Category Archives: Chest of Knitting Horrors


I promised I’d post pix of some of my HorrorsTM. Here’s the first: North Truro – my bulletproof cotton counterpane.

I’m fascinated by the way pieced quilting is composed. In it, thegeometric shapesbuild increasingly more visually complex units by the way they interact either in color, texture or line. Knitted counterpanes by contrast rarely offer that sort of interplay. Usually they’re made up of all one shape. Sometimes two, but rarely more. I wanted to build something that used several units, and in which the design built upon itself unit by unit. In this case, I’ve combined a hex, a patterned square, a patterned triangle, and a plain triangle to make a larger repeat. All of these units are my own design (I’ve highlighted the units so you can spot them):

I reallylike the way the squares and triangles extend the hex, making larger compass roses. I like the way the lines of eyelets draw the eye from rose to rose. Interestingly enough, this layout isn’t the only one possible. The swirl hexes can be used alone, and the compass rose unit can be arranged in one of several ways (the last one is layout shown above):

The name? North Truro, Cape Cod, Massachusettsis where we vacation each summer, and is one of my all-time favorite places. This piece was composed and knit on the beach. Also the compass rose design resonates with that town’sseafaring heritage.

Sadly this project languishes only because of Bad Yarn Choice. The DK-weight yarn I used is too heavy. The central swirl-star hex measures 9 inches across. The compass rose unit measures about 16 inches across. When I do this again I’ll do it up in sport or lighter (on smaller needles of course). Eventually I’llinvent a companion half-hex and border. I do however have all the units pictured above graphed up already, and do have enough done to illustrate the concept. If people are interested, I’ll consider posting what I’ve got so far to the free patterns page at wiseNeedle. Unless of course some well-heeledpattern publisher wishes to offer me oodles of cash to finish it up. Since the chance of that happening is slightly less than zero, you can count of seeing it on wiseNeedle sometime soon.


This may well belong under a Chest of Knitting HorrorsTM entry, but I’m sorely disappointed with something I made for myself last year.

I knit up Berroco’s Tatania pattern. I didn’t use the recommended Berroco Sensuwool, instead I used an oddly labeled but beautiful wool that knit to the same gauge. After long and hard study (and after finally seeing other yarns by the same maker), I’ve decided that this stuff was Filtes King Australian Merinos Collection Irrestringible – a 100% Merino wool of about sport gauge. It was hard to tell exactly who made this yarn because the label also lists "Rosina Filati" and "Filtes Genoa", and placement of the name was confusing. I’ve listed it in the yarn review collection as Rosina King Australian Merinos, but I plan on correcting that the next time I do a database edit.


Knitting up this pullover was mostly pleasant. The wool is soft and forgiving to use, although it is a splitter. The pattern however has a serious error in it. The unusual neckline shaping should be formed by increases rather than decreases as written. Once I subbed "inc" for every "dec" on the neck part, everything came out o.k.

The (minor) tragedy of this piece has happened since. The yarn is a soft cabled multi-ply multi-color. I’ve been told it looks like Missoni Stampato, with two plies of deep blue, and two plies of variegated jewel color loosely twisted together. Sadly even though those plies are nicely twisted, and I found no imperfections or knots in the balls themselves the yarn has chosen to break in several spots. I now have a nifty sweater sitting in my darning basket waiting for me to Kitchener up at least three holes.

What caused this? I don’t know. I’ve got no moths, and didn’t notice any fiber weakness while knitting. I only wore it twice before I noticed the breaks, and spray blocked it instead of dunking it; so it hasn’t even undergone washing yet.

What am I doing about it? For now, letting it sit in the "to be mended" pile until my enthusiasm grows and/or I can figure out how to prevent more holes. I guess it really should be included with the rest of the HorrorsTM.

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