Thursday, July 22, 2010

Do you detect a theme?

Do you detect a theme in some of my recent posts? I don't mean to throw a riddle at you, but perhaps you've noticed that I've fallen a bit for the Feather and Fan or Old Shale (pace E. Lovick) lace stitch. In its simplest form, it's suitable for a beginning knitter to learn the joys of lace knitting. It's repetitive enough for a traveling project yet not boring like, say, stockinette or garter stitch. It creates its own scalloped edges. If you want both edges to be completely alike, you can always knit to the middle of your piece, leave it on a long bit of yarn, knit a second half, and graft them together.

Now let's explore this stitch a bit in the round. It actually was easy to convert; all I had to do was eliminate the garter stitches at the edges, change rows 1 and 3 to make them RS rows (or rounds I guess, if you're a stickler for that), there you go.
And what do you do with feather and fan knit in the round? Make the border for a bath mitt I'm designing. Sort of a thumbless mitten or heel-less sock, knitted in a firm gauge with "kitchen" cotton. Because the lace is knitted on a large needle to show it off, I added some ribbing to the cuff, so the mitt doesn't fly off the hand in the shower (I hate when that happens; don't you?). I'll put a gusset for the heel of the palm and thumb (but there won't be a separate thumb, just a gusset). And I finished it off like the toe of a sock with double sets of decreases, then grafted the 2 parts together. I plan to make a spa set with matching fingertip towel. It'll be nice to have lace trim that's an integral part of the items, so no worries about the lace ripping off in the washer or dryer. This is version 1 of the bath mitt; I want to make the lace nicer, the thumb gusset better, and possibly add a loop for hanging with the next one. Fingertip towel is on the needles.
bath mitt v1

The rainbow blanket, as it turns out, must have had a big boo-boo in the pattern that I did not catch (I am ashamed to admit). Casting on the 180 sts called for in the pattern yields an item that's over 4 feet across. Pretty big for a baby blanket I thought. So since DD#2 covets it so much, she gets it.
rainbow blanket

And since my Peaches & Creme came, I modified the baby blanket pattern, including the FnF stitch pattern. Yarn total is not finalized yet since the blanket is in progress.
sheraz baby blankie
Improved Baby Blanket
Materials: 2 cones Peaches & Creme (estimated)
Needles: Circular size 7 (4.5 mm), at least 24" long
CO 102 sts loosely. Knit in garter stitch for 6 rows. Begin Feather and Fan as follows:
Row 1: K6, *(K2 tog) 3 times, (YO, P1) 6 times, (K2 tog) 3 times*; repeat between *s, end K6.
Rows 2 and 4: Knit.
Row 3: K6, purl to last 6 sts, K6.
Continue in feather and fan pattern stitch until 1" less than desired length, then garter stitch 6 rows, Bind off loosely using the K2 tog bind-off.

You get a few more scallops by changing the repeat sequence this way, another fun feature of the FnF stitch. And this blanket is just about 30" wide, a better width for a baby blanket. I'll probably make it 36" long. Unless I get tired of it and make it square. We'll see.


fleegle said...

I can take about three inches of f&f before I start getting twitchy. But I am more than happy to admire your eye candy!

Experimental Knitter said...

Thanks so much.

Henya said...

I am also in love with the Feather and Fan and experimenting with knitting it in the round. My version is a little different from yours. I am experimenting with (of course) baby hats knitting them up from the brim or top-down.
Love the Rainbow blanket, what a huge accomplishment 8-).

Experimental Knitter said...

Thanks so much. Looking forwarding to seeing your experiments too.
I have another version in the round I'm working on as well; will show it in a future post.

carol said...

I absolutely love that rainbow yarn! I have done this feather stitch many times including a summer top knitted in cotton.