Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Knitting Noro and Knitting Nice

Strips of lace knits, by R de Heer
A few years ago, when we still had a craft and yarns shop in our town, I became obsessed with the colour play possible in the mixing and matching of Noro sock yarns.

Unbeknown to either of us, JL and I both knitted on the diagonal all that winter. We told each other that we were knitting. What we were knitting. How relaxing it was. How good it felt to watch TV and still produce some thing worthwhile.

I did mine in strips with a comfortable width (about 20 cm/ 8 inches). My intentions at the time, I seem to remember, was to use all the possible openwork and lace stitches in my extremely old knitting dictionary, and use them on the diagonal.

The rules we set ourselves!

I started with socks I now recall, completing just one of the pair. My mother knitted two pairs of socks a week, every week at the time. She kept the whole family including 14 grandchildren, and 6 great grand children in socks, as well as the monthly street stall run by the facility she is in. There was no point.

The yarn shop shut down, I settled down to the renovations at my house, I broke my wrist etc etc. No knitting for the whole of that winter. This winter, though, I could hardly wait. And since 2014 is the year that I finish projects, I thought I'd get out the strips, whatever they would turn out to be.

I'm planning a long vest. I'm knitting the yoke now, then sewing or crocheting the pieces onto it.

I ordered a final (hopefully) skein of Noro yarn online. While I waited for its delivery, I sewed in yarn ends and I got to know the strips again. The glowing colours. The stitches I used. The problems I had with turning the direction of the slant sometimes, on the right in the pic.

Plenty of questions were raised by knitting lace stitches along the diagonal -- the oblique openwork stitch became vertical as seen on the left in the pic. Some stitches couldn't be done at all, the continual increasing on one side, decreasing on the other, threw their patterning in complete disarray and led to lots of frogging as you northern hemisphere knitters say.

I've got the whole lot hidden under a couch cushion as my cat Maggy loves to knead and nest among new knits.

For your interest:

Mon Tricot Knitting Dictionary, 900 Stitches and Patterns for knitting, crochet, patchwork, jacquard, afghan, fork & technics. Translated and adapted into English (from French) by Margaret Hamilton-Hunt, 1971.

Prices at the time: USA & Canada $1.98; UK 75 NP; AUS & NZ $AU 1.50.


  1. Lovely colors. Your vest will be very cool when it is done.

    1. Thank you Ann, You are knitting some lovely things as well