As I was about to start working on the knotwork edging for “the vest that never ends”, it occurred to me to try the knot I wanted with a couple different stitches. I want the knotwork edge to be crisp and clear, yet only require a chain of stitches and the stitches quick and easy to create.
In my opinion, the Oslo stitch wasn’t as sturdy and didn’t provide as much definition for the single colored knot, even when I tried tightening up the stitches.
|Oslo Stitch tightened around needle|
The Finnish stitches with 4 loops all had a crisper clearer knot that was easier to see. I think the Finnish 2+2 and Finnish 3+1 stitches gave the nicest effect. (Finnish 3+1 isn’t listed as an official stitch, that I can find. But it’s a logical variant of the Finnish stitches.)
|Finnish 2+2 Stitch|
|Finnish 1+3 (Broden) Stitch|
So I chose Finnish 2+2 for my stitch and started off on the edging with gusto. I realized half way around the vest (which is a HUGE circle), that I was going to run out of blue yarn for the edge. Blah! This edging style eats up yarn at an alarming rate! So I bought another skein of Cascade Eco+ Yarn (478 yards) of the Lake Chelan Heather blue and was lucky it’s the same dye lot. There will be quite a bit of the yarn left over. What to do with that? Socks? Mini vest for my youngest? Hmm…
And this one really surprised me, I thought it wouldn’t work with the longer loops to the next knot. But when tightened it worked out well.
Several bits and pieces on how to do the scarf were scattered in my blog posts. But it wasn’t a real tutorial and a few important tidbits were missing. So I’ll write down the process for those who would like to make their own nalbound knotwork items with more complicated knots. For my examples, I use the Finnish 2+2 stitch.
This is the knot style we’ll be working with. (Page 33 of Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction.) I highlighted one part of the knot in the diagram, so we can easily see the construction.
To make the knots:
Make to chains of stitches. One or two colors of yarn can be used.
Make a loop with one chain of stitches. I try not to let mine twist – so my knots are more uniform.
Now we’ll start working over and under, over and under until we’ve completed the knot.
The second one is the one that caught my interest for a fashion scarf (too many holes to be a practical scarf) done in Finnish 2+2 stitch. With these knots I haven’t been counting stitches obsessively like I did with the pretzel knot cowl. I just work long chains of the yarns and make the knots. I’ll keep going with the knots (below) until I run out of green. I suspect these knots could be done in rows and be a fabric by themselves. But I don’t have enough green to test that theory. So I’ll edge it in blue to make the scarf a tad wider.
The circle vest I’ve been working on officially has been given the nickname “The Vest that Never Ends”. It’s taking quite a while to finish the project, but I also thought it fit because the colors spiral out from the center into what looks like infinity and they get lost in the stripe effect.
Only 2-4 more inches? Maybe there is an end after all…
Yes, yes. I should be working on my circle vest to have it done before the end of February for the Green Camel Gathering fiber arts event. But I got distracted, you see.
A spiffy knotwork headband post from one of the Facebook groups inspired me this week to start to learn how to do knotwork in nalbinding, beyond braids. I’ve always loved Celtic and Viking knotwork, thus I was dragged (not unwillingly) into another project. Thankfully this one went quickly!
It’s been wicked cold out (windchill -20°F/-28°C to -30°F/-34°C) this week, so a cowl was the perfect project.
|The cowl with the clasp undone.|
|I’m trying not to giggle as my son snaps the picture of me in this cowl indoors.|
Working on each of the little pretzel like knots was addictive and the work went quickly. Yarn details are on the project page. I suspect this will lead to more knotwork projects…
To help my fellow nalbinders with knotwork of their own (since it took me a couple tries to be able to make them consistently), I took pictures of each step for making the little pretzel knots. (They’re actually overhand knots – but they look so much like pretzels!) Hopefully this will also help me remember how to do the knots too.
How to Make Knotwork “Pretzels”: (Or at least it’s how I made them. There are probably several ways to make them.)
To start, I’ll recommend making a pretzeloverhand knot and measuring it against a flat row of stitches, so you can get the width in stitches of your knots and how many stitches for each section.