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


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…)

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


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…)

hyacinth girl

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…)

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,  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.