I did some botanical dyeing late last year and actually dyed this yarn on Christmas Day. When I am enthused, there are no boundaries. The result was a set of five skeins of a sort of duck egg blue merino double knit. I was very pleased with them and have spent a good while working them up in to a variety of smaller items.
The first of these is now on yarnpond for testing. It was the result of a few evenings working away on short rows and combining one of my favourite stitch combinations, welt stitch, with a fisherman’s rib. I confess I used to hate any sort of ribbing but about 18 months ago, I did a day’s workshop on ‘continental knitting’ and haven’t looked back since. With continental knitting you hold your yarn in your left hand and pick the stitch through using your right hand – sort of crochet-esque.
I was taught to knit by ‘throwing’ that is holding the working yarn in your right hand and wrapping it round the needle. This was done using long needles with the right hand needle firmly tucked under your arm. This worked fine for me for a long time, till I started doing larger projects and long needles didn’t work and the work itself got heavier and heavier. Solution – circular needles. This was fine till I bought issue 4 of Laine magazine. In that there is a gorgeous fisherman’s rib long cardigan. I loved the look of it was there was no way I could have completed such a big project – all in k1, p1 rib – even if the k1 was k1b. I knew how continental knitting worked, so the theory was there, and could see that it was bound to be more efficient – no more of that backwards and forwards with the yarn or crucially, crossing it over between each stitch when ribbing. I did have a couple of attempts at doing it but it was just too difficult. Then I saw a local knit specialist, Gwen Wagner-Adair (https://www.instagram.com/petitchoufleur/) was offering a day’s workshop on continental knitting. This sounded perfect and in fact was perfect. Having to spend the day focused only on ‘getting it’ was the best thing I could have done. I’ve never looked back. I have also not made the Laine long rib Morginn cardigan either – but now I can whenever I want.
So with my new found delight and ability to work a rib without feeling that I’ve having to do twice the work, I started to experiment with fisherman’s rib and short rows. The result is the Ribble Cowl. Ribble is the name of the river that flows through my home town of Preston in Lancashire. It’s a beautiful river and I hope the cowl lives up to its name.