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Casting on: Hot in Norway

Posted on by MK Carroll

Rhinebeck is this weekend! I'm not going!  

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Instead of crying into my teacup, I've cast on for my "not going to Rhinebeck" sweater. While I have other projects going on, it's mostly work related and involves a fair amount of stopping and starting and thinking and tracking etc., and even the House Clogs I'm knitting require keeping track of shaping rows. That's just too much for me at the end of the day, when I want something soothing, meditative, and hard to screw up. Last year around this time, my attempt at that was a scarf knit in mistake rib, which I managed to repeatedly mess up by making mistakes in mistake rib (basically I'd start knitting ribbing "correctly"). This year? This year it's big blocks of garter stitch for an oversized, baggy sweater, a modification of the Skappelgenseren that reportedly took Norway by storm in 2012. Instead of the fingering-weight yarns called for, I'm using a single strand of worsted weight, Berroco Remix that I originally bought in 2011 to knit a Beatnik with. I got three sleeves and a hem in and then it hibernated - in order to fit me, I'd have to modify the armscye and sleeves, something I just wasn't up for. The gauge is close to the recipe, but the fabric is a bit denser, so there's a nice nubbly texture. I think it will be very much a tropical version of the Skappelgenseren, and useful for me if it does manage to cool off here by December. 

Other modifications: slipping the first stitch of each row, to help firm up the sides (it's drapey enough to need structure from the seams), and I added 6 stitches to the front and back. I'll likely adjust the sleeve stitch count as well. 

On My Bookshelf: Pop Knitting

Posted on by MK Carroll

A shorter version of  this book review was originally published in Knit Edge magazine, issue #2. The review copy was purchased at full retail price. As a member of the Powell's Books Partner Program, I receive a 7.5% commission on referrals.

Pop Knitting: Bold Motifs Using Color & Stitch

Pop Knitting: Bold Motifs Using Color & Stitch

Pop Knitting: Bold Motifs Using Color & Stitch

Britt-Marie Christoffersson

Interweave Press

With decades of experience in design, textiles, and knitting, Britt-Marie Christoffersson offers up 200+ pages of striking examples of using basic knitting techniques to create eye-popping textures, color patterns, and embellishments. It’s a wonderful way for experienced knitters to reconsider the possibilities of knitting, and an exceptional way for less experienced knitters to explore how simple techniques like slipped stitches, casting on, binding off, and knitting in different directions can create interesting fabrics. 

Instructions are provided for each stitch pattern in written form, accompanied by color photographs. A few of the stitch patterns are also shown worked up as cardigans, and a very simple cardigan template and brief instructions on how to use stitch pattern swatches to calculate a garment are provided. Knitters may find additional books such as Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns handy for finding ways to use the stitch patterns to make wearable pieces.

 Many of the stitch patterns are time-consuming and will leave the knitter with a lot of loose ends to weave in and tidy up. They are also excellent ways to use up small amounts of yarns, with striking results.