Serious swatching

While I was swatching for Tommy’s new jacket (which is seriously under way: I’m nearly finished the back), I was playing with diagonal ribbing for the pockets. I briefly considered diagonal brioche ribbing, and ultimately decided against it, but not before knitting a swatch with diagonals going one way and then the other. The effect was very pretty: not something I wanted for Tommy’s jacket, but something I wanted to use somewhere.

So I mentioned wanting to submit something to Knitty for the winter issue. I was originally thinking I’d adapt the cardigan I knitted recently for a friend’s baby girl (making it grownup-size, and adding some shaping for boobs and waist). This would be ideal, because Knitty states clearly that sweater designs are most likely to get published. They also have a policy of not accepting anything that has been “published” elsewhere, which includes Ravelry and blogs, but I think the baby version I’ve posted here is sufficiently different from whatever I’d submit to Knitty that I’d get away with it.

The problem is that the wool I ordered hasn’t arrived, and I have only 3 weeks left before the deadline. So it’s not going to happen. I knit quickly, but not faster than the speed of light.

Back to the swatch with travelling brioche stitches. I’ve decided to design some mittens. This may or may not get immediately rejected, but it’ll be a useful exercise anyway… Kind of like an interview for a job you don’t really want: when the real thing comes along, you’ll have gotten a sense of what to expect (meaning it’s useful to do a sort of dry run through the submission process with these mittens so I’ll know what to expect when I get around to submitting a sweater).

image

Travelling brioche stitch (the tapering is because I wanted to see how the mitten cap decreases would work).

Anyway, so here’s a swatch of the travelling brioche stitch in some lovely possum/merino yarn from Touch Yarns. I like possum for brioche because the dark fur adds contrast to the depth, and I like possum for mittens because it seems to prevent pilling. It also makes the yarn less elastic, so it isn’t great for fitted things, but for mittens and scarves, it’s just fine.

So three weeks to knit some mittens, do a little photo shoot, and write a pattern. We’ll just see.


  1. There’s a website called New Stitch a Day that has instructions for diagonal brioche stitch but the stitch they describe doesn’t end up looking like brioche at all. What I wanted was more a travelling stitch effect. You can find instructions for that here.
  2. Hats, for example, as I discovered the hard way when I made my father-in-law a beautiful Koolhaas in some very nice fingering weight possum/merino. It just didn’t work: hats, it turns out, need to be stretchy.
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