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Sunday April 24, 2016

Christina: KAL variations with modular knitting


I decided at the beginning of last year that I wanted to make the Kaffe KAL 2014 striped blankets in each colourway. However I discovered while making the cushion, that although I loved the design of his finished blankets, I did not enjoy the construction technique at all. So I decided to make variations sticking with Kaffe's colour schemes, (he always knows best...!) but not his pattern. This project has been long in the planning and after a year I have completed two blankets .

The first blanket I made in the red colour scheme (above) and the second in the blue (below). For these I have used the so-called domino technique, which is not only fun to knit but economises on sewing up.
Because it's in garter stitch, there is still a definite right and wrong side but the joins between the squares are much neater (for me anyway...), and the "wrong" side is just a different pattern.

From a design perspective, the domino technique means that I have moved away from the overall design that Kaffe created by the interaction of the original stripes. The blankets keep the order of the colours in each square, but the weighting of each colour is altered. The red blanket keeps the orientation and original layout of the squares, which means they are created in blocks of 4 and then sewn together - I decided I wanted an even number of blocks and so added an extra row of squares on two of the sides, making a bigger blanket (10 x 8), and I dispensed with an additional edging - intentional, not just expediency!
The blue blanket moves totally to the domino technique, with no sewing (except endless sewing in of "ends"!). I have still kept with the original layout, even though it was created to suit the interaction of the stripes in the original design. I chose to do this because with domino, you need a planned layout at the start, but it has resulted in a one-sided bias of colours which appears odd as I have moved so far from the real design. I could have probably done a better layout if I had pieced the squares afterwards, or tried it out virtually on a computer. The blue blanket has a short asymmetric garter stitch border.


A quick word on the yarn colour substitution: for the red blanket "papaya" was both a distinct and a key colour - I liked my substitution, but it is not red enough and the overall cast of the blanket is quite peachy; likewise for the blue blanket "magenta" sets the tone and I could not find a magenta that had as much blue in it as the original Rowan Worsted colour, thus the result has an overall pink effect.

The extended entry tells you about the construction.

Domino or modular knitting is described here in a DROPS tutorial on YouTube:

I used it in following way with Kaffe's colours:

While knitting the domino technique you should slip the last stitch in each row - knit to the last stitch, bring the yarn forward, slip the last stitch. This makes a neat edge for you to pick up as you build up the squares.

Cast on 70 sts using colour A
1st row (wrong side): Knit 34, knit 2 together, knit 34 [69 stitches]
2nd row: Change to colour B, knit.
3rd row: Knit 33 st, slip 1, knit 2 together, pass the slipped stitch over, knit 33 [67 sts]
4th row: Change to colour A, knit.
5th row: Knit 32 st, slip 1, knit 2 together, pass the slipped stitch over, knit 32 [65 sts]
6th row: Change to colour B, knit.
7th row: Knit 31 st, slip 1, knit 2 together, pass the slipped stitch over knit 31 [63 sts]

Continue decreasing 2 stitches at the centre of each row and the overall colour sequence is as follows:

Cast on and 1 row in A, 2 rows B, 2 rows A, 2 rows B, 2 rows A, 2 rows B; [59 sts]
4 rows A; 4 rows C, 4 rows A; 4 rows C, 4 rows A; 4 rows C, 4 rows A; 4 rows C, 4 rows A; [23sts]
2 rows C, 2 rows D, 2 rows C, 2 rows D, 2 rows C, 2 rows D, 2 rows C, 2 rows D, 2 rows C, [5 sts]

Complete final rows colour D:
Next row: Change to colour D, knit 5.
Next row: Knit 1, slip 1, knit 2 together, pass the slipped stitch over, knit 1 (do not slip the last stitch) [3 sts]
Next row: Slip 1, knit 2 together, pass the slipped stitch over.
Fasten off.

Posted by Christina at 8:59 AM. Category: Kaffe Fassett Rowan KAL