My mother taught me to knit when I was around six years old. My first project was a narrow strip sewn at the ends to make a simple headband. My second project was a wider strip folded and rolled to make a pin cushion. Next I made what was called a “fairy scarf”… more straight knitting with stitches dropped and unraveled to create a lacy effect. These first projects were done in simple garter stitch, but soon I had learned how to purl and how to read and understand knitting directions, and I remember making a lot of two-needle mittens. After a while I moved on to four needles and socks and the intriguing process of “turning the heels.”
More recently I have been knitting afghans for gifts. I like to knit in the evenings, usually while we watch a movie or something on television. And I like simple patterns that I can remember after a few rows and mostly knit without having to constantly look at what I am knitting… like this “feather and fan,” which has only four rows that are repeated over and over again.
I don’t have an actual pattern for this afghan… I just use a multiple of the feather and fan pattern stitches to make the size afghan I want. I start with six rows of garter stitch for the top border and end with six rows of garter stitch for the bottom border.
- Row 1: Knit (this will be the right side of the afghan).
- Row 2: Purl all the way across row.
- Row 3: * (Knit 2 together) 3 times, (yarn over, knit 1) 6 times, (knit 2 together) 3 times, repeat from * across row.
- Row 4: Knit all the way across row.
Repeat rows 1 through 4 until the afghan measures desired length, ending with row 2 of the pattern stitch.
This pattern is often made in three or more panels that are sewn together, but I prefer to make this afghan as a solid piece, repeating the pattern sequence to make the afghan as wide as I want it to be. Using size 10 1/2 or size 11 circular needles and worsted weight yarn, the “feather and fan” pattern makes up quickly, even in the out-sized afghans I like to make. This pattern automatically makes a rippled edge on both ends of the afghan.
My favorite of these three is the off-white super-soft wool yarn that has several shades of brown flecks woven into it…
But the afghans that were the most fun to knit were the ones made with the ombre yarns… I love watching the different color patterns that develop as I knit.
Another time I will show some of the other afghans I have knitted in other patterns… an all-over basket weave, a double cable, and a “mock cable” that actually requires more “thinking” than a regular cable does. I just finished putting a thick fringe on an afghan made in a cable stitch and with my same favorite off-white super-soft wool. That makes sixteen afghans I have knitted over the past few years. I think it is time for me to start knitting something else!