Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Binary Knitting

Well most knitting is binary I suppose, composed of 2 elements; knit and purl. But in the case of my latest obsession project, I'm referring to knitting with both ends of the string at the same time, Tvåändsstickning or Swedish two-end knitting.

There is one book on the subject in our public library system, "Twined Knitting" by Birgitta Dandanell; published by Interweave Press (of course!). I've checked it out and skimmed it numerous times. Like most Scandinavian knitting it looked lovely and wonderful and seemed fairly complicated.

So how did I wind up trying it? Two words.........SHOP SAMPLE.

You know what I'm talking about, right? You go off to visit your LYS (or in my case, my not-so-local LYS). You don't need anything. You are just going to browse. Before you know it, you've found something you cannot resist.

That's exactly what happened to me.

For someone who professes not to want a stash, I have rather too much yarn already in the house. And I'm talking good yarn. I have plenty of books and patterns as well. In fact, in the whole string+pattern+time=FO equation, string and pattern are not the problem. Which is why, as you might expect, I left the shop with new string and new pattern and, because I dithered so long and tried to talk myself out of it, less time!

In all fairness if you had seen the SHOP SAMPLE, you would have done the same. It was amazing.

It was a very simple looking hat. It was just tossed casually on a table. I picked it up and it felt so soft and I was immediately intrigued. It looked as though it had a garter stitch hemmed edge, but when I looked inside I could find no hemming. The wrong side looked different as well so I asked, "uh, is this twined knitting?" And it was.
I put it down and walked away.

A few minutes later I asked if there was a pattern. Oddly enough there was. I studied the pattern. I looked at yarn. Once I found that lovely blue-green wool there was no going back.

I'll be rereading that "Piecework" article shown in the top picture. It is from the Jan/Feb 2007 issue, a knitting special issue that is no longer available. The 2010 knitting special issue is still out so RUN out and get it if you haven't already or a couple of years down the road you'll be kicking yourself.

To see some great pictures of this hat and close-ups of the inside, see's Pat's here. And to see some terrific examples of twined knitting, see Asplund's Flickr set here (links to his blog as well.)

1 comment:

minipurl said...

This is wonderful! Do you think I could possible figure it out?