The long flight overseas was not wasted.  I managed to knit a hat during the trip.  This is Le Bulot (The Whelk) by Kokolat de la Kokolatiere.  I worked it up with some remnants, roughly less than half a skein each of charcoal color Regia Extra Twist Merino, and On-Line Supersocke 100 Harlekin Color for the multi.

Whelk Hat

I’m pleased with the result, but I can say that the pattern isn’t entirely straightforward.  It took some deciphering, plus referring back and forth between the French original, the English translation, and the very informative pix of the finished item, but I got it all together in the end. 

One thing that sped up production and minimized the number of things that could go sliding underneath my airplane seat – instead of using the slip one stitch to a cable needle and knit in front, I used a left twist stitch.   When I got up to the part of the pattern that included decreases made at selected twists, I worked them by inserting the tip of my right hand needle into the backs of the second and third stitch from the end, knitting them together but leaving them on the right hand needle, then shimmying the right hand needle into position to knit the twisted stitch, and finally slipping the entire unit off the left hand needle.  Oh, and while doing that I kept track of which color would follow in the logic of the row, and made sure that the decrease was worked with that one.  Not particularly difficult, but not exactly mindless, either.

On the yarns, I’ve used the Supersocke many times before.  It’s a standard issue self striping sock yarn, with an interesting mix of bright colors in a rather conservative small repeat.  On socks, about four full repeats of the entire color sequence will occur in the foot part.  I was less pleased with the Regia Extra Twist Merino.  It’s nice and soft, and looks good when knit up, but for a sock weight yarn it splits like crazy.  No word yet on durability, but I’ve knit a hat, admittedly not the most torturous use for the stuff.

I’ve finally unpacked my knitting and stitching stash.  Working on my big green sampler right now will be problematic, though.  I don’t have a good light for evening stitching, although I can haul a kitchen chair to the big windows and work on it during the day.  I may ease my stitching withdrawal symptoms by working on a smaller in-hoop project.  I brought some supplies and a kit with me, so I’m armed. 

In the mean time, I’ve embarked on the MMario Knits Dragon Stole, an extended exercise in filet knitting.


I’d played with filet knitting before, but was not satisfied with the methods I had tried.  MMario uses three worked rows per graphed chart line, and while not as teeny, nor as precisely geometric as filet crochet, works quite nicely. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to apply his method to my huge warehouse of Italian Renaissance graphed patterns and have some cross-pollination fun.

5 responses

  1. Hi, I like this hat! Thanks for sharing! Cheers bjmonitas

  2. Adorable hat, but I can’t imagine working it on a plane.

  3. The hat does have a whelk-like feel to it. I’m amazed you were able to be alert enough to deal with the working variables while dragging your poor body through too many time zones. Re the Dragon Stole– I don’t have my Johann Sibmacher in front of me, but it looks like either the 1603 book or the 1597. Very clever to apply that to filet knitting! My main problem with filet anything is the fact that I tend to mess up on the reverse row. BTW dragon? For all these years it always struck me as a seahorse. Hmmmm…


    1. I think you’re right about the dragon’s source. I also thought of it more as a hippocampus, but “Dragon Stole” is the name of the official project. I’m working it because I want to learn the filet technique, which I want to then apply to some of the patterns you and I know and love. So far it’s going smoothly, although it’s no where near as fine a filet crochet. And this method would drive you extra special nuts. It takes three rows to achieve one chart row. Which means that chart rows alternate purl and knit row orientation. Still, there’s scope here for lots more fun. Stay tuned!

  4. I was right about the “dragon” motif being from the 1603 Sibmacher. There is a darn good reason it isn’t a dragon–the motif right next to it is a mermaid. I
    mm glad to know my memory still works at times. The designer is free to call it whatever she likes, but it actually it’s a seahorse or some other form of aquatic beast. I just watched a streaming video showing the filet knitting technique. Yes, you are right, it would drive me extra special nuts. My brain glazed over. Better you than me!
    I’ll stick to filet crochet.


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