Mar 26, 2013

Strange Obsessions

I should be working on Nimbus. I should be finishing my current afghan. Sooner or later, winter will end (won’t it?), but they'd still be useful during our always erratic spring weather.

I should be writing the patterns readers and Ravelers have requested. I should be working on one of several stealth projects that have real deadlines (more or less).

Instead, for reasons I can’t quite explain, I’m swatching, experimenting, knitting, frogging and re-knitting small things. Last week, I knocked out a red super-simple, seed and stockinette dishcloth.
This week, I’m focused on the Swedish Weave stitch, from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury (p. 90). Walker’s books are incredible stitch compendiums and invaluable references, but let’s face it, sometimes the descriptions generate more questions than they answer.

The Swedish Weave is attractive on both sides (in my world, that counts as reversible). But … is the fabric heavy or light? Does it lie flat or curl? Is it stretchy or firm? To answer these questions, I started swatching.

The front looks like this.

The back looks like this.

The fabric curls. A lot.

To offset this tendency, I tried framing it with a basic knit-as-you-go seed stitch border.

The border, due to a misguided sense of empathy, decided to curl, too. And see that wonky row? Something’s clearly awry, but I’m not sure what I did to make that happen.
This little project has been fun, frustrating, edifying and distracting. Now that I've shared photographic proof of my mistakes, I can frog this hapless swatch and try again.

Why? Because my strange obsession with small things knit in reversible stitches continues.

Which brings me to this question: What are you obsessed with this week (month, year)?

PS: Don't forget to check out WIP Wednesday at Tami's Amis.


  1. You also seem obsessed with red and white lately or is that just coincidence? ;)

    1. Very observant, Noni!

      Yes, I'm definitely in a red phase (Nimbus, dishcloths, mitts). Plus several other projects involve red, white or both.

      Perhaps it's because last year, everything I knit seemed to be blue or teal ...

  2. I love reversible stitches too! It's like they're always trying to play tricks on my mind. I'm thinking about tackling this project soon, which I think would be right up your alley too:

    1. Yep, reversible stitches are fascinating and fun to experiment with. Thanks for the link, you're right, it's right up my alley and I've put it on the "to be knit" list (which grows longer every day!).

  3. I've been obsessed with scrappy projects for the last few weeks. I look at tiny balls of yarn leftovers and think what? WHAT? what are you meant to be?

    Your seed stitch border makes me laugh. It's exactly what would happen to me. The rules suddenly fail to apply :(

    1. Let me know when your scrappy projects speak up and tell you what they want to be. Sounds interesting and fun.

      And when the rules suddenly fail as they did above, well, it's good to know I'm not alone.

  4. Experimenting with new stitch patterns sounds like a lot of fun and there are so many great ones in her Second Treasury to sample.

    1. So true! After years of knitting swatches just for the heck of it, I've finally realized if I call the swatch a "dishcloth," it's both fun and functional.


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