A spot of Knitting

by mutteringhousewife

The Muffet has a school requirement that at the end of Lent she hand in to her school two knitted squares. These are known as Dorcas squares for some biblical reason and apparently will be sewn into a larger blanket that will be sent to a hot country with no need for extra heating and possibly set fire to. I have taken a short and non representative survey of girls in year seven, and apparently all squares submitted have been actually knitted by an older female relative, rather than the year seven girl. Of course I knitted the Muffet’s contribution, on condition that she actually attempt one herself. She did, but her ability to drop tens of stitches at a time made her effort a little bit too well ventilated for practical purposes. I should start her on her squares for next year now.

To encourage her to knit I went to one of the few remaining haberdashery shops in Sydney, in Turramurra actually, to buy some beautiful wool for her. I normally buy my wool at craft shows, at which this shop exhibits, but there wasn’t a lot of choice at the last show I went to. So now I have a stash or rather lovely wool, a merino/silk mix and an alpaca, and I wanted to knit something with it. I have enough scarves, it was time to try something a bit more adventurous.

The advantages of knitting a headband are numerous. It’s just a strip of knitting, so is fairly quick. You can try something a bit fancy without having to commit to a full garment. And one always needs headbands to keep one’s curly hair off one’s glasses.

I’m still too scared to try cable knitting, but I liked the look of Trinity Stitch. I knocked one up with purple wool and look, you can see where Jane rang me up to ask advice on pony camps.

There, up near the top of the needle. Yes, that is a nut at the top of the needle, the dog chewed off the end when he was going through that stage last year.

It was too narrow and looked like a trial piece. Now that I have the hang of it I’m doing a wider one. The way to do it is this. You cast on twenty four stitches. Do a row of purl. Then you knit then purl then knit all into the one stitch, wrapping the wool to the correct side each time. When you’ve got three stitches on the right from the one on the left, you pull off the left one. Then you gather the next three on the left onto your right needle and purl stitch. Repeat to the end of the row. Do another row of purl. The next row you start with the triple purl, then the knit purl knit into one stitch. The problem I had was numerous interruptions, meaning I could never remember if I was up to a row starting with knit or with purl. I’ve solved it by putting the knitting down either in the middle of a fancy row or at the end of one. Then I could see which one I had just done. When you get to the end of the fancy row you say out loud the last stitch in the row, then do your purl row, then start with the stitch you’ve said out loud, ignoring the derisive comments of your family members.

Anyway, there’s good instructions on the web, and you just sew the ends together when the headband is long enough to sit tightly around your fat head. Maybe when I be done a few I’ll be brave enough to try a pattern that has one of those codexes that look like the Rosetta Stone. Those grannies that can knit anything must have started somewhere.