A new kitchen

A new kitchen dictated a need for new potholders.

Since potholders are basically smallish squares with a loop for hanging, potholders can be used for experimenting with new techniques. Now, I wasn’t really in that place, too much going on in my life. What I needed was zen knitting.

And this is what I came up with; using garter stitch and modular knitting it became fun and I ended up with a new (at least to me) way of picking up stitches along garter stitch edges that makes the fabric more reversible. Here it is:

A more reversible method of picking up stitches along garter stitch edges


Insert a double-pointed needle (I used a circular) into the little knotsat the edge, created by the garter stitches, 1 stitch to each garter ridge. You may have to add the last stitch in the form of a loop.


Pull the needle through so you can start knitting from the correct end of the work.


Knit (you’ll need to knit into the back loop of the stitch on the first row)!

That’s all there is to it.

My Hempathy yarn is very suitable for kitchen duty; sturdy, washable and slightly antibacterial (in a natural, non-aggressive way) thanks to the hemp content, but too thin. So after a couple of trials I decided to use three strands held together. The potholders are somewhat slippery until they’ve been washed.

This is he first pair of potholders knitted to match my new kitchen. I will post more versions later on (I ended up knitting several for friends and family). This is a perfect gift and the design works for many styles from ultra modern to more traditional.

Here’s the recipe:

Potholders / Hot pad

Knitted with 3 strands of Hempathy on US size 8 / 5 mm needles to a gauge of approximately 18 stitches and 36 rows to 4 x 4 inches / 10 x 10 cm. Note that this means the same number of stitches and rows. The gauge isn’t important; a lloser gauge will make the potholders larger and a tighter gauge will make them smaller. What is important is that they are thick and firm enough to isolate the heat.

Each potholder is 32 sts x 32 garter ridges (64 rows). The cast-on row is counted as row 1 and you’ll bind off on row 32.

I’ve used 2–3 colors and each potholder weighs just under 50 g, so 3 balls of Hempathy would make a matching set of 2 potholders and a hot pad. This is also a perfect way to use odds and ends.

Cast on 18–22 sts and work 62 rows of garter st (31 ridges). Bind off but do not break the yarn. Pick up 1 st in each garter ridge (see above) until you have 32 sts.

Now work 20–28 rows of garter st (10–14 ridges).

The total number of stitches + rows should be the same in each direction, in this case 32.

Bind off all sts but do not break the yarn (except for the hot pad). Now crochet 15 single crochet. Pull yarn through and fasten to make a loop.

I hope you’ll have fun playing around with colors, striping, and different widths on the different sections.

Photos as always, Anders Rydell

Update on Keane

My beret and wrist warmers, Keane, have been available on Ravelry for a while.

Here I want to share another way of using the instructions.

The stitch pattern I have used is simple and decorative, making this a perfect gift. Even without the cable motif it is pretty. Here are the wrist warmers without the cable motif and I have turned the brim section of the beret into a neck warmer, again without the cable motif.

If you like your neck warmer tight you might want to cast on 4 or 8 sts less than given in the instructions.


Neck warmer: Cast on and work as for the brim part of the beret. Now increase 1 st in every garter rib and continue knitting back an forth in pattern but now with 3 garter sts instead of 2. Bind off when work measures 8 in /20 cm.

Happy Knitting!

Photo as always by Anders Rydell.

Vigdis from Viking Patterns for Knitting, p. 78


With the return of sweaters with a back that is longer than the front, I decided to rework my design Vigdis which I originally designed in the mid 90’s. Still a cool design. See the original at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vigdis-tunic-with-separate-hood

I decided to knit it in my new yarn, Misty Wool (I wrote about Misty Wool in an earlier post), even though that has a completely different gauge, 18 sts / 4 inches instead of 13 sts / 4 inches as in the instructions, and just see what happened.

So here I will share some thoughts on how to handle the changes.

I made some simple calculations that indicated that knitting from the instructions for size Large would produce a size Small. I also decided to make it shorter, striving for a 20 inch front and a 4 inch longer back. I got my fabulous knitter, Helena Norén, to do the actual knitting, and here is the result.

The new Vigdis is worked on US8 / 5 mm needles at a gauge of 18 sts x 26 rows / 4 inches. It used 600 g of Misty Wool.

The chest width came out 39 inches and my lengths worked fine. The front has 4 repeats + Rows 1+2 before neck shaping, the back has a total of 6 repeats.

Place 16 sts on a holder for the front neck and make the neck 3½–4 inches deep. For the back neck place 28 sts on a holder. Other than that, follow the instructions in the book. You will need around 8 or 12 more sts for the neck band, I had 86 sts.

Since the the chest width is smaller, the sleeves need to be longer, about 2 inches in my case, and that means that the increases could be placed every 8th row instead of every 6th.

The sleeve width at the top is approx. 16 inches. That is a bit tight, they would have been better with 4 more sts the whole way up.

Basically it is easy to adapt Vigdis for any size; just add the necessary number of sts in the stockinette sections on either side of the center panel. For the sleeve you need to calculate the number of stitches needed for the ribbing and for the upper arm width, than you can space the increases every 8th row and if you need more width when you reach the top, place the last few increases closer together.

I think I will be cozy in my new Vigdis this winter.

Viking Patterns for Knitting was published in a soft cover edition last year so it should still be widely available.

Photo by Anders Rydell.

More designs

Here are two more designs in my lovely Silky Wool.

Devin Sizes XS (S) M (L) XL


Talk about not seeing the forest for all the trees. These trees are made by combining yarnovers and garter on a stockinette background. The patterns is bordered by cables and the rest of the sweater is plain stockinette with rolled edges. The cable is echoed at the neck, where it is knitted separately and attached afterward.

Jeanette Sizes Smaller (Larger)

The neck piece with matching cuffs could be considered either something to keep you warm on a cold day or it could be seen as a decorative neck piece, knitted jewelry. Your choice, but either way they are pretty and versatile pieces, feminine without being girly. Quick knitting with a bit of challenge.

Photos, as usual, by Anders Rydell.

Three new designs in Silky Wool

I’ve just added three new designs for download in my Ravelry store http://www.ravelry.com/stores/elsebeth-lavold-designs.

Lately I’ve been fascinated by the simplicity and complexity of knit and purl patterns.

Here are two designs for women that work very well together but are also nice in their own right, plus a man’s sweater design, exploring the same theme.


Massey Sizes S–L (XL–3X)

When it was decided that there would be no new colors in Silky Wool XL, I was disenchanted. I had really gotten to like that yarn. For me, it was not the kind of yarn you fall head over heels in love with, but rather one that grew on me over time and as I got to know it well.

I’ve never really been fond of working with yarn laid double but needs must find a way – without Silky Wool XL, what to do? So, I tried working with 2 strands of Silky Wool. And I was actually pleased.

Massey is the result of that pleasure. A yarn with less loft would not have worked.

I’m immensely intrigued by the effect of setting vertical ribs against horizontal ridges of Stockinette and Reverse Stockinette. Yes good folks, it is only knit and purl. It is also interesting how the pattern looks different when viewed horizontally and vertically as can be seen on the back view.

Here’s fun knitting and the result is pure drama.



Jane Sizes XS (S) M1 (M2) (L) XL

Jane is the result of a personal wardrobe need. I had bought a fabulous new pair of pants and needed something to go with them. Something plain, but not boring; let me introduce Jane.

Two very easy knit and purl patterns cooperate in this design; Faux Ribbing for the sleeves and collar and Dotted Lines for the body. And I think they work well together.

Not all knitted garments have to be dramatic, sometimes all you need is a well balanced plain Jane.


Declan Sizes S (M) L (XL)

Over the years I have learned that guys dont like dramatic sweater (with my DH as the proverbial exception). Soft yarns for their sensitive skin and masculine colors (and here my brother belies the norm) is what most men prefer. But even a subtle pattern can be interesting; here I’ve broken up the Faux Ribbing and placed it in vertical column that are then broken up into blocks – all floating on a Stockinette background. Nice Zen knitting leading to a sweater that just might become one of his favorites.

As always, photos by Anders Rydell.


Kul med Ull

Kul med Ull

I lördags var det Kul med ull i Kallhälls Folkets hus.

Massor av garn- och textilgalna människor hade samlats för att lyssna när Lena Köster höll föredrag om ull. Dessutom fanns det möjlighet att delta i workshops, se demonstrationer av olika textila tekniker, handla ull, garn och redskap och annat på marknaden eller bara fika och mingla med alla garngalna människor.

Bilderna visar ett litet urval av mina plagg exponerade på ett mikrofonstativ (det är inte första gången Anders bakgrund som musiker kommer väl till pass), litet av människomyllret sett från vårt stånd och min demonstration av hur man stickar flätor utan hjälpsticka.

En härlig dag med god stämning och massor av sköna textilfantaster!

Foto / Photo: Anders Rydell

Report from a local event focused on wool; with lecture, spinning classes, mini workshops and yarn and fiber market.

The photos show an array of my designs displayed on a microphone stand (!), a view of the crowd from our stand and my mini workshop on how to cable without a cable needle.