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Enchanted Forest Aran

This is the DKNY sweater that originally appeared in Vogue Knitting and took the Knitlist by storm. For a while, it seemed as though the whole knitting world wanted to make one, there were surveys, sublists for EFA support and there is still a list of EFA comments and hints. (I've copied my comments on the Technical Stuff page).

The yarn is Classic Elite Tapestry, which is well suited for this pattern. Good stitch definition. The darker red is an unknown yarn unravelled from one of my sweaters as I did not have enough yarn to complete the project.

I believe that I still hold the Knitlist record for fastest EFA. It took me ten days. Hint: I don't use cable needles.

Fingerless Gloves

fingerless gloves My own design, inspired by Deborah Newton, "Handknitting Gloves," Hand-Knitting Techniques from Threads (Newtown CT: Taunton Press, 1991), pp. 66-71. I did the back of the hand in a Bavarian twist pattern, before I knew what Bavarian twist patterns were. (I liked the look of her richly patterned white gloves and figured out that the high relief of the stitches was accomplished by knitting into the back of the knit stitches.) The reason that the fingers are a different colour is because I began the gloves in cheap acrylic fingering yarn and then discovered that acrylic was too bulky around my fingers. I have small hands and my fingers felt like sausages. I ripped apart the tops and re-knit them with fine sock wool.

Latvian-style mittens

fingerless gloves I knitted these almost ten years ago, when I first came to Israel. I had seen a friend's copy of Lizbeth Upitis' Latvian Mittens in the United States and created a pair inspired by the book.

Mosaic Sweater

Mosaic sweater Mosaic sweater This was really just an excuse to show off my son. The photo on the left was taken after he had his first haircut at age 3. This is (was) his favourite sweater. I finally had to hide it when he outgrew it, so that something would be left for future generations.

This sweater was knitted in mosaic stitch, in a pattern called "Three-and-One Tweed" (Barbara Walker, A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, p. 53). Actually, I thought that I had invented it until I later came across the pattern in her book. The background colour is charcoal grey and the contrasting colour is achieved by tying together many remnants of my knitting, using Kaffe Fassett's "Magic Ball" technique (Kaffe Fassett, Glorious Knits, p. 140), although I'm not sure he ever uses the term. The sleeves and front opening are steeked. I tried knitting this flat originally and discovered that garter stitch done flat results "colour pooling" at the edges, so I ripped it out and re-knitted it in the round, yes, even though it meant purling every other round to achieve the garter stitch.

I was recently asked to give more details about the construction of this sweater, so here is the posting:

Hi Marg,

Boy, that's a tough one. I knitted this sweater probably 4 years ago. It's Three-and-One Tweed (a mosaic stitch) from Barbara Walker's First Treasury (I thought I invented the stitch and found it a couple years later in her book).

Multiple of 4 sts plus 3. Colors A & B.
Cast on with Color B and k one row.

Row 1 (rt side) - With A, k3, *sl 1 wyib (with yarn in back), k3; rep from *
Row 2 - With A, k3, *sl 1 wyif (with yarn in front), k3; rep from *
Row 3 - With B, kl, *sl 1 wyib, k3; rep from *, end sl 1, k 1.
Row 4 - With B, k1, *sl 1 wyif, k3; rep from *, end sl 1, k 1.

Color A was done with charcoal grey, Color B was lengths about 4 feet long of odd bits of yarn tied together. It looks better if you have some kind of coherent colour progression, like blues to purples to red or whatever. This kind of remnant knitting looks better done in the round (that means that you'll have to convert, in the odd number rows, knits to purls. I then cut steeks for the front opening and the armholes. The reason it looks better in the round is that if you're using remnants and you knit it flat, you get colour "pooling" at the edges of the piece. The yarn doubles back and instead of a nice tweedy look, you get wide bars of colour and they look funny because garter stitch puts alternate rows together.

I picked up stitches for the sleeves and knitted down from the shoulder but I don't recommend it. Although it eliminates sewing, it's a pain to turn the whole sweater around every round (and when you're knitting a child's sweater, those rounds aren't very long, so that's a lot of sweater-rearranging).

The borders are garter stitch. Because mosaic stitch patterns pull in considerably, I had to do the borders about 3 times before I got them to lie flat. In the end, I used a much smaller needle than I normally would, so that the gauge would be suitable.

For the knots between colours, I tied the pieces with 2 inch tails and then just wove them in on subsequent rounds, over, under, as I went along. Mosaic stitch is great because it creates a nice dense fabric, you don't have to juggle 2 colours at once (each round/row, you handle only one colour-- ideal for travel) and it doesn't curl.

Tap-Dancing Lizard Sweater

Lizard sweater The yarn is cheap, locally made acrylic. The graph comes from Catherine Cartwright-Jones and Roy Jones, The Tap-Dancing Lizard (Loveland CO: Interweave Press), a marvelous collection of designs. I adlibbed the musical notes in the background to carry the yarn all the way around. This sweater was knitted in the round, with steeked sleeves and front opening.
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