Saturday, March 12, 2011

Irish Washerwoman and other squares

Since St. Patrick's Day is around the corner and in honor of my Celtic heritage, I decided to knit a square using Sugar 'n Cream Lime Stripes. The results is the Irish Washerwoman square, named after the traditional Irish jig. This is a fast-paced little melody that you will most likely recognize when you hear it played in the video below:

The Irish Washerwoman eight inch square was knit using two strands of yarn on eighteen pegs of the Knifty Knitter 24-peg blue loom and incorporating what I call the 2-peg stitch double flat knit stitch, which is a variation of the mock crochet stitch. Oddly enough, this square can be knit to the beat of its namesake, but I strongly advise a version with a little slower pace. The 2-peg stitch double flat knit stitch has become a favorite of mine over the past couple of years since it produces a nice stitch pattern with edges that don't roll. Since I use this stitch frequently, I also developed a special cast on and bind off that matches the stitch pattern. In addition to the Irish Washerwoman square, I used the same stitch pattern with one strand of Loops & Threads Charisma chunky yarn in Sunny Day. The square below is a 10 inch square made using all 24 pegs of the Knifty Knitter blue loom. This square will be part of my Caribbean Dreams afghan:

I had been on a "squares" kick for the past couple of weeks, prior to knitting the Irish Washerwoman cloth and the Caribbean Dreams square. This was triggered by Kelly Jones latest LoomClass offering, Andalusian Washcloth.  Although this pattern was recommended for a fine gauge loom, I had decided to try it out on a larger gauge loom, mainly because fine gauge knitting tends to cause numbness in my hands. The Andalusian results are pictured below:

The smaller sherbet colored cloth on the left was made on the CindWood 1/2" gauge loom with one strand of Sugar'n Cream Over-the-Rainbow yarn. Using one strand on the regular gauge loom probably accounts for it's distorted hour-glass shape. The larger cloth was made using all the pegs on the Knifty Knitter 24-peg blue loom and two strands of Sugar "n Cream. I added a one inch garter stitch border to the beginning and end of the cloth. I actually meant to do a garter stitch border along the sides, but I didn't think of it until I had knit about 10 rows, so it only has a slip stitch border on the sides.

I've thought of another little project I would like to do for St. Patrick's Day, but as the old Irish saying goes:

“You'll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind!”

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


~ Sarah Doudney (1843-1926), English Novelist ~

I send thee pansies while the year is young,
Yellow as sunshine, purple as the night;
Flowers of remembrance, ever fondly sung
By all the chiefest of the Sons of Light;
And if in recollection lives regret
For wasted days and dreams that were not true,
I tell thee that the "pansy freak'd with jet"
Is still the heart's ease that the poets knew
Take all the sweetness of a gift unsought,
And for the pansies send me back a thought.

I had intended on posting this pattern almost a year ago. However, I wrote the pattern for the pansies about the time I lost Shandy, my Maltese, and little did I know that would be one of several other personal loses during the year. I was so grieve-stricken that I didn't blog much until fall and that didn't seem like a good time to blog about pansies. So now, with spring just around the corner, I decided to do the "pansy" post. 

These bright little flowers are made of five individual petals, two large and three small, all knitted as flat panels on the Knifty Knitter Spool Loom. They are a little fiddly to make, but the biggest obstacle to overcome is mastering the color changes which is explained in the Pansies pattern. Designing these colorful little flowers, also called Heartsease, has brought me much happiness through those who have enjoyed making them.

If you have an inquiring mind, you can learn a little pansy history from these sites:
I hope you enjoy making these as much as I have. Remember, comments are always welcome!