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Mostly Knitting Blog

Want to find the new stuff on, or read about my latest projects and discoveries? This is the place.

Bingeing on Old Time Knitting Stitches

Yes, I had to look up how to spell bingeing. In Australia it’s binging but my brain says that rhymes with singing and the world prefers it with an e, so an e it has.

Where was I? Oh yes, old timey knitting stitches!

I’ve spent the last week knitting a bunch of stitches from the 1870’s and 1930’s and thought I’d share them with you over the next 6 weeks. I’ll be posting them on two days per week to leave space for other goodies and textile related ramblings. There will be lacy stitches, textured stitches and a couple of rather twisty ones too.

Today I’ll be started with two very simple, very old school knit and purl stitches from The Knitted Lace Pattern Book, published in 1870. Eloquently named stitch 28a and stitch 28b, they are, in fact, two very utilitarian knit/purl check stitches.

Large knit/purl check swatchKnit/purl swatch with small checks.

I know, they’re not lace. So why were they published in “The Knitted Lace Pattern Book”? Because they’re incredibly useful. I can imagine the large check used to knit baby blankets with a nice worsted weight wool and a thick border of moss stitch all the way round. The small one would be nice on a child’s cardigan or a very understated scarf with a band of red and white a couple of inches from each end. Or two ends of a scarf knit in the small check with 18 to 20 inches of rib in the middle as a Seaman’s scarf! Oh, and afghan squares. I guess it goes without saying that pretty much everything looks great as an afghan square.

Even though they’re very simple, I’ve supplied the patterns in words and chart form, so you can use whichever you prefer. In fact, there’s no reason you couldn’t work the small check in stranded knitting using the chart too.

Come back next time for a cool lace stitch from the 1930’s! (You can be notified by email when I post it by signing up on the left if you’re on desktop, or underneath this post if you’re on a tablet or mobile).


New Knitted Blanket Square Pattern

I have a new pattern for you today!

Lace square for a knitted blanket

Square for a Quilt (what a memorable name, ahem), was originally published in The Knitted Lace Pattern Book around 1870.

Knit in thread, it measures 7 inches square, but you could easily update the look by knitting it in fingering weight cotton or sock yarn. The squares can be joined to form lace and blackberry stitch diamonds in the traditional manner, or you could create a whole new design by joining them to make zig-zagging rows of eyelets and lace.

I hope you enjoy this pattern. I’ll be adding most of the Patterns from The Knitted Lace Pattern Book over the next few months so get your needles ready!


Beyond TAST Embroidery Samplers – Rice Stitch and Layering

The first thing I did after uploading the new version of the website was to get straight back to my Take a Stitch Tuesday samplers. (You can click on the photos for a closer look).

Rice stitch. We didn’t work rice stitch for the last TAST, so even though I’m working on Beyond TAST challenges now, I decided to work up a sampler to add to my stitch books.

Embroidered sampler with rice stitch on even weave fabric and wool blanket

I hated it.

At least, I hated everything I worked above the words. Then I decided to sew on a scrap of wool blanketing and work freehand and I loved it. It turns out that what I really didn’t like was the floppiness of the fabric as I’d washed out all the sizing when I dyed it. If I have any of this fabric left I’ll definitely starch it before stitching on it. I almost always wash my samplers after finishing them so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Speaking of washing, check out how much the orange crochet thread at the top bled! I definitely won’t be using that in embroidery again. I do love it though, I’ll just keep it for some single coloured crochet. Normally, I’d try washing it out but it doesn’t really bother me, what with the multi coloured background and the fact that not much will show once it’s mounted into a book. I didn’t really notice it until after I took the photo.

Next is my latest sampler for Beyond TAST. Exploring layered stitching.

I decided “layer all the things!” would be my premise so I gathered up strips of fabric (cut from previous TAST samplers), unspun wool scraps, and just about every type of thread I own. I even glued on some little plastic flowers. (E6000  glue is just as magic as I had been led to believe).

Embroidered sampler with layered stitching.

My theme started out as Australian plants and just grew from there. Pardon the pun 😉

I found one of the most interesting parts of this sampler was the layering of colours. I the flower bush, I had worked many shades of green and brown before sticking on the little plastic flowers. Once they were stuck on, they didn’t look like they belonged until I added lots of stitching in the flower colours to tie them in with the background shrubbery. If I were to try this again, I might even go as far as needle felting all sorts of things into the background. I had intended to here but after painting the calico, my embellisher probably would have just shredded it rather than incorporating any fibre into it.

Next up, I’m working on exploring line stitches. I’ll probably end up with two or three 8 inch samplers as there are a few different things I’d like to record.


An Impromptu Tutorial: Repairing a Teddy Bear

While our family were checking out the various recycling yards and op shops in our area the other day, my son adopted a poor little teddy bear he named Blinky.

Teddy bear with a missing eye

Meet Blinky.

Charlie felt sorry for Blinky, and convinced that I could fix him, he brought the bear home.

It turned out that I had a matching eyeball in my stash. What self respecting crafter doesn’t have an eyeball stash? (I have noses too) 😉

The result? Please enjoy my new tutorial: How to replace a teddy bear’s eye.