Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Another Knit Basket Liner

I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again: Sometimes making a project once just isn’t enough. The reasons vary; some are practical — can you ever have enough washcloths? — and some are less so, like the joy of working with a favorite material.

This week I knit another basket liner from the Ripple and Lace Leaf Linen Basket Liners pattern in “The Knitter’s Book of Yarn” by Amy King.

Hand Knit Cotton Basket Liner with Lace Leaf Detail in Corners

As I was finishing up my basket liner last week, I came across two partial skeins of Plymouth Yarn Sockotta. Both were purchased in my early sock-knitting days, before I learned how much dislike hand-knit cotton socks. The first is colorway 6056, which is a self-striping yarn in the palest yellow, pink, gray, and ivory. The second, colorway 13, is a bolder self-striping yarn in off-white, light blue, and light and medium grays. I still had a small quantity of Plymouth Yarn Nettle Grove, and the colors seemed to work well together.

With this almost-practical though process — it would use up extra yarn, after all — why not knit another basket liner?

The pattern is knit from the center outward. After establishing the initial rounds, I alternated between two of the yarns every two rows.

As I finished out the blue-gray Sockotta, I began the Lace Leaf motif using only the pastel Sockotta. I had knit the design into the last liner, then removed it, and wanted to give it another chance. I’m glad I held off until I was done with the blue-gray yarn because the subtler color changes in the pastel yarn don’t compete with the lace stitches.

Partially Folded Hand Knit Cotton Basket Liner with Lace Leaf Detail in Corners

But waiting brought on a new problem; with a few rounds still to knit, I was almost out of yarn. I dug out my first attempts at handspun cotton, and discovered the yarn was the right weight and color to finish the Lace Leaf motif.

I still had to cast off, and once again I was out of yarn. I pulled out some ivory-colored Tahki Stacy Charles Classic Cotton. It’s thicker than the other yarns, but it’s made from five plies. I pulled apart a length of yarn and was able to cast off using three then two plies.

This basket liner is a little larger than the last one, measuring about 17 inches (43 cm) square. I didn’t have enough yarn to add purl rows after the Lace Leaf motifs, but I cast off purlwise in hopes of taking a little curl out of the liner’s edges. The laws of physics aren’t so easily fooled.

Hand Knit Cotton Basket Liner with Lace Leaf Detail in Corners and Curling Edges

As I look at the liner, I wonder how the blue-gray yarn might have pooled differently if I hadn’t alternated yarns, or if I had alternated a different number of rows. And I still think it might be quite pretty to extend the liner past the Lace Leaf design.

So it seems that some times making a pattern twice isn’t enough either. How many times have you revisited the same pattern?

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