An Experiment in Knitting

A while ago I joined Carmarthen Library. I have been using the Cardigan one for several years and have found that I have read a lot of the non-fiction books that interest me. Carmarthen has a much bigger non-fiction section and, of course, almost all of them are new to me. I also discovered that there is a mobile library van which comes to my nearest village. It is the type of service which is under threat when economies are to be made and I wanted to support it. As it is quite easy for me to combine a walk to the library van with exercising the dogs it works well. The downside is that often I choose books online and request them without having been able to look inside. One of those was a knitting book which seemed to offer a different way of creating texture.

It is an interesting technique. You mark certain stitches by working them in the reverse of normal – so a knit where one would normally do purl and vice versa. A few rows on you pick up the ‘legs’ of the marked stitch and knit them together with a stitch on the current row making a fold. If the marked stitch is not directly below the one it gets attached to the fold is a dagonal and, as in cabling this may be to right or left. It is hard to describe but easy to do apart from having to knit one stitch through 3 loops (the 2 ‘legs’ and the stitch).

Using small amounts of leftover yarn I did some swatches to try out different arrangements of folds. The result is less ‘crisp’ than cabling and the first one I did had very wavy edges which would make it difficult to stitch pieces of a garment together. The next 2 I did with a garter stitch border which helped a bit.

So it was interesting to try but I don’t think I will be using it again. If you read my previous post you will realise that my crafting has been educational but not very rewarding lately!


22 thoughts on “An Experiment in Knitting

  1. Laurie Graves January 19, 2023 / 1:39 pm

    I do like that wavy pattern. A few library questions. How far is the nearest library to you? Do many towns and villages have their own library? And you can request books and then get them at the mobile library van? I ask these questions because for six years I was a library trustee, and I am always curious how libraries are run in other places. Plus, as I am sure you have gathered, I love books and libraries.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Going Batty in Wales January 21, 2023 / 12:39 pm

      Hi Laurie. Libraries are run by our County Councils – in my case Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion. I prsume I could also join Pembrokeshire as I live very close to the point where the 3 counties meet. Both Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire have libraries in the bigger towns and some of the smaller ones. In the big towns they are open Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings but in the smaller places they are part-time and smaller so carry a smaller selection of books. The larger ones also offer internet access, either on their machines or by logging into their free WiFi, and you can print things out or photocopy pages but there is a small fee payable for that. Carmarthen and Cardigan are both about 20 miles from me. There are smaller branches in Whitland and St Clears (both Carmarthenshire) which are about 10 miles away but as I rarely go to those towns I do not use them.

      They also have vans kitted out with shelves which tour the villages stopping at each for an hour or so once a week. Inevitably the choice is small but the librarians on them are very good about knowing what genres their customers like and trying to carry those. In addition I can go to the County’s website and search for titles I may be interested in. The search engine is not very sophisticated so to find knitting books I have to try ‘knitting’, ‘knit’ and ‘knits’ but once I have found something I like I can request it online and get an email when it has become available and reached my chosen pick up point – a town library or the van. Books are held for me for 7 days at a library or 4 weeks on the van. Actually the librarians in Cardigan know I am a regular but only get there every 2 or 3 weeks so hang onto them for me!

      Anyone housebound can ask for the book(s) to be delivered to their home but they take a bit longer to arrive.

      Both counties allow me 20 books at a time and I can keep them for 3 weeks from Carmarthen or 4 weeks from Ceredigion. But if I have not finished them I can renew them in the library or online unless someone else has requested them.

      A couple of times I have gone to the library van and found it did not arrive or not until I had given up waiting! Blaenwaun, my nearest stop, is 2 miles away so I walk the dogs there combining their walk with a pick-up (The librarian loves them and holds them for me while I look around!) and the first port of call for the van on Monday morning so if there is a problem that is the stop most likely to be affected. However an email to the Carmarthen library, which is where that van is based, always gets a helpful response.

      There is no way I could afford to read as many books as I do if I had to buy them even if I got them from a charity (thrift / goodwill) shop so i am very grateful for all the library service offers me.

      This winter, when many people in the UK are struggling with heating bills many of the libraries have been used by the councils as ‘Warm Hubs’ – somewhere you can go and sit in a warm space and some have started serving hot drinks at certain times as well.

      I would love to know how this compares with the libraries in your part of the world. Maybe I will write a blog post on the subject and see if I can learn more about how lots of other places manage theirs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie Graves January 21, 2023 / 2:00 pm

        Thank you, thank you for your response! So interesting. I especially enjoyed reading how the librarian will hold the dogs for you as you browse. Maine’s library system is both similar and different. In Maine, towns and cities are responsible for their libraries, and there are over 300 libraries in the state. Not bad for a rural state with a little over a million people. But New England is known for its dedication to public libraries. The town I live in, Winthrop (population 6,000), has a library, and it’s a little over a mile away from our home. Its collection is somewhat small, but it is part of an interlibrary loan system that is connected to much bigger libraries. This means I can usually find what I am looking for. Like you, there is no way I could afford to buy all the books I read, and I am so very grateful for my library. Finally, I am impressed that in your area the housebound can have books delivered directly to them. As far as I know, my library does not offer that service. I, too, am thinking of writing a blog post about libraries. Would love to hear about libraries in other places.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales January 22, 2023 / 10:32 am

        Irealised this morning that I gorgot to say they have audiobooks – not very many and I could download ebooks which would disappear from my kindle when due to be ‘returned. I haven’t used either of those servoces which is why I forgot bout them!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lorna January 19, 2023 / 7:39 pm

    I like that you tried a new knitting pattern, as you said, experimented. I am often reluctant to use the brain power to attempt something different in knitting, so it feels like an accomplishment that you understood it and executed it. Not something I assume I can do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales January 21, 2023 / 12:43 pm

      Some designers write wonderfully clear instructions and others are harder to follow. I can recommend patterns by Kate Davies if you want to have a go.


      • Going Batty in Wales January 22, 2023 / 10:33 am

        Her website is and she blogs here on wordpress.


      • Lorna January 22, 2023 / 3:05 pm

        Oh, she’s on WordPress; that’s great!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lorna January 21, 2023 / 4:46 pm

        I found her on Ravelry and have saved her to my “favorites”. Thanks for the tip!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales January 21, 2023 / 12:44 pm

      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales January 21, 2023 / 12:44 pm

      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. nanacathy2 January 20, 2023 / 9:38 am

    Hmmm. Experiment is good , tests the brain. As to that pattern , seems cabling would be better. I have requested library books , usually crafting ones, only to discover they aren’t what I am after at all. Totally agree on supporting my library. I mean if I didn’t use the library I’d have to read my own books!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales January 21, 2023 / 12:45 pm

      I find the same with crafting books. Many rehash the same ideas or have only one project that I might copy. At least using the library I haven’t wasted any money!


    • Going Batty in Wales January 22, 2023 / 10:29 am

      I couldn’t possibly afford to buy all the books I read even if I got them from charity shops!


  4. Cathy January 20, 2023 / 10:45 am

    The ‘tuck’ effect reminds of a similar look on cushion covers back in the 60s. They were round in shape usually made from a silk material. Not sure if they were ever available in UK but definitely all the rage in Singapore/Asia at that time.
    My library has become my main source of books these days. I’ll order novels online but not craft books – we’re close enough to three branches for me to spend an hour browsing through what’s on hand before deciding whether they’re worth bringing home. Even then what looks interesting often is more fluff than substance.


  5. Amo January 22, 2023 / 8:41 pm

    Looks like American smocking. Nice effect but I think I prefer the sharper cable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales January 23, 2023 / 7:59 am

      So do I


  6. Helen January 28, 2023 / 6:48 pm

    Always nice to try new things. I’d say your crafting has been therefore good!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anne February 1, 2023 / 8:59 pm

    I am still plodding away at knitting strips for a blanket – some plain squares and others with motifs as I am using up a pile of wool left over from other projects. I am glad to see the results of your experiments, but will stick to the tried and tested cables when I want them. Good on you for trying out something different!

    Liked by 1 person

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