September 2, 2010
I made a patchwork afghan for my good spouse many years ago. It is mostly squares of different patterns taken from Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and maybe some from A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.
I just happened upon The Walker Treasury Project, where they are asking for volunteers to knit and photograph squares of the patterns from all of her books. I need to get the books back from my mom so I can look up what patterns I used, then see if those patterns are still open on the project. I can’t remember the names of them! (Besides things like “stockinette” and “moss,” that is.)
Also, the good spouse has hinted that I could make another afghan, similar in construction but with different patterns. I could look at the patterns that are open, and choose from those, helping out the Project, and making the spouse happy at the same time.
September 2, 2010
I decided it would be a good idea, from a design standpoint, to do some test knitting. I’d already joined the Ravelry group, Free Pattern Testers, so it was just a matter of finding the right pattern to try. I was looking for something small and fairly simple, so it wouldn’t take a lot of time away from my already burgeoning to-do list. It wasn’t too long before I spotted the Quadrille Knitted Lace Doily by Tiny Knit.
From the pattern description: “Quadrille is a lace doily for experienced beginner to intermediate knitters, using basic stitches in a repetitive pattern.” The pattern is knit in the round and comes with both written and charted instructions. I tested the written instructions.
I’m far from a beginner, or even intermediate knitter, but I found this to be extremely simple. I think it would be a good first lace project. It was a nice, quick knit (if the knitting took five hours, I’d be surprised) that was easy to pick up and set down — I didn’t have to look back at the instructions every other stitch to figure out what to do, or spend five minutes figuring out where I left off. I did most of my knitting on it while sitting at long stop lights and walking up and down the stairs at work. It is (if I remember Barbara Walker‘s definitions correctly) knitted lace, where every other row is simply knit. (As opposed to lace knitting, which has yarn-overs on every row, or do I have those backwards? Or am I wrong, and it wasn’t Barbara Walker? I never should have given my mom back the extra copy of the First Treasury.)
There are helpful links for a couple of recommended techniques (Emily Ocker’s crochet cast-on, and a crocheted bind-off), and also pictures in the pattern to help with the bind-off.
As well as being a fun, easy knit, it was a good learning experience. I did find one error in the original pattern (fixed), and it was the sort of thing that is easily overlooked. I almost didn’t catch it myself! It gave me new appreciation for the worth of test knitters, and the difficulties they can face. You can’t just read and knit the pattern as you normally would, filling in missing bits and correcting minor errors without really noticing them. Noticing them is what you’re supposed to do!