Double, double toil and trouble
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble
– William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. I: Three witches
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. did we confuse you enough already? fortunately, double seed stitch is a very easy knit stitch — you alternate between knitting a “rib” and a “seed stitch” row.
seed stitch and double seed stitch are quite similar; however, with fewer purl bumps, double seed stitch ends up being a wee bit softer to the touch, and a tad bit more stretchy. plus, if you stare at it long enough, and at a certain angle, it looks as if you’ve got a diagonal rib running across. although, if you’re going after a diagonal effect, there are other stitches we would send your way.
(and yes, we’ve got macbeth on our minds. . . ) (more…)
The strongest of all warriors are these two—Time and Patience.
– Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy, War and Peace
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 making things suitable for doing battle with old man winter, an arresting area rug, or anything that needs to stand up to a lot of wear and tear. as it is, our swatch is making for a fantastic coaster for all those pesky mugs of tea we have floating around.
the flexibility of the fabric will increase somewhat through use of a larger pair of needles. for our swatch, we selected US6 needles with our baby camel worsted weight wool; the resulting swatch stands up straight when leaned against a wall! (more…)
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
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 this basic stitch straight. we’ll just call it seed stitch for now, and it refers to a stitch where (if knitting in the round) the knit stitches are purled in the next row and vice versa.
because fabrics made with this texture do not furl, the seed stitch is a wonderful alternative to the garter stitch for borders. it’s also pretty darn swell all by itself. the seed stitch is less stretchy and a bit thinner than the garter stitch. it takes just 36 rows to knit a swatch 5 1/4″ in height versus 46 rows in the garter stitch.
we’re pretty much enamoured with this charming and timeless stitch, and we’re almost always knitting up seed stitch, and its close relative, the double seed stitch, on our needles! (more…)
I’m a poor underdog,
But to-night I will bark
With the great Overdog
That romps through the dark.
– Robert Frost, Canis Major
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. (more…)
You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
They called me the hyacinth girl.
– TS Eliot, The Wasteland
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 simple, highly memorisable, and it just zips through the needles. we got a swatch 6¼ inches long with just 25 rows! (we’ll do the math in a bit, but if we had to guess it would probably take 2x as many rows to achieve the same length in stockinette).
purling 5 stitches together (which you can do easily with a crochet needle) and then making 5 stitches in the same stitch are just about the only tricky bits to this swatch. (more…)
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, something careful and curious will emerge. if we’re lucky, we’ll live up to our own hopes and dreams. if we’re really lucky, we’ll swing up to yours as well.