It's Not an Error, It's a Design Feature
Remember that stitch pattern I promised to write down for you? The one from the vintage baby cardigan?
I sat down to work it out and realized that I'd knit the thing incorrectly.
I have an excuse. The Lister & Co. booklet is in rough shape. The first half of the pages have separated from the second half. The first half contained the key to the abbreviations. The second half is the half that came with me on the road. When I encountered "m1" (make one), I had to guess as to what it meant. It was a single increase, obviously–but what sort of increase?
Since this piece wasn't intended to be an accurate historical recreation, I didn't fuss over what was necessarily appropriate for the period. I tried my preferred "lifted increase" (making a new loop from the running thread between the stitches, and knitting it through the back). It looked good. I moved along.
Turns out, upon consulting the front half, that Lister's editor intended "m1" in this pattern to be a yarn over. (Yarn over in this book is also called "wfd" or "wool forward," which is in part why I assumed "m1" would not also be a yarn over; but the English like to toy with you in this fashion from time to time.)
So in knitting the swatch, I tried it both ways–mine and theirs.
Both have their attractions. Lister's yarn over produces a small hole in the center of the motif that I find very fetching. My lifted increase preserves the solid fabric and looks more like a cable. Use whichever you prefer.
This version of the pattern will give you the raised welt with two purl stitches on either side.
Multiple of 5 sts + 2
Row 1 (RS). *P2, k3. Rep from * ending p2.
Row 2. *K2, bring yarn to near side of work, sl next st as if to p, p2. Rep from *, ending k2.
Row 3. *P2, place right ndl across near side of work and pwise into 3rd knit st. Lift 3rd knit st over first and second knit sts and off the left ndl. K1, inc 1 (see note above), k1. Rep from *, ending p2.
Row 4. *K2, p3. Rep from * ending k2.
Repeat rows 1–4 until you are quite finished.
Two Hats, Both Alike in Dignity
By odd coincidence, I had two hat patterns hit the street within weeks of one another, both knit with yarns from the same company: Blue Moon Fiber Arts, the good people who bring you Socks That Rock.
The first is for Carol Sulcoski's new book, Sock Yarn Studio, a compendium of projects that are made from sock yarns, yet are not socks. I christened the design "Roselein" because of the very abstract little rose at the top of the crown.
It has ear flaps you begin at the lower ends with Judy's Magic Cast On. The cable pattern on the flaps, the brim and the crown is all the same basic pattern–it's the three different locations (and the number of repeats) that make it look so different.
Style note. The buttons and loops on the flaps are meant to be decorative. Unbuttoned: whimsical, carefree, gamine. Buttoned: idiotic. Warm, perhaps–but idiotic.
The other hat was actually knit for Blue Moon Fiber Arts, as part of their 2012 Rockin' Sock Club. Tina Newton, the head of the house, pairs up designers for each monthly installment, so you get two designs that use the same yarns. She paired me with Anna Zilboorg, because perpetual humilitation is my lot in life.
Anna made gorgeous socks. I made a colorwork hat with a band of bare, angular, slightly crazed branches. I call it Buckthorn.
There was some added fun with this one when Tina realized that the variegated yarn she'd sent us was too heavy for shipping. Hey, it could happen to anyone. That yarn had to be replaced with a lighter (but thicker) yarn in a different fiber, and with far less of it. I had to trash the original design and come up with a decent replacement. There are some little tricks in the pattern to make the most of the variegated yardage–plus a variegated curlicue on top for good measure.
If pressed, I would say that I made a stranded two-color autumn hat that doesn't have leaves or snowflakes in anywhere in it. Kids, I'm calling that a win.
I had delightful company over the weekend–a weaver and spinner who convinced me it might be time to do something with the bobbin of Border Leicester that's been sitting on my wheel for...uh...three years. So I chain-plied it and now it's done. Fairly terrible, but done.
No, wait. I fib. It hadn't been sitting on my wheel for three years. Because last year, during the Tour de Fleece, I decided my goal would be to take it off the flyer and stick it on the bobbin rack. So I did. Then I had a celebratory finish line drink. And wouldn't you know my victory turned out to be more honest than Lance Armstrong's. Wanna buy my bracelet?