knitting blog archive: Spring 2004


[Note: I lost these photos and am about to frog this project. I found glaring asymmetries in my work that would have affected fit and wasn't in love with the results.]

So here are pics of the Black Forest Jacket. I am getting into the home stretch with it now, working the first sleeve after completing the body, yoke and collar. This one is knit sideways and I am planning to felt it. (You do know I make this stuff up as I go along, right?) So the planning that felting requires was a real pain for a maverick like me, but the yummy soft felted swatch persuaded me to go to all that trouble nonetheless.

I had two massive hanks of Skacel Merino lace yarn: over 1300 yards a hank; I grew tired just winding the ball! It was fine as thread and recommended a size 0 needle. Screw that! I was irked just knitting one row of it at that gauge.

But there is so much yardage; I can't just let it go to waste. I thought double strands of shrink-proof merino would make an interesting boucle fabric when knitted and felted with worsted wool.

When examining the felted swatch, I concluded it looked best from the purl side when set sideways, more like Chanel. So I knit the torso with short row shaping roughly in the shape of a denim jacket, but with a much more shapely fit. What look like seam lines are 3 rows of knit in the sea of purl.

I had to do a little increasing and decreasing for the bust shaping, and I'm not sure how this is going to felt. I hope it does not create a tight spot in the fabric. Do you know how the increases and decreases are going to felt? Tell me!


<Begin Rant>

Is anyone else bothered by fashion editors who don't know the difference between knit and crochet? This ignorance extends to catalog writers (and others in the industry trained to know better), who frequently refer to anything lacy as crochet, regardless whether made with two needles or one hook. The terms knit and crochet do not describe the way a thing looks, but the manner in which it was made.

Exhibit A: Vogue, May 2004; page 237 shows a lovely white finely knit skirt suit with pearl buttons and scalloped hems, identified as "Chanel crocheted cardigan with matching skirt ...." Agreed, crochet does join some sections, and there's a bit of crocheted lace at the hem of the skirt. However, 95% of the suit is knit in a masterful patchwork of patterned knit stitches and knitted lace. To call this suit crocheted is a slap in that knitter's face and an underestimation of her abilities.

Copywriter and editor must argue over it at the final edit (I hope someone argued) and they decide calling knitting crochet is easier since the public doesn't seem to know the difference anyway.

If you act as if they are stupid, they will be. Stop dumbing down your copy.

<End rant>

Anyhoo, a few site items for you, my audience, whom I just discovered are actually out there! I thought I was publishing this page in the dark, but shock of shocks (!), this page got over 1000 hits yesterday. Wow. I've got to do more, much more.

So my husband is working on a redesign. I never told you that the site is Ethan O'Brien's work. I just do the knitting and publish the content. As soon as he can find the time in his busy schedule, we plan to rebuild domiKNITrix from the ground up ... better, faster, sexier than before. I have in mind to add a discussion board where you can show us your own freaky projects. I also hope to get some folks to register, so I can start developing a network of freaky knitters to execute my master plan to re-knit the world.

If there is anything in particular that you would hope to see on domiKNITrix version 2.0, please let me know. I'm happy to report that the e-mail link at the bottom of this page now has a working address, so bring it on. Messages sent prior to 6/19 were lost in the ether, so if you e-mailed me about the opportunity of a lifetime (and I'm sure at least 1000 spammers did) and got a bounce, be sure to re-send now.



Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

When I was nine, my Mom taught me to knit while on a car trip to visit Grandma in Arizona. Mom was knitting a brioche stitch sweater in autumn tones at the time and had a handy set of interchangeable needles along for the ride. She was able to spare a pair of needles and some yarn for me to play. To this day I am grateful that she taught me the Continental technique. At first I twisted my knit stitches, so she literally had to straighten me out. I think I knit a little scarf, but it might just have been a stockinette swatch.

Then I found my first project in Seventeen magazine when I was ten.

They had run a "Learn to knit" article, featuring a sleeveless shell project made of two squares joined at the shoulder and side seams. It had an angled yoke of basket weave stitch and crochet trim to finish the arm openings. If memory serves, I knit it from Red Heart cotton yarn that was about 4 stitches to the inch. The color was lilac.

My stockinette gauge was uneven and the ribbing at the waist sagged. My crochet trim was a little off balance: a ruffle on one arm and a smooth fitting trim on the other. But I wore it often and I was proud. Unstructured was in at that time, so it worked. When the faded lilac sweater was culled from my closet during a routine cleaning in the mid-80's, my mother insisted on taking it for her own. She wore it for a few more years until I insisted she clean it from her closet and use it as a rag.

That simple pattern was the basis of my first experiments designing my own knitting patterns. Since it was really just a square, I made another one in a slightly smaller gauge, in a shiny blue yarn. Then another, in a white cotton yarn. Instead of the basket weave, I used a V of (YO, K2tog) eyelets this time for a more alluring yoke. Both of these sweaters I gave to Mom. I think she might even still have one of them.

Thanks for always showing pride in my handiwork, no matter how pathetic it was, Mom. I love you!


Not too long ago, I discovered Kureyon by Noro. This yarn is transfixing, addictive and deliciously colored. Beware.

I whipped up these items by knitting basic squares and rectangles that I then folded into bags and cases. I knit the purse straps in tubes with double pointed needles and finished them with an arrowhead point. I used some siphon tubing inside the straps to give them dimension.

I was judicious in my snipping of yarn to remove only those colors that were dragging down the end product (brown and gray), but I felt like I was defacing a work of art! Nonetheless, I think the eyeglass cases turned out nicely and the bag is richer as a result.

The fibers were so beautiful I just had to see how they would felt. I love this yarn!

Here is a site where several Kureyon patterns have been collected already:

Kureyon patterns at Evandra.com


Well, I think I was pretty restrained in my yarn purchases at Stitches West. All I bought was a bunch of hemp yarn in a denim blue, and New Zealand Wool in olive green. I spent most of my money on publications and classes.

But now I've discovered I can buy yarn on eBay and made the mistake of thinking I wasn't going to win some of the items I had bid on. I won them all.


Remember momma always said the devil would find work for idle hands? Well, here's some wicked work for you. Check out my L'il Devil hoodie in the making. I started this during the state of the Union speech.

How did I get so far so fast? Well, the yarn sure did help. Two.Two from Classic Elite just flies of my needles. Two.Two is fat and hard to split, with a very soft hand. It splices easily and invisibly, unlike a lot of cabled yarns that make a sloppy splice. For a demonstration of splicing this yarn, see Splicing in Techniques/How To's. I used up a whole ball just listening to the speech. Thanks to KnitPicks for offering this yarn on special before the holidays! [NOTE: This yarn has since been discontinued.]

For more general tips on how to get your knitting projects finished more quickly, see my article DomiKNITrix, where do you find the time?

For the L'il Devil project from start to finish, see Projects .