Why this journey?

I've been retired now for over a year. Husband has been sick but is now doing quite well with new pacemaker. I continue to knit and knit and crochet. Recently I became friends again with my sewing machine so you will see some of those projects, too. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cowl -- maybe Brioche?

In the stash I found two skeins of Mosaic by Bernat.  Really nice color waves from light gray thru several shades of blue and teal and into brown and rust.  Calling my name, you know.  What's a knitter to do?

Also saw a post on Google+ from a knitter who woke up to the call of the brioche stitch.  What a gal!  She's clearly hooked on knitting, probably has yarn in her veins.  The mittens she showed were so grand that I went in search of brioche knitting for YAP (yet another project.)

After reading and research about brioche knitting I decided 'not now.'  I just couldn't sort it out.  I wanted something that was a quick study so I put the several books aside and opted for a more direct approach.

I picked up the Bernat Mosaic and went to their site for a free pattern.  It's a lovely cowl and -- wait for it -- the stitch pattern is a version of brioche knitting.  It's very close to something called Fisherman's Rib, stretchy, soft, pliable, and feels like a couple of layers though it's only one layer of knitted fabric.

You can see all the colors, though only the gray and blue
shades are knitted.  The brown and rust are hiding beneath
the Rudolf antlers and bells.

The ribbing stitch is basically 2 rows with 'just plain knit' for every other row.  On the 'active' row, the ribbing is formed by knitting into the stitch below the one on the needle.  Here you can see how this technique makes a relatively large stitch; the stitch that falls off when you knit below creates the sense of 'extra layer.'  It's quite wonderful.  Would make a grand scarf.

The silver needle has been slipped under the long stitch.
Using this is a guide you should be able to see
the column of 'long' stitches above and below.  Also,
a column to the left.

I went back to the research because now I'm really curious.  Decided to search for "brioche ribbing."  Bingo!  Got to a site by the Queen of the Brioche Stitch, Nancy Marchant.  And one of the versions of brioche is ribbing, but it's called Fisherman's Rib.  The cowl above is almost a Fisherman's Rib; close enuf that I can now take what I know and search some more.

You had to know this would happen:  I bot a book.  Yes.  I bot the seminal text, by Nancy Marchant.  Went right to AbeBooks and ordered it there.  This pattern stitch is so wonderful I can hardly wait to try some of the other variations.

Bernat pattern is at this link:  Mosaic Cowl (Knit).  And here's what it looks like after I downloaded it to iBooks on my iPad (where I keep oodles of knitting stuff, like patterns and websites, magazines, and notes to myself.)

Pattern is on one page with 2-bar indicator showing, which
means it's not the easiest of patterns but not too difficult
for a newcomer OR someone who wants to learn a
new stitch.  
The designer doesn't call this Fisherman's Rib, cuz it's not quite FR.  Instead it's a row of knit stitches followed by a row of P1, K1B (Knit one below).  The cowl begins with 2 stitches and soon I'll have the base triangle and will branch off into a rectangle.  You'll see.   At the end I'll sew the short sides together and make it into a donut/cowl.

I reckon this is what makes me a knitting geek.  I had great fun discovering the details behind what I was doing in this simple pattern.  And the journey of discovery brought me to an expert, Nancy Marchant, and to the joy of conquering a new-to-me stitch.  Geeky?

Now wait just a minute!  That journey of discovery isn't geeky at all, no not at all.  Discovery is available to all of us wherever life has planted us.  We don't have to love knitting; maybe we're crazy about restoring vintage cars, or remodeling our bathroom, or creating a rock garden or signature recipe.  And we search and research and with hard work (and some serendipity) we find others who can help and mentor us plus materials that we will use for the next car/recipe/garden/bathroom.

I think this isn't geeky.  I think it's what makes us curious humans and I'm really glad for all the curious humans who've preceded me.  I wouldn't be typing a blog on my Mac if not for the journey of discovery of one Mr. Steve Jobs.

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