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Mrs. Davenport’s Mesh

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MRS. DAVENPORT’S MESH – STITCH PATTERN
♥ OR QUEUE ON RAVELRY

My Mum unvented this mesh stitch the other day, and I was amazed by how easy and effective it is. Even a beginner could work it! I’m sure it exists somewhere in some form, but as I’ve never come across it before, I’m taking the liberty of naming it (taking my cue from a long tradition of stitch pattern collators), “Mrs. Davenport’s Mesh”. Here’s what it looks like:

Hmm, well admittedly not quite so attractive in its infant state, but when blocked… ta-da!

It works with any number of stitches. All you do is knit a stitch, place it back on the left-hand needle and knit it again. Then on the next row, you purl a stitch, place it back on the left-hand needle, and purl it again. When viewed from the RS, the knit rows lean left, and the purl rows lean right, forming an open zig-zag.

Like most mesh stitches, it grows a LOT when blocked, and therefore requires a very stretchy cast-on (even more so than the bind-off, I find). You can use your favourite cast-on technique, or work as follows…

Instructions

Cast on
Make loop or slipknot, *cast-on 1 st (using knitted cast-on method), k1, return st to left-hand needle, rep. from * as many times as necessary.

How to work the stitch pattern
CO any number of sts.

ROW 1 (RS): *K1, place resulting st back on left needle without twisting, k1, rep. from * to end.
ROW 2 (WS): *P1, place resulting st back on left needle without twisting, p1, rep. from * to end.

Rep. ROWS 1 & 2.

Bind off
K1, *place resulting st back on left needle without twisting, k2, pass right-most st on right-hand needle over left-most st, rep. from * until all sts have been bound off. Cut yarn and pull through final loop.

Increasing & Decreasing

I played around a little with increasing and decreasing using the basic principle of the mesh, but there are so many possibilities that I think it would make more sense to experiment with a particular project in mind.

Methods to Increase
Yo: Worked as usual.
Kfb: K1, place resulting st back on left needle, kfb.

Methods to Decrease
Ssk: Ssk, place resulting st back on left needle, k1.
K2tog: K2tog, place resulting st back on left needle, k1.

Garter Variation

If you knit in the western style, you will probably find that your purl rows go easier when working this stitch, because the movement you use to replace the stitch you’ve just purled back on the left-hand needle puts you in the right position to purl again. You’ll find the same thing happens when working knit rows in combined knitting. This made me wonder what a garter variation of the mesh stitch would look like, so I worked only ROW 2. I think you’ll agree that it forms a very nice textured fabric, without blocking.

In-the-round Variation

I’ve saved the best till last! Mrs. Davenport’s Mesh also looks beautiful when worked in the round. It’s as easy as repeating ROW 1 (and ignoring ROW 2) every round. When you eliminate the return rows that form the zig-zag, the stitch pattern continues in one direction, resulting in a lovely, lacy spiral, without the bother of actually having to count and shift stitches (or work a single yarn-over). I see some mindless arm-/legwarmers in my future! ;)

What I Love About Mum’s Mesh

  • Works with any number of stitches.
  • Super easy to work. Even a beginner knitter can manage it.
  • Easily modified.
  • No bias.
  • No curl.
  • Works the same whether you’re a western or combined knitter (or anything else).
  • Worked in exactly the same way in the round.

My Mum & I would love to see your projects using this stitch. Please leave a comment to urge her to keep unventing! :)

7th February, 2013  // Technique // tags: , , , .

Lilaceous Shawl on Knitty

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Lilaceous ShawlLilaceous Shawl
LILACEOUS SHAWL
VIEW PATTERN IN KNITTY WINTER 2012
QUEUE & FAVOURITE ON RAVELRY

lilaceous adj.
Pronunciation: /laɪˈleɪʃəs/
Etymology: < lilac n. + -eous suffix. Definition: Of or belonging to a lilac colour.

I’m so utterly delighted & honoured to have a pattern in the latest issue of Knitty! Lilaceous is a lacy counterpane shawl, constructed just like the Beeton Shawl, with three triangles knit around a circular-knit square – and yes, the counterpane shawl ebook I’ve been talking about for ages will be available oh so soon! Since lilacs are my thing, I wanted to design a shawl that came as close to capturing their form as I could.

I don’t know whether I was thinking about Seignac’s Virginité (or just spying on the neighbours) when I posed for the photos, but the colours certainly remind me of it. Unfortunately it was still far too cold to shoot outdoors, and when the lilacs did bloom, my photography attempts were foiled by dappled light (the bane of correct exposure).

Guillaume Seignac - Virginite

Knitty, apart from being my favourite knitting publication, also has the distinction of being the magazine I’ve knit most patterns from. I’ve written before about how knitting projects encapsulate memories of the time you were knitting them, and looking at this list of projects I’ve knit from Knitty patterns reminds me of my old dorm room, epic charity shop yarn bargains, past Christmasses, friends I haven’t seen in ages, and, generally, times when knitting was so much more confusing for me than it is now…

Knitty Patterns I’ve Knit

In descending order of quantity:

A handful of Calorimetrys *
3 Mintys **
2 Clapotis
2 Pair Fetching
1 Aibhlinn
1 Bitterroot
1 Wavy
A coaster using Binary
Half an Ivy
Half an RPM
And there are probably others I’ve missed…

I’ve come a long way since my first tentative Clapotis, but lest I’m tempted to rest on my lilacs laurels, Knitty still serves up patterns that mystify me by their elegance and complexity. Thank you Amy, Jillian, and Liz!

Lilaceous Shawl
Lilaceous Shawl
Lilaceous Shawl
Lilaceous Shawl

I also wanted to thank everyone for the overwhelming number of lovely messages I’ve received about Lilaceous; I will do my best to get back to all of you. I ♥ you, knitters!

* I’m about to knit another one for a friend who lost hers.
** Possibly my favourite pattern ever (as I’ve mentioned before). I wear one almost every day, and almost every day I get complimented on it or someone asks me how it’s made.

14th December, 2012  // Downloads, Neckwear // tags: , , , , , .

Lavender & Lace

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knit lavender sachet

LAVENDER & LACE
1-PAGE PDF PATTERN – £0.90
favourite & queue on Ravelry

Here’s a quick, pretty, pretty quick project to use up left-over lace-weight yarn, and an hour or so of your evening. If you use ribbon cut out of clothing, and lavender from your garden, you can feel the added smugness of being terribly thrifty.

A few suggestions, as always:

  • If you’re giving woolly handknits as gifts, wrap a sachet with them to counter any “sheepy” smells.
  • Knit a few sachets for yourself over the winter, so you can use them to pack away with your winter clothes when the weather grows warmer.
  • Slip one or two sachets on hangers and fill them with mothballs, to keep dreaded larvae from snacking on your cashmere. I recommend throwing one or two in with your stash, too.
  • Needless to say, you can put other things in your sachet, like jewelry, sweeties, stitch markers, milk teef, tisanes, nibs, buttons, and other trifles, trinkets, and things.
  • Knit the pattern with thicker yarn and larger needles for a larger pouch, into which you can put even greater things! :)

knit lavender sachet
knit lavender sachet

Materials

  • Small amount (less than 50m / 55 yds) of Rowan Fine Lace or other leftover lace-weight yarn.
  • Set of 2mm (US 0) DPNs,
  • 3mm (US 3) needle for cast-off,
  • tapestry needle for weaving in ends,
  • approx. 20cm / 8in of thin ribbon,
  • and a tablespoon of dried lavender.

Gauge: 35 sts / 40 rounds over 10cm / 4in in stocking stitch in the round.
Finished size after blocking: 5cm / 2in wide and 11cm / 4.25in at the tallest point.

Instructions are charted only.

knit lavender sachet
knit lavender sachet

I will leave you with this lovely poem by Noyes. Until smell-o-vision is invented, the olfactory evocation of poetry must suffice, and although I’m not sure who the hawker is who Noyes exalts, I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel a certain affinity with him. :)

LAVENDER by Alfred Noyes

Lavender, lavender
That makes your linen sweet;
The hawker brings his basket
Down the sooty street:
The dirty doors and pavements
Are simmering in the heat:
He brings a dream to London,
And drags his weary feet.

Lavender, lavender,
From where the bee hums,
To the loud roar of London,
With purple dreams he comes,
From raggèd lanes of wild-flowers
To raggèd London slums,
With a basket full of lavender
And purple dreams he comes.

Is it nought to you that hear him?
With the old strange cry
The weary hawker passes,
And some will come and buy,
And some will let him pass away
And only heave a sigh,
But most will neither heed nor hear
When dreams go by.

Lavender, lavender!
His songs were fair and sweet,
He brought us harvests out of heaven,
Full sheaves of radiant wheat;
He brought us keys to Paradise,
And hawked them thro’ the street;
He brought his dreams to London,
And dragged his weary feet.

Lavender, lavender!
He is gone. The sunset glows;
But through the brain of London
The mystic fragrance flows.
Each foggy cell remembers,
Each raggèd alley knows,
The land he left behind him,
The land to which he goes.

knit lavender sachet
Sniff.

10th December, 2012  // Downloads, Home // tags: , .
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