Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Snowflakes on the loom

It’s "Christmas in Dixie, there’s snowflakes on the loom” (apologies to the singing group, Alabama). Well, after much frustration, many froggings, pattern re-writings, and two failed attempts, I have mastered the loom knitted snowflake. The basic snowflake is made using only six pegs of any knitting loom, rake or board. I used the “short row shaping” method and one strand of yarn to create a circular piece. After figuring out the basic pattern and using different looms, I incorporated lace, loops, flat knit and twisted knit stitches to give the snowflakes an individual look. Large gauge looms give a lacy look, but with fine gauge looms you can vary stitches for more visual variety. The snowflakes work up pretty fast, requiring about 30 minutes each to complete. The most time consuming part of making them, is waiting on the fabric stiffener to dry.

Picture Descriptions
The picture at the top features my first three successful snowflakes, which are approximately 4 inches in diameter. The top snowflake was completed using 6 pegs of the blue Knifty Knitter and a flat knit stitch. The two bottom snowflakes were done on 6 pegs of a 3/8” gauge loom. Stitches were varied, along with blocking techniques to create unique looks for each snowflake. The picture below shows my first two trial-and-error attempts. However, all is not lost, because the snowflake on the left has the potential to become a flower in future incarnations. Sorry, I can’t say the same for the one on the left. Many times I knit while half-watching TV. This didn’t work well while doing this particular snowflake (notice the oversized petal at the top). This is due to the constant changes in stitches, decreases, and increases with every row which require your undivided attention. I like to refer to the mutant snowflake on the right as my “pirate snowflake” because I was watching “Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadman’s Chest” when I lost count and made the terrible blunder. Oh well, the third time was a charm -- as long as you aren’t counting all the frogged attempts.