Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The wonder that is...

Ellen Bloom!
Ellen is one heck of a creative force. As the undisputed Red Heart Queen of Crochet she is a willing and ready teacher for hook and needle. Anyone who knows Ellen knows she is prolific in her creativity. She recently knit up a divine sweater for Mary Jo in 8 days! L.A. Ell didn't get her reputation and nom de plume for nothing. As a native Angelena she can recommend a neighborhood, restaurant, yarn store, or art gallery in any quadrant of Los Angeles. She always has her ears to the pavement and knows what is happening in this concrete jungle we call home. Her joy for life, generosity, and artistry make her a great friend.

She recently wrote about the Eye of the Partridge Stitch.
eye of the partridge 1

This is a stitch used in sock making for turning the heel.
I decided to give it a try and make a scarf. To create a border I knit in garter stitch for 4 rows and created a K3 border around the Eye of the Partridge stitch.
The yarn is Paton's Classic Wool in Forest and Rosewood.

classic yarn

CO on 31 sts.
Knit 4 rows.
Row 1: K3, * K1, bring yarn to the front, sl1 purlwise, bring yarn to the back * repeat until the last 3 sts, K3.
Row 2: K3, purl across to last 3 sts, K3.
Row 3: K3, *bring yarn to the front, sl1 purlwise, bring yarn to the back, K1 * repeat until the last 3 sts, K3.
Row 4: K3, purl to last 3 sts, K3.

The Eye of the Partridge (E.P.) Stitch requires an odd number of stitches.
It is important to bring the yarn to the front and the back, wrapping the slipped purlwise stitch. When I first tried the stitch I missed that little detail. Ellen really helped me out and showed me how to knit this stitch even faster. I hope I can explain it well. Here goes.

Let's break down the knit stitch with this learning rhyme.

In thru the front door,
Around the back,
Out thru the window,
And off jumps jack.

Well here is the fast tip while doing the E.P Stitch.

In thru the front door,
Around the back,
Out thru the window,
Around the back again,
And off jumps jack,
(the second "around the back" brings the yarn to the front)

Now to finish the E.P stitch

sl1 purlwise, but before you pull the yarn off the left needle, wrap the yarn around the front of both needles to the back (this means from left to right, this creates the wrap) and then slip the stitch off the left needle. Now the yarn is in the back and ready to knit.

eye of the partridge 2

Repeat to create the pattern. It just took a couple of rows to get a rhythm and it is a lot faster than continuously bringing the yarn forward and back after each stitch. This way the yarn moves forward and back while making the stitch. Genius a la Ellen! With this particular yarn the E.P. stitch has a fair isle look. The dashes in the the above sample are the wrapped stitches. It really is a fun stitch and with Ellen's quick knit tip it is knitting up really quickly. This tip doesn't just apply to the E.P. stitch. You can use it anytime you need to move the yarn to the front or back, like in a rib stitch. Mad Genius!

On the same day that Ellen taught me to speed up my knitting she gave me the gift of the cutest fabric. Check it out.
boy & girl fabric

boy & girl fabric close up
I have only started to dream up what creations to make for Cookie and Kiss with this fabulous fabric. Please, I will happily take suggestions for cute baby patterns. What do you imagine when you see this fabric?

tank knits
Tank likes to knit.

Here is Shannita's Boho Beret that I made with the same yarn. This is the pattern that was in the LA Times a while back. It is a great pattern.
boho beret 2
The Paton's Classic Wool is a fun and affordable yarn. Look how fab it knits up!


DarcyArtsy said...

Great photo of the divine Ms. EL. Fabric cute, berets cuter and the Tankster is the cutest!

Ellen Bloom said...

Sheesh! Can you see me blushing all the way from North to South Fairfax, Ms. Natalie? You are too kind! Thank you for the sweet compliments. I must say, that you are such a bright student! All I have to do is show you something once or twice and you've got it! Your combination of yarn colors for this stitch is perfect! I suggest you think about making a sweater out of this combo!
Can't wait to see what you do with the kiddie fabric.


L.A. Ell

mj said...

It is turning out to be a most beautiful thing. You are so clever to make up that little poem! I'm going to try it with some Vanna wool as soon as I finish at least one of my projects in my bag!

sappmama said...

Go E!

Ok that fabric is too cute.

Hey, there's my hat!