A few years ago I realized three things. 1) I have a lot of tiny balls of handspun yarn. 2) I have lots of neat old buttons. 3) I need to sell something cheaper than a pair of mitts. And that is when I started to crochet ‘snuggly cuffs’.

snuggly cuffs
Snuggly Cuffs

They were super easy to do and used very small amounts of yarn. Well, recently someone pointed out to me just how easy they are to make, and while I found that comment irritating, I realized he was right. Sure you need to do something that is easy for you, but you don’t want it to look easy. So instead of just griping about it, I decided to take a different approach. I got out my stitch dictionary and reconsidered some of those interesting patterns I’d always wanted to try.

sassy cuffs
Sassy Cuffs

Before I knew it I had a fun little assortment — cables, lace, seed stitch. Last year’s new tiny item was the wristler, so maybe this year I’ll have ‘sassy cuffs’! I’ve found that it’s similar to doing a neckwarmer except that it is so much smaller and quicker. Plus it’s giving me a chance to test out some stitch patterns that I’ve wanted to use in mitts, but couldn’t be bothered to swatch. Win win win!

hand model w/ bracelets


texture in knitting.

When I found out I was NOT going to the Folk School this summer, I consoled myself by purchasing Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns.  It contains at least 500 different stitch patterns, and since I’d like to make more personalized and original pieces, I thought this was a good start.

Yesterday I got out some handspun that I wasn’t overly fond of, a pair of number 9 needles, and the BOOK. I started with the Plaited Basket Stitch, since I’d tried it before with instructions from another book and I couldn’t do it. This time it worked with no problems. I don’t know why, since I’m pretty sure the directions are the same! I really love the way it looks.

Because there was quite a bit of yarn left over, I started on another pattern. (These two pieces are not continuous).  It’s called Mock Honeycomb. I’m really drawn to the lattice-like patterns for whatever reason. The picture in the book looks better than my swatch, although blocking might be helpful.

When I was working on the basket stitch, I showed it to everyone in the office, since I was very excited about my success.  They just nodded and said, “that’s nice.”  But really, I don’t think they could tell that it was different from normal stockinette stitch. I had to get out my hat to show them exactly what was different. It definitely seems to me that variation, subtlety especially, in stitch patterns is for knitters.  Or at least your family who knows more than the average bear.

plaited basket stitch
Plaited Basket Stitch

mock honeycomb
Mock Honeycomb