Friday, February 07, 2020

Warm Wooly Wraps from The World Knits Collection


We are up to Number 10 in the World Knits Collection. Introducing Warm Wooly Wraps. Also available on Ravelry here

I love this pattern. It features scarves knit in the round which back in the 1990's was totally not a thing. I was and have always been a circular knitter. I have never been afraid to cut my knitting into pieces and sew it back together. I come from a sewing background so probably that is why I have no fear. 


Back then in the 90's, not many knitters cut their knitting. Today, I'm seeing it all over the place - including Kaffe Fassett's Coin Scarf and Stranded Blanket over on Mason-Dixon Knitting. Oh yay - Kaffe has finally got into knitting in the round Fair Isle patterning (or Stranded Knitting as it seems to be called these days). And there are lots of knitters steeking and cutting. Hallelujah. 


I have always thought about MY knitting as making fabric. Sometimes it has texture and cables, sometimes it is ripply garter stitch and sometimes it is flat and colorful. When I went to University for textiles, I learned about counting stitches and rows (courses and wales in textile speak) in t-shirt fabric and counting threads both vertically and horizontally (warp and weft) in a woven fabric while looking under a microscope. 


When I began at the yarn company, I was shocked that knitters generally knit back and forth and sewed their sweaters together. Back then, many yarn stores offered finishing services and a large number of knitters didn't even sew their sweaters together - they paid the yarn store to do it for them. Most knitters didn't want to cut their knitting. They were plain terrified. I had to stay away from developing any kind of pattern that did that because no one would make it and we wouldn't sell any yarn or patterns. After all, we had to stay in business. 


Knitters got a little more adventuresome while making projects from the World Knits Collection. I could see that some were ready to cut their knitting. 


This pattern features scarves and wraps or afghans knit in the round (or back and forth if you must). Some are made in a tube and then cut to lay flat (see four pieces laying on chairs). Some are turned on their side and knit in a very large circle either in the round or back and forth. Fair Isle patterning can be added or not. There are textural stitches included too. 


On a leap of faith, the Warm Wooly Knits pattern introduced a technique for cutting the steek stitches and after unknitting the steek stitches. This creates a fringe at both ends of the scarf, wrap or afghan. The steek yarn is then tied in an overhand knot to create a fringe. That was really revolutionary back then. I have gone on to use that technique in many scarves and afghans. 


This afghan is from my book Kristin Knits published by Storey in 2006.


This scarf is also from Kristin Knits.


This cardigan is in Color By Kristin (Soho, 2009). The body is knit in the round with a steek for the bottom edge. The front opening is made like a giant "afterthought thumb" where half of the stitches are worked on scrap yarn. After the steek is cut and fringed back to make the bottom fringed edge of the cardigan, the scrap "afterthought thumb" yarn is ripped out and live stitches are worked in garter stitch to finish the opening. The sleeves get sewn into the cast on and cast off edge. Clever, huh? 


When you begin to think of your knitting as a piece of fabric, it begins to form a different kind of art. The scarves and wraps in the Warm Wooly Knits PDF Pattern offer an opportunity for the knitter to introduce beautiful patterns to a flat surface. And then wrap themselves up in the color and pattern. 


You can order Warm Wooly Wraps on my website here.
Also available on Ravelry here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cluck Cluck. I'm one of those chickens. One day I hope to sit with someone and have them explain and demo steeking. I've tried books and some videos and right after the words, it's not difficult, down the rabbit hole we go. Maybe it's just my brain SAYING it's difficult but cluck cluck.

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