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Published: December 4, 2011 8:00 a.m.

Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 101

Lara Neel

Lara Neel - The Journal GazetteCAT

I'm always impressed by how cute most things are if they are small enough.


Lara Neel - The Journal GazetteCAT

I love the way the colorwork looks - finally.

This week, I chat with Anni Holm, a visual artist and knitter, and share a pattern for a Tiny Christmas Stocking.

Tiny Christmas Stocking

I had a few challenges with this little pattern. First of all, when I made the original chart, I didn't leave enough of the pattern color in the corners, so my floats were too long, and it ended up kind of strange. Also, my floats were super-tight, overall. After pulling on the stocking for a while and cursing, I decided to try again. I added some more elements to the chart, swore to knit more loosely, and turned the piece inside-out when I made the colorwork.

When it's inside-out, it's easier to leave the floats nice and loose, although it was a bit fiddly, since the stocking is only 42 stitches around.

I also really wanted to get the pattern down to just one page. It forced me to be brief and leave out little tricks and tips, like the inside-out thing. I don't think I'll do that all of the time, but I was thinking it would be nice to have just one page to worry about if you are like me and enjoy having a tiny project or three when you are traveling over the holidays.

I also wrote, for simplicity's sake, the short-row heel in a way that leaves enormous gaps. If that bothers you, feel free to employ various gap-closing techniques. There are many out there. A great description of many of them is available here. Japanese short-rows are my favorite. (I think that would translate as "Nihon no mijikai gyō," but that's a literal translation, and probably isn't the term actually used.) I studied Japanese from when I was 15 to 20, so that isn't completely out of left field, for me.

I simply sewed up the holes when I was finishing. I think it doesn't matter much, as long as it looks ok, because no one will actually be wearing these stockings.

After I finished the tiny stocking, I was too impatient to wet-block it, so I boiled up a teakettle of water, opened the spout, and held the stocking into the stream of steam to block it. It worked very well, although my partner couldn't seem to decide if it was a strange or cute thing to do.

In Other News, I'm Some Sort of Yarn-Sucking Vortex

My friend Heather made a version of my Deux Côtés Shawl. It looks totally awesome and I hope she puts more photos of it on her project page soon. She used size 7 needles and made fewer repeats. Also, I think she said she blocked it without mercy. Hers is much more open and lacy. Most interestingly, it took a LOT less yarn. So, I either am a yarn-store-owner's dream and just need more yarn than anyone else, or changing the gauge helped make a large shawl with less yarn. I'm guessing it's probably a little of both.

I have a chat coming up with Meg Swansen. This will actually be the fourth time I've had the pleasure of her virtual company. She was kind enough to be the first knitter of the year for me to talk with in 2011 and 2010. Those shows aren't available on iTunes anymore, but you can listen to them through the links in the show notes. We also chatted back in 2006, but that link appears not to be working. (I'm working on fixing that.)

I have some topics I want to talk about with Meg, but I also would like to know what you want to hear. So, please either send a note to craftyliving@jg.net or leave a comment on this blog post by December 11, 2011.


My chat this week is with Anni Holm, an artist who uses knitting in her work. We talked about her art, Art Walks Chicago and the International Fiber Collaborative.


Anni Holm's Website

Museum of Contemporary Photography

The West Loop in Chicago

NetWorking Blog

International Fiber Collaborative