~The next two days’ posts will be a special installment from Mom, the OFS co-yarnie.
When you’re giving a Christmas gift to a knitter, it doesn’t have to be a completed project. It can be just a special yarn! And to make it even more special, it can include a pattern designed just for the knitter.
Jared (my son-in-law who is a very good knitter) likes different kinds of crosses, and I got inspired a few weeks ago to make a scarf pattern just for him. I had 5 skeins left of a pretty steel blue from the Kirby Meritime yarn, and I thought it would look good on him. So I designed a pattern with four crosses in it: two designs, each knit twice.
One is called the Maltese Cross or St. John’s cross. The other is called the Compass Rose of the Anglican Communion. Since Jared is studying to become an Anglican priest, I thought he would like that one especially.
How did I do it? First I went to the Internet and printed some pictures of those crosses…did some research that is so easy and amazing these days. (How old am I? When I went to college, I still typed papers on a typewriter!!) I came up with this:
You can see to the right of the Compass Rose cross, some graph paper with an enlarged copy of the cross. This graph paper is knitting graph paper, which knitters can use to make a chart for knitting. It is special in that each graph “square” is not perfectly square, because knit stitches are not the same height as width. “Squares” on knitting graph paper are actually rectangles similar in dimension to the knitted stitch, so anything I draw onto it will be reproduced into knitting in the same dimensions. I’ve made many designs this way, and it’s a fun way to design charts if you are impatient like I am with learning new computer software.
Once I copied the cross picture onto the graph paper, I needed to translate that into actual knitted stitches. I did this by using my window as a light box, and translating the shapes into the rectangles the best I could. It ended up like this:
The instructions say to purl each x and knit the blank squares. (At least I hope they say that. Actually, I need to edit his copy since I wrote it on Christmas Eve at 10pm at night! The directions are minimal….but it’s obvious, right? Who needs directions?)
The finished chart of the St. John’s cross looks like this:
The actual scarf is made by knitting each of these cross charts twice, with basket weave stitch rows in between. He can decide how long to make the scarf, by choosing to make 50 rows of basket weave or 20 rows of basket weave.
So in the end, the gift looked like this, with the charts tucked into the page protector:
I hope Jared enjoys knitting the pattern, and enjoys the soft, pretty yarn that I dyed. It’s meant to by a fun pattern, not too stressful. I’ll be excited to see it knit up!