Five Jeweled Purples

Mom again today! ~Reb

When I first saw the “Scribbling Stoles” on pp. 112-115 of the book Mason Dixon Knitting, I wasn’t impressed.  But the more I thought about the idea of knitting with thick-thin yarn on giant needles, the more I liked it!  I had a pair of size 35 needles……could I design a way to do this pattern with straight needles rather than circulars?  You see it calls for giant circular needles because you are supposed to knit only 1 row of the thick yarn and 3 rows of the thin yarn….then you have to slide the work to the other side of the circular needles to knit another row of the thick yarn.

And I thought, well…I’ve got some nice thin yarn:  2 skeins of Tilli Tomas purple beaded cotton (you need about 320 yards of thin yarn)….could I put together my own thick yarn from several balls of my own  stash…..Yes!!  I’ve always wanted to do that!!

I had great fun going through my stash and winding up the needed 90 yards of thick yarn to go with the Tilli Tomas purple.  I used 4 more colors of purple, some doubled up, and 2 strands of some sparkly black from long ago, for a total of 7 strands.  Thick yarn done!

Now to make this pattern work with straight needles, I did this:

Cast on 40 sts. with thick yarn on size 35 needles.

Knit 1 row with thin yarn with same needles.

Purl 1 row with thin yarn on SIZE 13 needles. (Yes, I did change to 13’s!!)

Knit 1 row with thin yarn on size 35 needles.

Purl 1 row with thin yarn on size 13 needles.

Knit 1 row with THICK yarn on size 35 needles, carrying the thin yarn with it!!  In other words, I added the Tilli Tomas to the 7 strands and knit all 8 strands carefully across.  So then the thin yarn is ready to purl on the next row!  Get it?

So… P 1 row with thin yarn and thick needles, K 1 row with thin needles, P 1 row with thick needles, K 1 row with thin needles, then you’re ready to PURL the next row with thick yarn, thick needles and carry the thin yarn with you!

Using the smaller needle every other row like that (nearly….note that I used the huge needles 2 times in a row for each set of 5 rows) allowed me to keep the spacing approximately the same as in Kay and Ann’s book…..even though I put 4 rows in between the thick yarn instead of 3.  And carrying the thin yarn with me, meant I could just knit 1 row of the thick yarn just like in the book.  In other words, I preserved the look of the pattern using straight needles!!

Leah is my younger daughter, an art major, so I thought she would like this.  Happily, she does!  (Or else she’s very polite.)

Knit this way, this pattern was a LOT of fun…..esp. since I could use materials I had on hand.  Your large and small needles don’t have to be exactly those sizes……but the open weave look using the thick and thin yarn is the concept that Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne present in this book, and you need large needles to make that happen.

I tended to drop stitches more often than usual.  Twice I didn’t bother to rip out rows to go back and fix it, I just tied up the mistake with a piece of purple….I knew it wasn’t going to show at all.  I didn’t weave in the ends, but rather made tassels out of them.  Then I ADDED some tassels on the sides to even it all out and make it look like they were supposed to be there.

The whole thing took me about 2 weeks to knit, without trying very hard.  So it makes a great last minute gift idea for someone.

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