December Stitches

November is gone. All those folks out there swe-moing and wri-moing and nan-blo-po-moing were having fun and I got to read about it. I was wmao –ing, so not wanting to sit at the computer in the evening after a long day of computer sitting. I also had dental surgery and need to have more. Whine whine.

I experienced a lovely little December activity yesterday – I dug up the last of my leeks and potatoes. I had mulched them with hay about a month ago, waiting to see how they would hold up. They held up just fine, and the leek and potato soup is excellent. I expect I could mulch the potatoes heavily and still dig them up in January, but really, I just don’t think I could motivate to go dig when the temperature is hovering near zero, or the hay is under a foot of snow.

I have been knitting away, of course, and got some new designs done. Have you ever found a stitch pattern that just grabs you by the fingers and drags you along, so you finish a project you weren’t even planning to start? I recently found one of those. I am always looking for simple stitch patterns, suitable for socks, that are easily memorized and have several plain or almost plain rounds for resting and pretending to take notes during meetings. I started a pair of socks in some stash superwash DK in what I’m calling Tendrils Rib. (It’s Japanese, so it doesn’t have any name I can determine.)


As I worked on the socks, I thought that they were so cozy and snug feeling, that the pattern might work perfectly for mitts.


Yes, it does. (Pattern for these now at The Yarnery, soon to be up on Ravelry and in my shop.)

Well, what about more mitts? What about a hat?


I am thinking of mittens next.

I like twisted stitches, but not too many in one pattern, since my personal knitting technique causes me to twist my wrist a bit more than usual and I end up a little sore. These have only a few twists, just enough to make the ribbing snug and attractive, but not too many to be irritating.

There are lots of way to do left and right twists. Right twists are simple, knit two together, then knit the first stitch again and slip the stitches off the needle. Left twist can be more problematic. You can work it like a tiny cable, taking one stitch off, working the next, then putting the first stitch back on the needle. It looks good, but is way too much trouble to me. I have sampled several other techniques:

Left Twist (LT) Methods

  • Skip the first stitch and knit into the back of second stitch, knit the skipped stitch, then slip both stitches from needle.
  • Skip the first stitch and knit into the back of the second stitch, then knit the skipped stitch through the back of the loop and slide the entire unit off your needle.
  • Skip the first stitch and knit into the back of the second, then knit BOTH stitches together through the back of the loop and slide the entire unit off your needle

I used the first technique, because although the left leaning twist stitches don’t look as smooth as the right twist, it is easy to work, and doesn’t tighten up the left twist more than the right twist, at least the way I knit. There is one technique that has you purl into the back of the second stitch. Unless there is a really good reason to purl into the back of a stitch from the right side, I’m not going to do it. It’s so awkward. That reminds me of a student in my class the other night, learning how to increase by knitting into the front and back of a stitch. She is a very quick learner and I’m not sure why she was having so much trouble with this. So much trouble, in fact, that this pre-med student said she found cutting up cadavers simpler. Must smell worse, though.

Now I’m using the new Malabrigo Sock yarn for a lighter weight sock. The Malabrigo colors are gorgeous, and it is quite soft. The wear factor is yet to be determined. IT was hard to photograph, so I tried to scan it, but that didn’t work much better. If you can find the yarn in person, go look for yourself.


Anyone out there who would like to test knit the socks, or the mitts, or the hat, let me know. I’d love it.


10 responses to “December Stitches

  1. I am so tempted to volunteer! I love those twists. But I’m already buried in Christmas knitting, so I probably oughtn’t to… I’m going to have to get that pattern as soon as it’s up on Ravelry, though – will you be posting once it’s available?

  2. Pick me! I can do it right now. By the way, all of those accessories are nice.

  3. Lovely pattern – just enough interest not to be boring. Not so complicated not to be a fun quick knit. Love it!

  4. Oh! The socks, the socks! I’d love to. I need something to break me out of my knitting slump.

    Bummer about the dental surgery. 😦

  5. Would love to test knit the hat. It is really pretty and looks warm!

  6. I’d love to knit those mitts. I was going to ask about the pattern anyway 😀 I have the perfect yarn for them (I think) and I need to make myself a pair (for a change).

    Meep about the dental surgery. 😦 I loathe the dentist, so I really do sympathize.

  7. it is lovely. i love embellished ribbings. which is half the reason for my love of alice starmore.

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  10. Sorry for spamming you, but I’ll forget if I don’t mention this now. Let me know when the mitt pattern is available. I’ve had people asking about it.

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