Some may be substituting knitting needles for their wintered garden tools, but I never quit knitting over the summer—although it was a challenge in the 90 plus degree heat we had. From grubbing in the garden, to picking up my needles, the summer was wonderful. Now the garden has retired, and the needles are clicking overtime.
Along with a precious Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Dylan, the above photo features a fresh-off-the-needles shrug which incorporates a pattern I created with easy lace stitches and beautiful yarn which I spun from a blend of three gorgeous rovings. The fibers are shetland and mohair, dyed and combed with a touch of glitz by Laura Matthews at Psalm 23 Farm, near Kiel, Wisconsin.
The embryo stage of the shrug and a closeup of the yarn are pictured below:
It appears (and actually is true!) that my very favorite fashion statements begin with an “S”—Shrugs, Scarves, and Shawls. I’m currently doing a potato chip scarf for a friend who loves a combination of blues and greens. (I also love those analogous colors—actually, most any combination of colors—analogous or complementary.)
Awhile back, I posted the next photo to illustrate how I now put a button hole and funky button in all scarves and shawls—so they don’t slide off shoulders and onto the floor (which I’ve always found to be very annoying):
Since anything to do with knitting produces a lot of hits on this blog, I have the audacity to post fiber photos again! I think there are three re-runs on this entry!
Finally, here’s a sample of a button hole/plus button in a shawl. The button hole discovery (so easy to do!) is turning shawls and scarves into comfortable, practical, and wearable delights—at least one for every color chord in my closet!
Margaret L. Been, ©2012
NOTE: Here is the potato chip pattern, courtesy of Ravelry’s free downloads:
Any size needles and any size yarn. Any number of cast on stitches. I’ll give the minimun, although I tend to include extra stitches at the ends, and decrease around the neck as the flare is becoming to most of us. I like #7 or #8 (US) needles. My handspun tends to be quite fine, between sock and DK. (Worsted is way too bulky for my taste, and I only use it for children’s outdoor wraps.)
I knit the Potato Chip in garter stitch, but that can be varied. Some prefer the look of stockinette in this case. Patterns would not show up very well, but they could fly if so desired.
Cast on 20. Knit across row before beginning the curls, to stabilize the work.
Row 1: Knit 8, Turn; Knit Back to Beginning; Knit 6/Turn/Knit Back; Knit 4/Turn/Knit Back; Knit across entire row.
Row 2: Same as Row 1, only from other side.
Knit the two rows (each one containing 3 short rows and 1 full row) back and forth, for as long as you like.
End with 1 row of straight knitting to stabilize the other end.
For a button-hole and button scarf, I position the button hole a few inches from the bottom edge on what will be the right side of the scarf. It’s fun and funky to make the left side longer than the right.
Decrease however many stitches needed for the size button you have selected, and increase those stitches back on the needle on your return trip. To employ a couple of silly clichés, a button hole is easier than falling off a log and the greatest thing since sliced bread!!!
Things to remember:
1) The curl doesn’t appear immediately; it takes from 15 to 20-ish rows to begin to discern a potato chip, as that many increases on the edges are needed for the waves to set in.
2) There will be tiny holes in your work, due to your turns and knitbacks. At first this nearly drove me nuts, until I realized that the holes are uniform in their repeating sequences of 8/6/4—consequently a pattern is created by them. So I got over it!
Enjoy your potato chips. I guarantee you won’t be able to stop at only one scarf!