A very twisted selvage

A very twisted selvage

Last night, I went to Claddagh Yarns for a talk by Narangkar Glover (maker of the Knitters Graph Paper Journal) about color theory and knitting. Without giving it a moment’s thought, I wore dark jeans, black oxfords and a black-and-ivory striped tee. But I at least I was knitting with purple yarn!

You may be wondering what’s become of my Tag Team Sweater Project sweater since Seattle, and though it looks barely changed, there’s been a fair amount of knitting. On the way home from Seattle, I picked up stitches for the buttonhole band. (The pattern gives actual stitch counts between buttonholes, and I approve of the placement, so I wasn’t worried about calculating spacing.) Picking up 3 stitches for every 4 rows, as indicated, I wound up with about 56% of the prescribed number of stitches. Like: whoa, major discrepancy. Although I couldn’t explain it (we stuck to the pattern length, and our row gauge might be different but not that different), it was clear that if my stitch count was so far off from the pattern’s, I wouldn’t be able to use its stitch counts for the buttonholes, so I had to abort that mission. Back home, over the course of a few different sittings, I redid the pick-up several times. I knitted one whole band to completion to prove to myself that it was way too short. Ripped it out and picked up higher and higher ratios of stitches before realizing the problem was exactly what I had expected on day one: the selvage stitches.

Trillium has a selvage treatment called Wrapped Chain Selvage (which is called Twisted Stitch Selvage in Slade). Anna and I debated whether or not to do it — I feared it would eventually complicate my life, but she wanted to try it, and you know I do like to try new things so I was persuaded. Then I sort of forgot it was there. With normal stockinette, there’s the usual running thread between every edge stitch and the one next to it, and you pick up stitches in the gaps between those threads. With WCS/TSS, each gap is two rows tall, with the corresponding running threads being twisted around each other, tight enough that you might not notice it’s out of the ordinary. So instead of picking up stitches in each gap, you pick up one in a gap, then plunge the tip of your needle between those two twisted strands and pick up a stitch from there. Oy. At least I finally figured it out, and the bands were short work after that.

So all I have left now is the sleeves, which I’m downsizing from the pattern. Think I can get through them in a weekend?


IN DRAMATIC WEBSHOP NEWS, the hotly anticipated Cable Fashion Drama is back in stock! This slender-but-jam-packed Japanese pattern book generated a waiting list as long as my arm — I’ve never seen anything like it. But the waiting list people have all been alerted to its presence, so it’s time for you to have a crack at the stack. You can order your copy right here.

Also freshly restocked: Japanese thread snips and row counters, Bento Bags in large natural linen, and two other waiting list items: the Indian rosewood crochet hook in size H and the bone DPNs in smaller sizes, US2 and US3. And might I suggest a tasty treat to go with?


Happy weekend, y’all. What are you doing while I knit my sleeves?

16 thoughts on “A very twisted selvage

  1. I’m going to be a very well prepared spinning student in Brooke’s class on Sunday! Woot!! And will also try to finish a hat for the babe.

  2. I’ll be finishing Triple Twist Cable Mitt #2 of my knitting guild Design-A-Thon entry so it can have a dip in Eucalan and get all its stitches patted into place and dry before the judging on Thursday. Whee!

  3. Hi Karen, your Fringe Association has become a daily ritual, along with reading the local news (although I must admit your writings are much more interesting than the news!). Anyway, I just got the Yarn Pyramid framed and will hang it as soon as the Wool is…print is done. Will snap a shot and send it to you after they are on the wall! Thank you for such good information and a wonderful resource!

  4. I’m going to relearn to crochet…or at least that is the plan. Mighty difficult some days to get anything accomplished at all with my very active (and very needy!) son around.

  5. I’m working on a cowl that uses the Indian Cross Stitch, which is new to me. Looks like fun. But, oh Karen, when I read about the struggles which an accomplished knitter like you have, I wonder if there’s any hope for me. Sigh.

    • It’s a classic case of my attention span thwarting me. I was planning to be cognizant of what that selvage treatment might mean for me when it came time to pick up stitches, and just plain forgot to worry about it. But knitting is trial and error, no matter what.

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