Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Violette: A Last Minute Gift for You and Yours

The stockings are hung; the tree is beautifully decorated; the solstice log nestles in the fireplace, waiting to warm celebrants. Each handmade gift is finished and lovingly wrapped, ready to hand round to family and friends. You’re done your holiday gift-making! Congratulations.

Shortly before the Big Day, you remember that your niece is visiting from overseas. A last minute gift exchange name draw happens. Somehow, in all the rush, you managed to leave your sister off the shopping list. What on earth to do?

This simple headband knits up in about 3 to 4 hours and its retro style is sure to please any recipient. This version, with its vintage ceramic button, is decidedly feminine, but if you omit the button and the finishing trim, it will suit anyone. The stitch pattern resembles a tiny cable - it’s actually a member of the family of travelling stitches and is a great introduction to working stitches out of order. The twisted stitches make the band slightly thicker and warmer than traditional K2P2 rib stitch. Apart from the twisted stitches, the band is knitted in basic K2, P2 ribbing, so it is easy enough for an Advanced Beginner.

I knit this band in a firmly spun and plied hand spun Merino, with approximately 15 twists per inch in the singles, 5 in the 2 ply yarn. The angle of twist is 30 degrees; wraps per inch are approximately 17 to 18. This firm yarn is soft, but shows the twisted stitches nicely. Substitute any similar commercial or hand spun sport weight yarn of your choice.


Violette: The Pattern

Approximately 50 grams of sport weight yarn.  I used about 22 grams of a 100 metre/44 gram skein.

1 pair of 3 mm straight needles or size needed to match gauge.

Tapestry needle, scissors, and vintage button (optional).

Gauge: 8 sts per inch/2.5 cm. over twisted rib pattern before blocking.  (Multiple of 4 stitches + 2)

Size before blocking is approximately 2.75 inches/7 cm. wide x 18.5 inches/46 cm. long. The band blocks to about 4 inches/10 cm. but will draw in again when worn. You can widen the band by increasing in multiples of 4.

Right Twist: Knit into the front of the second knit stitch on left hand needle, knit into the first stitch on LH needle as usual, drop both stitches from LH needle after working.

Left Twist: Knit into the back of the second knit stitch on left hand needle, knit into the first stitch on LH needle as usual, drop both stitches from LH needle after working.

Cast on 22 stitches, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Row 1 (Right Side): K2, P2

Row 2 (Wrong Side): P2, K2

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 twice more for a total of 5 rows.

Row 7 (RS): *RT, P2*across row, ending with a RT

Rows 8 to 12: Work in rib pattern (as in Rows 1 and 2)

Row 13 (RS): *LT, P2* across row, ending with a LT

Rows 14 to 18: Work in rib pattern. There are 5 plain K2P2 rib rows between each pattern row.

Repeat from Row 7 to 18 until you are approximately 1 inch/2 cm. short of the required length when the band is stretched around your head (approximately 17 to 18 inches/42 to 44 cm.). You want the band to be snug around your ears and head. The band will relax after washing. End by working a pattern row.

Starting on the WS, work in pattern for 6 rows, binding off on Row 7 and leaving another long yarn tail after fastening off last stitch. Wash and block the band before sewing.

Using mattress stitch and one long end of yarn, stitch the Cast On and Bound Off edges of the band together from the right side, matching knits to knits and purls to purls. Secure yarn end.

Finishing for Violette: (You may omit this cinching.) Thread the tapestry needle with the other long end of yarn. Run this yarn through the tops of the knit stitches on both sides of the seam. Pull the yarn up firmly to cinch up the middle of the band. Secure yarn ends and sew on button.

For an even faster, more casual style, work the band on 14 to 18 stitches in a heavier yarn.

©Deborah Behm
December 2014

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