Monday, September 17, 2012

I’ve finished the garter stitch strip. Today’s job is to graft it to the beginning and start picking up stitches for the fill-in.

That covers that topic, but fortunately for today there’s more to say.

Thrilled by your comment, Gretchen, I got out my old Vogue Knitting Books and tried to find the pattern that Kate Gilbert’s Kirigami had stirred memories of. Here it is, I think, from Book No. 49, autumn 1956:

(The scan isn't all that clear. Like Kirigami, it consists of one-row stripes. The stripes are vertical on both body and sleeves, knit sideways.)

Is that the UFO you have left over from 56 years ago? The gauge is 19 stitches to 2 inches – wow! No wonder you didn’t finish. The yarn specified is Penguin Alpen 3-ply, which is no reason for you not to knit it in Munrospun.

I also bought and printed the Kirigami pattern itself (Ravelry link again).  And downloaded a pic from the Twist Collective. Again, they gave me only half of it but fortunately this time the sweater is in the middle of the fragment I was allowed:

And I had a look at what Mary Thomas says. I was egregiously wrong yesterday – to begin with, the passage I was thinking of is in Mary Thomas’s Book of Knitting Patterns, not her Knitting Book. (That doesn’t mean “knitting patterns” as we would use the phrase – the books is effectively a stitch dictionary.) And what she says is that “front fabric” has width-wise elasticity, and tends to take-in and cling, whereas the elasticity for “reversed fabric” is depth-wise so the fabric tends to take up.

So if you put on an ordinary sweater inside-out, she says, it will be wider and shorter than before “because the stitches take the opposite bend when encircling the body”.

I’m not sure I entirely understand that, but I’m willing to take her word for it. And it should mean that it would be possible to knit the Kirigami without negative ease. Madelinetosh sock yarn?

I pursued the Bergere de France pattern mentioned in Saturday’s blog at least as far as their website. The yarn is 90% cashmere, 10% wool, and costs a lot. The pattern is in a book that costs $20 and that rules it out altogether. I am willing to contemplate extraordinary extravangance in yarn-purchase – but $20 on top for the pattern, no.


My credit card doesn’t work – not for lack of funds, unless a bad man has been in there. This happened yesterday afternoon, and again this morning, the clincher, when I tried to pay for Kirigami with PayPal. They recently sent me, unexpectedly, a debit card to use on the account. I’ve got to activate it by telephone and keep putting off doing so. I thought it was in-addition-to the credit card (which has more than a year to run) but maybe it is instead-of.

So I must spend some time on the telephone this morning straightening that out. 


  1. Since you found the pattern name on the Bergere de France website, have you checked Ravelry to see if the individual pattern is for sale through Ravelry? Sometimes companies have been smart enough to list patterns that way.

  2. Jean I have lots of Bergere de France patternbooks...I could lend it to you with a translation of the pattern.Just let me know which book. Marcella

  3. Anonymous6:49 PM

    Jean, it wasn't me who attempted the 50s-vintage cardigan, but another commenter. My own VK archives don't go back quite that far - too bad, as I rather like that cardi. Looking over other Ravelers' versions of Kirigami, I don't like it with very much negative ease. Something about the placement of the division between the upper, vertically-striped portion and the main bodice gives it a graceless (to my eyes) "grabbing the breasts" look. I might prefer vertical stripes all the way, as in the VK cardi, or perhaps a body-skimming slight positive ease might better suit the Kirigami.
    -- Gretchen

  4. =Tamar8:51 AM

    I suggest testing the hypothesis by putting on a sweater inside out to see whether Mary Thomas was asleep when she wrote that. Ideally the test garment would be one you had knitted.