Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I've been spending my knitting-time on design lately, and design is a slow beast to ride. I love it -- designing and creating is what I do, in general -- but it also involves more ripping out and less visible progress than I sometimes like.

It, or maybe the giant CONE of wool I'm designing bits of Aran goodness with, have also pushed me toward nonmonogamy. Here is what I've done with the two skeins of Noro Transitions I bought:

Sleeves, in a simple lace pattern lifted from part of an Interweave Knits pattern somewhere. (Note the small wad of zombie-flesh-colored yarn I removed from both skeins just before the sleeve caps.) I like these sleeves, but they do seem to lack something. What is it? Oh yes, a body. These sleeves were meant to be a shrug. Damn. So I've bought some gray chunky cashmerino to deal with that, but the sleeves hibernate while I get on with my real obsession lately...

What is it? It's a swatch, but it's a swatch of the one thing I started knitting for... a custom-designed Aran. You're looking at [a swatch of] the right side of the front, where I've tested the way my cables grow out of the neckline.

Things I know about the design so far:
  • It will be done top-down, FLAK style, starting with narrow plaits acting as mini-saddles.
  • It will have set-in sleeves, also top-down but probably just sewn in rather than done with short rows.
  • From outside to center, the cables are
  • The V-neck really will have a simple rolled-under edge, since that puts the emphasis on how the cables grow out of it.

I'm happy to leave some of the design for later in the project. I have ideas for the sleeves and the side panels that I'm hoping will be good, though. This sweater may or may not be a tour de force, but it will be a tour de as much force as I have. This is the thing I've wanted to be working on since pretty much the day I picked up needles.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Celtic Spiral Cable... Scarf Pattern

I've charted out a cable, inspired to do so after looking at a sweater called Durrow and wishing its cables had just a bit more continuity. It's a transcription into cabling of a pattern on page 33 of Celtic Art: the Methods of Construction by George Bain, which I've had since I was a kid. (There are others in the book I'd like to try charting as well, but not until I see what's in the new Melissa Leapman book on closed cables that comes out next month.)

Here's the chart:

And here's the knitting:

It's a large repeat, but I'm happy with the way it knits up. For people looking closely: the top repeat in the photo is a perfect reflection of the chart, the lower repeat is not. Also, though I know it's a bit of a beast with a lot going on, it *is* well-behaved in that cables only move, cross, are formed or decreased on the right-hand sides. The over/under weave is regular as well.

I want this to become my first contribution to Ravelry, but they're not quite ready to handle stitch patterns as separate entities. So here is the (ahem!) pattern for a Celtic Spiral Cable Scarf:

  • Using any yarn and any needles that will provide good cable definition, cast on 31 stitches (17 for the cable, 4 more for a 2-stitch rev st st border, and 5 stitches of garter stitch on each side).
  • Work 10 rows of garter stitch.
  • Working a 7-stitch border on each side as described, work 6 cable repeats.
  • Work 10 more rows of garter stitch and cast off.

I think this cable, along with its mirror image, and maybe a horseshoe cable in between them, could also make a great sweater front. :)