Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Knit Basket Liner

Around this time every year, the days and weeks seem to pass quickly. Some of that, I suppose, is due to how short the days are becoming in the Northern Hemisphere. I’m not sure if the relief that comes is January is because we’re past the busy holidays and their many preparations, or because the days are beginning to grow a bit longer by then. Maybe it’s a little of both.

With the arrival of November, finishing even the smallest of personal projects feels like a major accomplishment. My most recent project is a knit basket liner. I’m envisioning it as a piece for the Thanksgiving dinner table, to keep breads fresh and warm.

The idea originated with the Plymouth Yarn Nettle Grove I had left over after knitting Calendula. With just over a skein of yarn available, I remembered the Ripple and Lace Leaf Linen Basket Liners pattern in “The Knitter’s Book of Yarn” by Amy King.

My first choice was to knit the Ripple pattern. However, that version finishes at 12 inches (30.5 cm) square and when it came time to begin the ripple stitches, the liner seemed too small. Knitting additional rows would mean determining if I had the right number of stitches for extra pattern repeats before starting the ripples. In turn, reaching a certain number of stitches along each side of the liner could require me to knit more rows than my limited yarn supply would allow.

For the sake of simplicity, I decided to make the Lace Leaf version instead. Although this pattern as written finishes at 13 inches (33 cm) square, the motif is worked at the corners. I could knit additional rows before starting the leaf pattern without worrying how many stitches were along each side of the liner.

I knit some additional rounds, then worked the Lace Leaf pattern. It turned out nicely, except that the liner was still too small for my taste and the edges wanted to curl due to the stockinette stitch sides. I ripped back to just before the Lace Leaf stitches — and then realized I could have knit extra rows after the leaves, including some purl rows to limit curling. That probably would have been quite pretty.

Instead, I simply knit more stockinette stitch. When I was nearing the end of my yarn, I knit a few rows of garter stitch, then a few in stockinette, and still a few more in reverse stockinette.

The resulting liner, at approximately 15.75 inches(40 cm) square, is simple and understated yet still pretty — albeit without a ripple or lace leaf in sight. It doesn’t curl much, and the amount that it does looks intentional.

I used up almost all of my Nettle Grove yarn. I have a pretty and useful addition for our Thanksgiving table — or any meal, really. And the knitting time passed almost as quickly as an autumn day.

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