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Rick Mondragon,

Of heart and home

A new knitting project spurs excitement and anticipation. You get to create an ornamental yet useful fabric?—?with the rewards of accomplishment and satisfaction. It may be small or large. No matter, the time and money invested pays off with interest?—?and because it is your interest, your passion. 

Baby, baby…baby!

What knitter doesn’t feel all warm and fuzzy, seeing little ones wrapped in knits? 

Although Hadley is too young to stir up much Monkey business in her monkey-face booties and cap, she is content to recline on her Monkey bars afghan. After a nap, our model teams up with her sister in matching Wears Waldo striped pullovers. Imagine the fun when they begin to find the motifs Hiding in the shadows of the striped afghan. Madalyn (who’s “almost 3”) wears the Wee Waldos stocking cap, while baby Hadley sports red, white, and blue booties. 

The stocking caps are simple to make, as one may imagine, while the booties rely on short–row heel and toe shaping and color work. If the looks don’t hook you, maybe the opportunity to play with luxury yarns will. Years later you’ll hear, “Forget the silver spoon, I was born into a world of cashmere, silk, and muskox!” The pullovers and afghans are worked in very durable and affordable yarn?—?perfect for active toddler use. 

More homework

Knit afghans can add a very personal touch to your décor. An afghan, might seem to be a large investment of time, but actually takes about the same amount of time to knit as a couple of sweaters, with little or no shaping along the way. When deciding what to make and which colors to use, just look to your own décor for inspiration.

Rich colors and texture combine in Tracts and trails. Join the panels as you knit on this no-sew afghan. The narrow strips just beg for embellishment, so we worked contrasting bobbles as we knit, then embroidered fly-stitch trails later. While the afghan has an almost Amish feel, the pillow top is presented in a more contemporary color combo. We offer 3 additional color combinations for your consideration, and should you choose a worsted-weight yarn your afghan will be more square than rectangular.

Bands of garter stitch share space with stockinette and reverse-stockinette bars in a rectangular throw. Because we are working with hand-dyed yarn we have to knit strategically to form the Citrus bars within the solid-colored field?—?it all stacked up thanks to magic-number knitting.

Create Entrelac magic with rectangles that mold together into a multi-season afghan. We treat Tiers 2–9 identically (as right-side tiers), for a nearly reversible entrelac. Only the first cast-on tier and the last bind-off tier need their own special instructions. The cotton shoestring yarn allows for larger-needle knitting and is perfect for a modern afghan. 

Geometry assignments

Knitting an afghan in pieces offers portability. You might choose squares, rectangles, strips, or triangles, to be assembled later. In Prismatic panels, colors zigzag through a gray background, creating visual depth to this generously sized strip afghan with triangle inserts. Circle the square in a counterpane-style afghan. Each block is worked in the round with strategically placed increases that morph the circular center into a finished square. The triangular lace patterns within the blocks form secondary diamond and trellis patterns.

Create a Symphony of stripes with the Knit-one-below technique. Five colors of a fine kid mohair/silk blend create a magical wrap or scarf. The shawl weighs less than 5 ounces, yet the colors pack a heavy punch. This ambitious knit includes 4 different borders; you could easily choose just one for your masterpiece. When it’s not on you, we think you’ll find it too irresistible to put away, so let it shine at home as part of your décor! We suggest 5 different colorways, but you will surely come up with equally beautiful ideas for your own.

Leaves and lines

Even under perfect weather conditions there are times when another layer is necessary, and a little cardigan is just the answer. We have a couple of textured gems which fit the bill. Aqua frieze plays leaves and zigzag lines against a field of ribbing; the cropped length and ¾ sleeves offer just enough coverage for chill chasing. Mint cascade features a leaf-patterned panel along either side of the front opening. Both sweaters boast a classic fit with set-in sleeves and minimal finishing with bodies worked in one piece.

Box tops

For a more relaxed look you might explore pullover tops with poncho shaping. Boxed lilac sets a lace pattern within a seed-stitch frame. Creative seam placement at the underarms creates a draped-sleeve top. Or simply make two Shetland squares, then seam them together into a generously shaped pullover. Adding a lace pattern panel provides verticality to the oversized silhouette.

Every knitter should be encouraged to make what she likes, what he wants. We know why we knit…sometimes to fill a void in the wardrobe, home, or gift department?—?and that’s splendid. But even more, we knit to sooth our creative soul?—?and to warm the hearts of those around us.