't really carry a big selection of wool) I got some unfinished wood frames, and beads and jewelry findings, and fabric... and a bunch of other crafty stuff.

And I've been sewing, and jewelry making, and framing photographs..

Not much sewing.. but I did get 2 craft bags made, (one was part of a yankee swap at Thursday night's Bobmas party (a Ravelry thing)--I was anxious that it would be a disappointment.. (the idea was yarn, but wasn't limited to yarn) but it was swapped and Jesh ended up with it.. (and 1) managed to convince others not to take it from her, 2) did a better job of photograghing it!) --I've also done some mending for my Daughter-- not even a hours worth.

When I moved (5 years ago now!) my plan was to make the small entry hall (it's really small, about 40 inches wide by 65 inches long!) into a gallery area. The entry is painted a deep purple (for reference, it's a “Harold and Purple Crayon” purple... not some wimpy lavender or lilac.) It opens into my computer 'room' (a half room in NYC nomenclature—the room is the back half of the living room, --windowless, but with an open floor plan (I can see the living room window (and the NY skyline) sitting at the computer)

I've hung some photographs, and some plaques, --including a copper Failte (Welcome) but the arrangement was simple, and collection, small—just 15 small (mostly 4X 6) photographs.

The plan with the deep purple was to enliven the space with with metal and mirrors. There is a full length mirror on the back wall (a 40 inch wide wall). I have a brass planter, the aforementioned copper plaques, and most of the photo frames are gold or silver toned, or mirrored with gold or silver trim on the other two walls (each of which also has a doorway--the main entry on wall, the hall closet door on the opposite wall)

Now I have another Four 4 X6 photographs, and a half dozen 5 X7's to add to the mix.

The photographs, most of them are pictures of my grandchildren, (courtesy of my DIL, and son) have been mounted in the finished frames, but not yet hung.

I planned ahead when I hung the first lot—all the previous photographs were hung with 3M's Command adhesive hangers.. so removing and repositioning is rather simple—but still not done.. (soon, really soon!)

As mentioned, I bought unfinished frames, so I first had to sand, and paint (and add hanging hardware) so its not like I just bought some prints and put them into frames!

And I've been beading.. really the simples of things. Basic beads on string (or rather beading wire) with some simple earing to match. And until I get some clasps, they won't be finished (but they look good, even if they are just simple strings.. These are just 2 of the 4, there is another simple one in a darker leopard skin jasper, and a graduated string in poppy jasper. These join my much older sets of necklaces done in red jasper.(Jasper is one of my favorite stones--bet you never would have guessed!)

I'm at the turning point on my socks.. (the heel turning that is) they are looking good—you'll have to take my word—I haven't photographed them!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

OK—I lied.. the post about heels will have to wait!

First off, today is First of the month Free-Be, and second, the Red Ribbon socks are finished.

EZ was the Opinionated knitter; Anne Zilboorg is the the Knitting Anarchist; Anne Modisett is the Knitting Heretic—Me? I am the Imperfect Knitter.

The Red Ribbon sock –an experimental sock is a perfect example of my Imperfectionist tendencies.

It's not a perfect sock. It's serviceable, (and I will wear then) but the design is imperfect--and there are some imperfections in the knitting too!
I am not a knitter who frogs, and frogs, and frogs again until I get it perfect—I don't aim for perfect.--small imperfections are perfectly OK with me.

This sock has LOTS of wonderful qualities, --but some, mostly æsthetic, flaws.

Take the toe... It's rooming and comfortable, but flat (and on the foot), the tip 'rolls' forward. And this is not æsthetically pleasing.

The Heel looks misshaped—but actually is amazing comfortable on foot—a series of hidden increases add ease where it is needed, and the center back decreases pull the sock tight over back of the heel.

The strong diagonal V's?--Not well thought out design wise (the back of the sock looks so much better than the front!) but they function very well—the sock wraps around the foot, ankle and leg.. and fits beautifully (the socks are very snug, but also very stretchy)

I have already cast on for a second pair of basically the same design--the currently noted imperfections will be resolved.. (Though, perhaps there will be other, unanticipated imperfections to come!)

(Oh, I forgot to mention, these socks were knit with some oatmeal color Kroy sock Yarn that was over dyed with easter egg food coloring to make a near solid light red yarn. The sock yarn was from a swap with Elizabeth (elsbeth, betsey, etc..)

The Carrageen Stitch Scarf

Carrageen is a pale yellow seaweed (that dries to a creamy white) that is harvested of the coast of Ireland, in the dark blue sea. The carrageen has ruffled leaves, and the sea is often choppy. The pattern captures the rich, deep colors and the motion of sea and seaweed.

Original designed for a chunky boucle,(discontinued!) the stitch pattern works well with solids, near solids and painted colorways. (and the original was given away (before I thought to photograph it!)

Like the sea, different yarns, create different effects—but don't feel you have to limit your self to blues.. this textured stitch works well with many color ways, and creates a deeply textured diagonal scarf.

Finished size: apx 10 inches by 45.

Use a needle appropriate for the yarn—the fabric should be open and drapy.
(you'll need between 200 yards(bulkier/CYC #) and 350 yards (finer/CYC#3)

Using long tail cast on, Cast on 27 (a multiple of 4+3) stitches—to 43 stitches--(Fewer for bulky yarns, more for finer yarns.)

Row 1: (wrong side row) K2, * P2, K2, * end with P1
Row 2: Knit in front and back of first stitch, K1, *P2, K2*, end last repeat with K2tog.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until desired length.
Bind off loosely in pattern.

The pattern stitch will be hard to recognizable a textured yarn, but contributes a deeply textured, random quality to the surface. With smooth fine yards, texture at first seems random.
(this is less true when knit straight.. the diagonal nature of the scarf contributes to the effect)

The front side is offset (purl one knit stitch, then purl one purl stitch, (P2) followed by knit one purl stitch , then knit one knit, (k2) similar to a double seed stitch
The wrong side is Purl the knits, and knits the purls.

The stitch pattern is designed for bias/diagonal knitting, but can also be adapted to working in the round--
Worked in brown earthy colors, the result is something like plowed fields, worked in blues and greys, it's like a pebbled beach—in bright colors, it could look like a field of wild flowers.

(A reminder: this pattern, simple as it is, is copyrighted. Do not copy or distribute in any formate with out express permission--the about page of this blog has an email address if you wish to contact me)