Live From Denim Central
December 13, 2005
This morning, Ann is indisposed. She has been called away on an Urgent Matter involving Gingerbread Houses and something called the ‘pre-first’ grade. She expects to be up to her elbows in royal icing for the better part of the day. I would venture to say that although surely ‘pre-first’ graders are much more mature than kindergarteners, there may be airborne gumdrops. The vocabulary word for the day might be ‘pelting’.
Bless her heart, Ann is such a sucker.
What does this mean for you?
I’m afraid it means more denim. Denim denim denim. I heart denim. I do wonder whether I’ll wake up some morning, look around me, and ask myself, “Dude. What is with the denim?” But so far that hasn’t happened.
It’s a shame, really, because until this gingerbread thing came up, Ann was poised to show everyone the finished prototype of the Perfect Sweater. I’ve had a sneak peak, and I gotta say, it’s one heckuva Perfect Sweater. I daresay it’s the Ultimate Sweater, especially if your passion is stockinette stitch. This sweater is a long, smooth ride in the ol’ Stockinettemobile. And it fits Ann’s small-sized model, perfectly. Ann’s pleased and proud and being a knitter, she wants to tweak the living heck out of it.
But for that, you have to wait until Ann gets the calcified egg white out of her hair. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe never. The royal icing, she is a tenacious icing.
So here’s the denim show. Let’s get it over with, shall we? If y’all would just start knitting some denim, I could move on with my life. Until then, there will be…..
SIXTY-THREE SQUARES of Barbara Walker’s Learn-to-Knit Afghan, in–you guessed it–denim!!!
Today, though, just squares one through 10. I’m sorry, but you make me do this. Send me pictures of all the denim you’re knitting out there, and I’ll ease up on you. We can forget all about the other 53 squares.
Squares One Through Eight–Knit-Purl Combinations
Square 1: Striped Garter Stitch. When Barbara says ‘learn-to-knit’, she means Learn. To. Knit. Back to basics. I have to say, maybe I was having a good day or something, but I handled this one with no problems whatsoever.
Square 2: Striped Stockinette Stitch. Steady now, it’s time to learn-to-purl. Again, I was pretty comfortable. No surprises. At this point, I was still trying to heed Barbara’s advice–which she’s not very, um, flexible about–to learn to knit continental-style. I can do it, okay? I just don’t want to. I need to keep in touch with my inner Camp Fire Girl, and knit the way I was taught. It works fine, okay? Leave me alone!
Square 3: Basketweave. Knitting and purling in the same row. Remain calm.
Square 4: Lattice With Seed Stitch. I’d like to do the whole blanket in this. Lurvly.
Square 5: Diagonal Ribbing. A stair-steppy little stitch. Extremely difficult to photograph. Would make an awesome alternative to a regular ribbed edging. Plus it doesn’t pull like regular ribbing. I give it a big thumbs-up.
Square 6: Twisted and Crossed Ribbing. I.e., not really ribbing. This will look fabby when the indigo starts to rub off of the raised stitches.
Square 7: Garter and Rib Pattern. When Barbara wants to teach you something, she teaches you. This pattern is meant to show how “different patterns can create very obvious differences in gauge (number of stitches and rows to the inch) even when worked with the same yarn and needle size.” The garter spreads out and the ribbing pulls in.
Square 8: Rose Fabric. This is the last of the “Knit-Purl Combinations”, and it requires the death-defying maneuver of knitting in the stitch below. The revelation of Rose Fabric is that it is such a light, airy fabric, even in cotton. What I learned from Rose Fabric is that you can’t pick a stitch pattern just by looking at the picture.
Here’s where the learning curve went from flat to steep. I’d never knit a mosaic pattern before. They always struck my eye as kind of ruggish. Kilim-y. Pretty but what do you do with them? Another revelation was in store. Mosaic patterns yield a fabric that feels woven. It lies flat. It doesn’t spring the way knitting generally does. Sometimes that’s what you want.
Square 9: Horizontal Chain. Mod!
Square 10: Diagonal Chain. For the background color I used mixed strands of denim from my Texere cones.
Okay I’m done. For now.
I’ll be back.