Knitting and Illness

So I’ve had a flu, not even a particularly bad one, just 3 days “off” and today I declare myself well enough to try and get back to it, albeit at half speed.

I find myself having to apologise to patients before me, to whom I have suggested doing some knitting until they’re back on their feet. I see knitting as so relaxing, that surely it’s an ideal thing for ill people to do. Wow. Stupid or what? I forced myself to do a few rows on day 1. I have a self-imposed deadline for the end of the month for the jumper you may have seen me talking about in other blog posts. The concentration it required, and the pain in my fingers, wrists and arms when I tried to manipulate the needles, were just not worth it. Plus, I will have to tink back those rows when I pick it up later this morning because the tension is way looser than it should be. Days 2 and 3 saw the project languish in its basket. So, sorry guys, those disbelieveing dagger-eyed looks you gave me were well deserved!

The problem is, as a freelance knitwear designer, there is no-one to pick up the slack. If you don’t work one day, you don’t earn that day. I was looking after my sick menfolk before I got ill myself, so all-in-all it’s been an entire week since I made any real progress. I will fiercely be playing catch up. Let’s see how it goes!

Moral of this story: wash your hands really well!

Please don’t catch flu this season. If you’re vulnerable, such as those who have pre-existing medical conditions or are pregnant, go and get the flu jab. Stay well!


Zebra Chevrons in Slip-Stitch (or Mosaic) Colourwork

The Zebra Chevron Slip-Stitch Colourwork pattern is one of my favourite stitch patterns, and it’s surprisingly easy to work. I think you’ll agree it makes for a striking pattern, and all it is is stripes of knit sts with a few slip stitches thrown in.

Zebra Chevron Swatch
Zebra Chevron Swatch

To work this st, you work in stripes of colours, knitting 1 to 3 sts in the colour you are using this stripe, and slipping sts that you want to leave in the contrasting colour. Always slip purlwise, so no twist is introduced into the st.

Rnds 1 & 2: With colour A, [k2, sl1] 8 times.
Rnds 3 & 4: With colour B, [sl1, k2] 3 times, sl1, k3, [sl1, k2] 3 times, sl1, k1.
Rnds 5 & 6: With A, k1, sl1, [k2, sl1] 3 times, k1, sl1, [k2, sl1] 3 times, k2.
Rnds 7 & 8: With B, repeat Rows 1 & 2.
Rnds 9 & 10: With A, repeat Rows 3 & 4.
Rnds 11 & 12: With B, repeat Rows 5 & 6.

To knit it flat, work the odd rows as written, and then for the even rows, just slip (wyif) the slip sts and purl the knit sts of the previous row.

Here’s the chart:

Zebra Chevron Chart


The fabric produced when working a mosaic or slip-stitch pattern is much denser than plain stocking st. This is because you’re effectively working every row twice; once with each colour. The fabric is firmer, with less stretch, but it’s warmer too.

I have used this stitch pattern in an up-coming garment at the waistband. The geometric lines plus a little extra shaping draw the eye in at the waist, so if you’ve got curves, this is a great way to show ’em off. Sneaky peek:

Zebra Chevron Slip Stitch Colourwork

Calling All Harrow Knitters

Hello! If you’ve previously read about us Harrow Knitters on girlpurlandtwoknittingneedles‘ blog, I’m updating the info! This post accurate November 2012.


The Harrow Knitters are a very friendly group of crafty ladies of all ages and walks of life. If you just want to give knitting or crochet a go, or you already know 3 kinds of estonian nupp, come along and join in the banter. There’s frequently cake! Maybe bring a garter stitch scarf if you want to catch up on the gossip! There’s always someone with an interesting story to tell or a new technique to show. 

All meetings are knitting and crochet. We try and change the day and time throughout the month so it doesn’t clash with member’s other commitments.

On the first Tuesday of every month, 8pm at Daisy’s Bar & Bistro in Harrow Arts Centre, 171 Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, HA5 4EA. This is inside the arts centre, not Simply Daisy’s which is adjacent to the centre. This is a new venue for us and a change from Grim’s Dyke. Rail: Hatch End, Bus: H14, H12 & 182, Parking: Free parking is available.

On the 2nd Monday of every month at 8pm at the Oddfellows Arms Pub, 2 Waxwell Lane, Pinner, HA5 3EN (opposite Lidl or the Police station). Babies/children cannot attend due to the pub’s license.

On the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 8pm at the Oddfellows Arms Pub, 2 Waxwell Lane, Pinner, HA5 3EN (opposite Lidl or the Police station). Babies/children cannot attend due to the pub’s license.

On the 4th Thursday of every month at 10am at Costa Coffee in Harrow Town Centre next to Natwest Bank and opposite the Fruit & Veg stall (not the Costa Coffee next to the station).

On the last Friday of every month at 8pm at Papa Gateaux, 4 Cumberland Court, Princes Drive, Harrow, HA1 4UD (£2 contribution).

A suggestion has been made that it would be good if one member volunteers to ‘host’ each meet-up so that someone can greet new members etc. 

You can also find us on Facebook

And we have a Ravelry group at

Happy Knitting!

Knitting Circles 2

I find myself needing to knit a disc. I want to join two cylinders with different radii.

Two cylinders
Side and front view of two cylinders with the same axis, but different radii

What I need to knit is the perpendicular plane where they join. I actually need to make a ring rather than a circle, but the same maths should apply.

The equation to get the number of stitches to decrease each row would seem to be

where n is the number of sts to increase or decrease per row, g_sts is the st gauge and g_rows is the row gauge. What’s really neat about this is it’s independent of start and end radius altogether. Sts will need to be distributed evenly across the row and staggered throughout all rows so as not to distort locally.