Saturday, January 27, 2018

New pattern: Anagram

I'm so happy to finally be able to share this pair of projects with you! The Anagram Hat & Wrap are part of the new amirisu Winter 2018 issue, along with seven other patterns celebrating texture in knitting.

Photo by amirisu

The Anagram Hat is a cosy beanie with crisp texture, and its sibling the Anagram Wrap is a large dramatic rectangle with an all-over lace pattern. The stitch patterns combine modern geometric lace with garter stitch for texture and squish factor.

Geometric stitch patterns have become a real signature of mine - I find them very satisfying, both in the designing stage and the knitting. Because of the small repeating elements in their stitch patterns, the Hat & Wrap are very rhythmic and meditative to knit. I rearranged the little 'blocks' of pattern, with diagonal lines travelling across the garter stitch background, just like rearranging the letters in a word - so I think of these two stitch patterns as 'anagrams' of each other.

Photo by amirisu

The Anagram Hat & Wrap are both knit in Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in the delicate wintery shade 'Thaw'. Arbor's beautifully crisp stitch definition really lets their texture shine. You will need 7 skeins for the wrap and 2 for the hat (including a pompom if you wish).

Photo by amirisu

Hat Features:
  • a cosy textured beanie in modern geometric lace
  • can be topped with a pompom if you wish
  • knit in the round from the bottom up
  • techniques include the long tail cast on, and lace knitting including the occasional double increase and decrease
  • suitable for solid or semi-solid-dyed DK-weight yarn
  • one size, easy to alter by changing the number of repeats around
  • pattern includes full written instructions as well as charts.

Wrap Features:
  • a long cosy rectangular wrap in modern geometric lace
  • knit flat from end to end
  • techniques include the long tail cast on, lace knitting, and a stretchy bind off
  • suitable for solid or semi-solid-dyed DK-weight yarn
  • one size, easy to alter by changing the number of repeats across or lengthwise
  • pattern includes full written instructions as well as charts. 

Photo by amirisu

The patterns are available as part of amirisu Winter 2018, Issue 15. You can purchase a print copy from their website or your favourite yarn shop, or a digital copy from amirisu's website or Ravelry.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

How to graft garter stitch

Grafting aka Kitchener Stitch is used to seamlessly join two sets of 'live' stitches together. It's commonly used at the toe of socks knit from the top down, but it's useful for other types of project too, including cowls! Two of my cowl designs, Folia Loop and my new Aether Cowl, are knit flat and then grafted garter-stitch-style.

Aether Cowl

Grafting garter stitch is a little simpler than the better-known method for stockinette, since in this case the steps for the front needle and back needle are identical.

The Method:

When your project is ready to be grafted, prepare by breaking your yarn, leaving a long tail, then thread it onto a darning needle. Unpick your provisional cast on and place the live stitches onto another knitting needle. Ensure you have the same number of stitches on each needle. Hold the needles parallel, tips pointing to the right, with the wrong sides of the cowl together.

Begin grafting by inserting the darning needle into the 1st front-needle stitch purlwise, then into the 1st back-needle stitch purlwise. Now work garter-style Kitchener stitch:

*Front needle: insert darning needle knitwise into 1st stitch and slip the stitch off, insert darning needle into 2nd stitch purlwise, pull the yarn through, and adjust the tension. Back needle: as for front needle. Repeat from * until all stitches are grafted.

Tip: when adjusting the tension of the graft, I like to hold my left index finger under the grafted stitches so I can check that the graft matches the surrounding fabric.

Finally, break the yarn if necessary and pull it through the final stitch to fasten off. If you blocked your project before grafting and you feel the grafted row could do with blocking too, you can now spot-block it using a spray bottle.

For tips on casting on for a cowl which will later be grafted, see my previous tutorial: How to work a Provisional Cast On.