Swatch It! Spring/Summer 2015
By Clara Parkes
Dropped-stitch patterns are wonderfully deceptive. At first, your knitting looks dense and cohesive, a pretty piece of fabric that'd be right at home in a sweater. But then you reach your destination and release the designated stitches, and suddenly your fabric opens up to reveal something else entirely.
This "what you see isn't what you get" phenomenon can make yarn choices a challenge, especially if you want to substitute for something other than what the pattern specifies. Complicate matters by stranding two different yarns together, instead of using just one, and things really get fun. And since knitting is about having fun, that's what I decided to do, using Brenda Patipa's Acanthus pattern as my guide.
Let it Go: Zen and the Art of Crafty Minimalism
by Rachael Herron
I’ve been thinking a lot about minimalism lately, and I believe that to make yourself happier, you should get rid of your stash.
Whoops. That shook you up, didn’t it? I’m kidding! Kidding! Actually, I’m not kidding. But I’ll give you a minute to get your breath back.
I’ll start by noting that some people are truly not bothered by clutter. My better half is one of them, a soul actually soothed by leaning piles of books, papers, and artwork. If that’s you—and if that’s working for you—that’s fine. I envy you. The universe tends toward entropy and you are already comfortable with this fact of life. But if the size of your stash makes you feel stressed or if clutter in your house makes you anxious, stick with me. If you long for organization, if you wish you could catalog everything in your stash with a quick flip through the ol’ mental Rolodex but can’t figure out where to start, keep reading.
Plenty of Provisions
By Marnie MacLean
When I started designing, back when I only offered free patterns on my own website, and deadlines and schedules were the furthest thing from my mind, I would design in a sort of stream-of-consciousness way, working a bit of the design, trying it on and going where the yarn and my mood took me. To keep my options open, I’d almost always start with a provisional cast-on. I hadn’t learned to estimate yardage so it made it possible to lengthen or shorten the piece, without much fuss, and I could pick a hem that suited the design, once I figured out what that design would be.
How the West Was Wooled
Part 1: A History Lesson
By Hypatia Francis
by Fiona Ellis
Color is a powerful thing, triggering emotional responses in all of us. And red is perhaps the most powerful color of all, evoking everything from passion and power to rage and romance. In some cultures it’s symbolic of purity or joy and happiness—one of the reasons it’s a traditional wedding color for brides in China, India, Pakistan, and Vietnam. Shift the cultural lens to the west and the red has a very different meaning: seduction, questionable morals, and even danger.
Give Them the Slip: In Defense of Mosaic Knitting
Mosaic knitting is one of those techniques that truly is easier than it looks. It offers a simple way to manipulate what is essentially striped knitting into a wonderful variety of decorative elements.
In mosaic knitting, you alternate between two rows of a darker and a lighter color, but instead of working every stitch in the row, some stitches are slipped. That’s really all there is to it.
The term mosaic knitting was coined by Barbara Walker and described in a 1976 book devoted to the technique. While the name is sometimes used more loosely to refer to all slip-stitch patterns, Walker used it to refer to a technique defined by a specific set of rules. What makes mosaic different from most other slip-stitch patterns is that within the constraints of those rules, a designer can create new motifs and repeat patterns and images.