Published in Knitty, First Fall 2017
When I first started seeing mini skeins, I resisted. How much of a difference could that one bit of yarn make? Then I started to wonder from a design perspective: how much difference could that mini make? What could I do to make the colour go as far as possible? What techniques would take the mini to the max?
I started flipping through stitch dictionaries, filling pages of my knitting notebook with scribbled notes and quick drawings. Suddenly I no longer wondered what to do with minis…I wondered how I was going to find time to knit all my ideas!
I love stripes, and I particularly love a strong diagonal stripe. It would take a mini skein and give it a huge impact on a cowl.
Mosaic stitch is another favourite element. It’s nearly as easy as garter, but with all the showiness of stranded colourwork. The trouble with mosaic stitch is that many of the motifs are large – wide stitch counts and needing lots of rows to complete. I wanted every pattern I developed for mini skeins to be something that had short row repeats so that it would be really easy for knitters to modify the pattern depending on their mini skein yardage or if they were using leftovers. Happily, the Miniature Mosaic pattern in Barbara Walker’s A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns caught my eye.
“The mosaic was super easy to complete even for someone who has never done mosaic knitting before (like me)!”
Marfi236 – test knitter
I started thinking of some of the mosaics I’ve seen in churches that use gold tiles and realized I had two fantastic yarns on hand: madelinetosh’s rich, deep teal in the Cousteau colourway and the luxurious amber-gold of the Glazed Pecan colourway.
Yes, this does start with a provisional cast on and ends with grafting, but I promise you these two bits of extra care will be well rewarded as you look at the finished piece and can’t tell where the seam is. You’ll feel a real glow of satisfaction as friends try to figure out how you did the colour pattern on a diagonal and how you don’t seem to have a beginning or ending. Besides, grafting garter is even easier than grafting stockinette since you do the same thing on both the front and back needles!
If you like Ancyra, the +1 Pop Collection offers 7 more patterns in the same vein. It features a variety of accessory types including cowls, hats, and fingerless mitts – perfect for making coordinating sets or just playing with colours.
Link to free pattern on Knitty