Perhaps more than ever at this time of year, we choose to give hand-made gifts to de-emphasize the over-the-top commercialism of a season in which many of us long to bolster a beleagured sense of spirituality. We try to de-clutter, yet still wish to retain a richness in our surroundings and to keep a strong sense of connection to those who give our lives meaning.
To this end, one of my Christmas projects is to make a knitted pillow. When I began, I didn't have a pattern at hand, but I was armed with the stitch I intended to use. I love stitches with their own names, and this one I thought was perfect for the season. I found it in The Harmony Guides book of 220 Aran Stitches and Pattern, Volume 5, and it is called Trinity Stitch. It says: "Trinity Stitch is thought to have been named because the pattern is formed by working three stitches from one and one stitch from three, signifying the Holy Trinity."
Trinity Stitch makes a joyous and ebullient pattern of diagonal bumps and would be wonderful and dressy for an evening bag, say in a metallic cotton viscose. The flatness of the wrong side would be an advantage in a table runner, for instance, out of a rich red or green Galway, or against the window as the dainty edging of a muslin curtain, in Fiddlesticks' lacy silk and wool. The flatness on one side has less bulk and lies closer to the surface; but the wrong side is still very beautiful to look at and doesn't have that "wrong-sided" look that patterns sometimes have. And when done on slightly larger needles than called for, the pattern looks great with the sun shining through it.
Naturally, you could keep going with the trinity stitch and make a beautiful scarf from one of the many new alpaca, silk or wool combinations from Fleece Artist, or others; but, on a more modest note, I have decided to make fancy dishcloths for the Christmas stockings out of Scala, a wool, cotton and linen yarn the store has on sale at 35% off the regular price. Customers often ask if you can knit dishcloths from other yarns than cotton - now is the time to experiment.
So, in case you think knitting is nearly a form of prayer or meditation, I recommend trinity stitch for a dozen applications.
(Happy Christmas!) --Shirlene Greer
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