On Pins & Needles
February 5, 2013
A super-quick, photo-free post to impart two pieces of vital information.
1. Non-knitting discovery: there is a really nice, tiny fabric/quilting/embroidery shop on Lexington Avenue between 74th Street and 75th Street. It’s friendly! It has a well-curated selection of fabrics for quilting and making simple clothing. It’s called Pins & Needles. I got some lovely quarter-yards of Liberty Tana Lawn for my someday quilt involving either the Union Flag or Old Glory or possibly both. The owner, Rachel, also keeps a lovely blog.
I would never have known about this 2-year-old shop if the Parking Space Fairy hadn’t granted me a metered spot right in front of the sandwich board sign at the shop door. It’s an upstairs shop, so you have to be looking up to actually see it. I could have passed it by 100 times, and probably did. I’m so excited to be able to stop into this cute little place when I’m in the neighborhood, and see what’s new. Size-wise, and in other ways, it reminds me of “Old Purl.” New Purl is great, fabulous, wonderful–but sometimes I miss Old Purl. There is something about a tiny shop that makes each item more powerful.
2. Honey Cowl Almanac. In the comments to my previous post, Cookie got a discussion going about how to figure out when you need to stop knitting the Honey Comb stitch pattern on your Honey Cowl, with enough yarn left to knit 3 rows of stockinette edging and bind off–while maximizing the width of your cowl and minimizing your leftover yarn.
KNITTERS, WE HAVE THE ANSWER. WE ARE SMART! WE KNOW STUFF!
Note that this method only works if you are using more than one skein of yarn for your cowl. If you are using one big skein, split it into 2 equal skeins — by weight is the way I’d do it — before casting on. Then do as Pam suggests: when you are done with Skein 1, mark your spot with a stitch marker or by weaving in a length of contrasting waste yarn. Then, count how many rounds of the slip-stitch pattern you have up to that point. Let’s say it’s 20 (which means that you cast on, knit 3 rows of stockinette edging, and then knit 20 repeats of the 2-round pattern). Now you know that with the second (or third, for that matter–the last skein), you can knit 20 repeats of the 2 row pattern, plus 3 rounds of stockinette edging and a bind-off. If you’re nervous, knit one fewer repeat of the 2-round pattern to ensure plenty of yarn to finish.
Isn’t that clever? Isn’t that tidy? A similar methodology can be used in other situations where you are knitting a long distance in a consistent pattern. Basically you are using the skein of yarn as a unit of measure, converting that skein into X amount of edging and X number of rounds.
Sorry for no pictures. I really feel like a post needs a picture. But I have to go to Curriculum Night. Bringing my knitting FOR SURE.