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very un-queen of hearts

  I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland   THE LO-DOWN sometime around valentine’s day, we picked up a bit of yarn that we had lying around and started futzing around to make a heart pattern.  we started with one colour knits & purls and constructed…

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mr. centipede’s crossed stitch

“My friends, this is the Centipede, and let me make it known He is so sweet and gentle that (although he’s overgrown) The Queen of Spain, again and again, has summoned him by phone To baby-sit and sing and knit and be a chaperone When nurse if off and all the royal children are all alone.” – Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach   THE LO-DOWN this two row repeat is easy to remember and just as fun to stitch.  it makes a fun…

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cabling in the land of illusions

  A couplet in smaller characters was inscribed vertically on either side of the arch: Truth becomes fiction when the fiction’s true; Real becomes not-real where the unreal’s real – Cao Xueqin, The Story of the Stone: Vol 1 THE LO-DOWN we love cables! but often times, we find that faux cabling fits life on the go a bit better (no bothering with a cable needle when riding on a train, plane or automobile).  this faux cable stitch is really a simple rib stitch with…

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two laces in one

The two oaks lean apart for light. They aren’t as strong as lone oaks but in a wind they give each other lee. — William Meredith, A Couple of Trees   THE LO-DOWN gauge really matters when it comes to lace stitches.  on the left, we knit a lacey leaf pattern with worsted weight camel yarn on US6 needles.  the pattern ended up coming out like a  really organic cable pattern  rather than something full of holes and curves. on the right,  we re-knit the…

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double, double

Double, double toil and trouble Fire burn, and cauldron bubble – William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. I: Three witches   THE LO-DOWN whenever you spy seed stitch (or point de riz, as the french would say), double seed stitch is never very far behind with all the confusing nomenclature in tow.  double seed stitch is sometimes known as double moss stitch; moreover, there’s  a similar knit pattern, except that it features a “K2, P2” repeat, which sometimes goes by double seed stitch as well. …

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warrior wicker

The strongest of all warriors are these two—Time and Patience. – Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy, War and Peace THE LO-DOWN wicker stitch (aka criss cross stitch) is kind of like a hybrid between a cross stitch and a 2 stitch cable.  no cable needle is required to make this stitch; however, the tightness of the stitch does make the knitting process a bit more challenging.  the wicker pattern produces a surprisingly dense, rigid and unyielding fabric — we kind of imagine it to be perfect for…

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seeds of time

If you can look into the seeds of time, And say which grain will grow and which will not, Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear – William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 1, Sc. 3: Banquo THE LO-DOWN known in the US as seed stitch,  our cousins across the pond sometimes refer to this stitch as moss stitch, which back on our side of the pond, is something we call double seed stitch.  our minds go dizzy trying to keep the different names for…

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vandermeer’s favorite

I’m a poor underdog, But to-night I will bark With the great Overdog That romps through the dark. – Robert Frost, Canis Major THE LO-DOWN sturdy, unfurling and cozy, the garter stitch is vandermeer’s all-time favorite.  garter stitch is great for stabilizing stitches that curl, making high use items like dish cloths & rugs, or things to keep you wrapped up in toasty-ness like blankets, bouncy sweaters, scarves and slippers.

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hyacinth girl

You gave me hyacinths first a year ago; They called me the hyacinth girl. – TS Eliot, The Wasteland THE LO-DOWN winter is blasting outside our windows, and we’re dreaming of hyacinths, tulips and daffodils breaking through the ground come spring. until spring really does roll around, we’re keeping warm and knitting up hyacinth stitches on our needles.  in our humble opinion, the hyacinth stitch ranks up there with things we put in the “instant gratification” category. it looks tremendously complicated, but it’s actually surprisingly…

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in media res

for us, the best part of knitting is neither starting or ending but being right there in the middle of things — that place where we’re kind of in the groove, where we can just start seeing a plan come together, and where there are still a lot of challenges to keep things interesting. we’ve jumped right in, and we’re hoping that in a little bit, as we fill our cabinet slowly but surely with all the bits and pieces we’ve amassed here and there, …

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