Almost Argyle Socks
Finally, a decent picture that makes the pattern at least look coherent:
I'm curious, did you try plain knit blocks and not like the way they looked, or did you just go straight for the vertical twisted stitches under the diagonal ones?
I did try a couple different versions - purl blocks and moss stitch blocks, purl blocks and double moss blocks, before settling on purl blocks and twisted stitch blocks, but I didn't try knit and purl. Knit stitch cables and traveling lines usually show up best on a non-knit stitch, hence the reverse stockinette background for most Aran sweaters. I would have really liked to make the purl and moss stitch blocks work, but I just couldn't figure out a way to make all four quadrants of the moss stitch blocks odd-numbered (1, 3, 5, 7 stitches wide). Trying to use moss stitch in such narrow spaces when each section couldn't be started AND ended with either a knit or purl stitch looked awfully lopsided and uneven.
I think I'm going to develop a 2-color version of these, too, using stranded knitting - plain purl blocks in a checkerboard pattern, with Fair Isle stranding used to easily put opposite-color traveling lines on each block. The idea of mixing texture AND color is very interesting to me; this would be a simple, quick way to try out some of my ideas.
When you stitch [the steek] down, I'm assuming you use the background color yarn and not a thread, right? Also, you are only tacking it down through the floats and not clear through to the other side of the fabric. I was thinking about doing a crossed stitch tacking but wasn't sure exactly how to attach it to the fabric.
I definitely use a strand of the predominant background color yarn, though if I were neatening a steek on a cardigan front, I'd use whatever blended best with the inside of the sweater. With a sharp tapestry needle, I catch only the floats on the reverse, trying to split the floats rather than looping all the way around them. Catching the whole float, I find, makes it pretty easy to distort stitches on the right side when the facing stretches and flexes during wear.
I have been having some really interesting email conversations with some of you guys over Norwegian steeks. Elka has got me on a quest to do some serious history reading - I think a development arc for the "Norgi" we know today that is similar to the birth of the commercial Fair Isle is probably pretty predictable. Scottish steeks only came about when the suddenly in-demand colored sweater needed to be produced quickly for sale; the (one-color) sweaters worn by real fishermen and farmers were knit seamlessly in the gansey style, not by cutting. I think the complexity of colorwork, both in Shetland and in Norway, is probably directly tied to commercial demand, much as complex cables and Aran motifs only developed after big fishing outfits and resulting tourism came to the isle. Fascinating stuff!
Speaking of Norwegian knits, I was browsing through Starmore's Scandinavian Knitwear the other day, and came across this:
That sound you hear? Is my mind, boggling. Gears are turning...how much fun would it be to come up with a pattern for something like this?
Bellybuttons Are Not Mirrors
On blogging: I'm with you guys - what's there to gnash about, or even overdiscuss, really? It's just people knitting. Thanks for the kind words, though.
Calling Montgomery/Howard/Baltimore County Knitters, And Any Other Interested Parties
I've been talking for AGES about starting a local knit night, probably somewhere in or near Columbia, for people in the area. Monday nights would work well for me and one other person I've already talked to - anyone game for something like this? Any suggestions on venue?
via BoingBoing: House Of Tartan's interactive tartan weaver. You can choose colors, color order, stripe width, and they'll generate a pattern for you. It's meant to be turned into a woven fabric you order from them, but this is brilliant for experimenting with color order and stripe sequences. I've been playing with it all afternoon.