Skip to main content


Subtleties of Feather & Fan — welts

  This is the fourth and final post in my series on four-row feather and fan. The first post was about stockinette and reverse stockinette. The second post was about ridges and valleys. The third post was about garter. The final group of variations are four based on welts. These are two rows of stockinette followed by two rows of garter. Their rhythm when working back and forth is knit, knit, purl, purl once established. 13. k p p k  reverses to  14. p k k p 15. k k p p  reverses to  16. p p k k Version 13: stockinette Row 1: knit in pattern Row 2: knit all Row 3: purl all Row 4: purl all In this version, the welt is directly above the pattern row, as rows 1 and 4 recede while 2 and 3 advance. The fan portion much resembles the broccoli crowns from version 10 with a valley below a purled pattern row. The welts through the feather section show, but they are more subtle than some of the other options in this group. The decreases show a little bit.
Recent posts

Subtleties of Feather & Fan — garter stitch

This is the third post in my series on four-row feather and fan. The first post was about stockinette and reverse stockinette. The second post was about ridges and valleys. Continuing through the options, the next variations are just two — knit garter and purl garter. 11. k p k p  reverses to  12. p k p k Version 11: knit garter Row 1: knit in pattern Row 2: knit all Row 3: knit all Row 4: knit all Unsurprisingly, garter stitch produces a rough texture. The feather pattern is essentially obscured, although the two ridges are subtly different, with one ridge being thicker than the other. Once again, we encounter the outlined filigree in the fan section, as we saw in version 8 when placing a valley on row 3. Version 12: purl garter Row 1: purl in pattern Row 2: purl all Row 3: purl all Row 4: purl all The purl garter is surprisingly nice. There is a subtle difference in the two ridges through the feather section, but to my eyes it reads as

Subtleties of Feather & Fan — ridge and valley

This is the second post in my series on four-row feather and fan. The first post was about stockinette and reverse stockinette. Continuing through the options, the next group produces three rows of stockinette with a ridge of purls or three rows of reverse stockinette with a valley of knits. This is the largest group, accounting for half of the sixteen options.  3. p k k k  reverses to    4. k p p p  5. k p k k  reverses to    6. p k p p  7. k k p k  reverses to    8. p p k p  9. k k k p  reverses to  10. p p p k The consideration for these variations is where will the ridge or valley appear in relationship to the pattern row? Variations 3, 5, 7, and 9 are simply the purl ridge executed on row 1, 2, 3, or 4. Similarly, variations 4, 6, 8, and 10 are their inverses, with a knit valley executed on row 1, 2, 3, or 4. The ridges: Version 3: ridge on pattern Row 1: purl in pattern Row 2: purl all Row 3: knit all Row 4: purl all Placing the

Subtleties of Feather & Fan — stockinette & reverse stockinette

If you've read this blog for awhile or taken a class with me, you may know I swatch. It isn't uncommon for me to think of three or four ways to do something. I'll audition each one, evaluating it. By the way, for those of you who wonder why some people connect STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) with STEAM (same letters with the "A" added for arts), it is because the processes are similar. In engineering or science you have ideas. You test them. You evaluate. Did they work? Did something unexpected happen? Why? Can you improve upon it? Did you learn something? The arts are the same way. What happens if I do this? Do I like it? What if I do this other thing instead? Both process involve trial and error, including a willingness to travel dead ends on the way to a more brilliant solution. I'm thinking about what projects I need to fill out a couple books on versa lace. I was thinking about a Shetland hap. A hap is a quotidi

Reversible Illusion Knitting

I've been aware of the work of Steve Plummer for some time. His illusion knits include not merely simple geometric designs but complicated illusions such as Albert Einstein or Mona Lisa. But the sad thing about illusion knits is they are not reversible. Until now. I am very excited to add an illusion knitting class to my repertoire. And now that I can show you how to work it reversibly, so much the better. In fact, I think this might be easier, as you are always looking at the right side of the work. And the two sides are independent, which means you can work the same pattern on both sides or different patterns. Just be sure both charts are the same size and they both start with the same color. Here is a simple example. One side is a checkerboard. The other side is two large triangles. I'll see if I can make a larger, more impressive sample.

Surprising Tips

Like so many knitters, I am curious about the latest gadgets. My stash is large. I feel guilty acquiring new yarn. (In spite of this, whatever yarn I want for my next project never seems to be a yarn already in the stash.) But, I do want to support friendly local yarn shops. When I was in Ligonier, Pennsylvania last year, Kathy Zimmerman had Prym double-pointed needles in her shop. I had seen these at TNNA in the summer of 2018 . Actually, I had seen the straights, but had not seen the double-points. When Kathy had some, I bought a set. It turns out the Prym double-points are rather nice. I'm not typically a fan of plastic, but these are okay. They are not as slick as metal, but they are smooth. They have the correct amount of friction. They are also lighter and warmer than metal. They have a little give, which can prevent hand fatigue. And they have a triangular cross-section. As a fan of the sadly discontinued Kollage square needles, the unusu

Potential Progress

The tussle with the Bohus Forest Darkness sweater continues. I think I am winning. Maybe? I ripped back to the colorwork, then tinked out the last color pattern including the final plain increase round. That was five rounds of 400 stitches each. It was in pulling out those rounds that I discovered the moths had nibbled on color 306 in the penultimate color pattern. That was another four rounds to pick out. Grrrr. After all the pain of tinking, I finally got to start knitting forward. The color patterns proceeded pretty well. I was able to wet-splice the yarn the moths had eaten. I put in a lifeline after the colorwork. I worked the short rows. I used the same number of short rows as written in the pattern, but I spaced them 4 stitches apart instead of 5. And I used the German short row technique. After working the crescent of short rows, I put in another lifeline. After adding about an inch and a half in the front, I divided for the body and sleeves.