You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 105

Download audio

Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
A quick little knit.

Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 105

Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
I'm really pleased with how this looks. The points are added, mostly, through blocking.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
I made it for my mom as a birthday gift.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
The color changes in this yarn really went well with the pattern, but just about any yarn would work well, I think.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
This is what severe blocking creates.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
Red stands out, but there are little sparkles or yellow and green, as well.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
I haven't seen my mom wear it yet. I'm curious to see if she wears it more as a scarf.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
I really pulled on these points.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
I suppose it's clear that, once I get something lit the way I like it, I will just shoot until I run out of time.

Happy New Year!

This marks the beginning of the third year of Math4Knitters, Crafty Living. Thank you to everyone who makes this all possible. I really enjoy making this show, and I hope it adds a little something to your week, as well.

This week, I chat with the inimitable Meg Swansen and share a pattern for a quick-knit shawlette.

Tripinnate Shawlette

I was inspired to make this shawlette by the shape of some of the leaves that fell in my yard last fall. They are a lot like maple leaves, but huge! Maybe maple leaves can be enormous, like this, but I haven't noticed before.

I liked the structure of the leaf. Three major ribs branch out from the center. This shawlette is my first attempt at working on the same notion. I think I will try at least one more like this. I don't think I quite hit the nail on the head, but I do still like the pattern a lot.

"Tripinnate," as far as I can tell, describes a structure that has branches that then have branches of their own. Any botanists out there, please feel free to let me know if that's wrong. If it means what I think it means, it describes this pattern pretty well.

I used #6 needles and Dream in Color Yarn's Dream Club October 2011. 52% Scott's Ranch Kid Mohair, 48% Merino Wool, 100 grams is about 410 yards. The finished shawl weighs 97 grams. So, you should need about 398 yards of fingering-weight yarn for this project. Most skeins of sock yarn would work very well, I think.

I blocked the shawlette with an intensity that would, under other circumstances, be construed as extreme dislike and it ended up being about 50 inches wide and 17 inches deep in the middle. The careful observer will see that there are more points on the shawl than it truly deserves. Those are added purely in the blocking stage. Instead of threading a blocking wire through every row of the outer edge to make it nice and smooth, I chose points to pull on and simply pinned them out as far as they would stretch. In other words, this might really be an example of either creative blocking or an extreme example of very poorly done blocking. You may choose. I think it's creative.


The lovely, lovely Meg Swansen agreed to give me a little bit of her time again this year. We talked about her new book Knitting With Two Colors, Armenian Knitting, and dressing dolls, among many other things. Thank you, Meg.

Links Knitting With Two Colors

Instructions for Elsa Schiaparelli's Bowknot Sweater are free and online from Schoolhouse Press. You can also buy a kit for the sweater from them.

Armenian Knitting: Designs from Joyce Williams and Meg Swansen

There are several beautiful examples of Bohus Sweater knitting in the wild. Fleegle has knit some. Wendy has knit one. The Yarn Harlot has knit one.

Poems of Color, a book about Bohus knitting, is available from Schoolhouse Press (for now, there are a limited number of copies). If you buy it along with the DVD documentary about Bohus knitters, you get a 20% price break.

Sasha Dolls

Walpurgis Night

Walpurgis Night (1935 movie)

St. David's Day

American Girl Dolls

St. Lucia's Day

Spun Out Designs

Amy Detjen's Teaching Schedule

Madrona Fiber Arts Festival

Annie Modesitt

Barbara G. Walker's Books