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Deborah NewtonToday's post is brought to you by Deborah Newton. She tells us about some of her favorite stitch patterns, which come together on her recently published (and totally adorable) accessory set, Ballast. We have also taken the liberty of showing you this lovely set in a few more colors; colors that are all available in this excellent yarn, O-Wool Classic 2-ply. This set, folks, makes for some simple and satisfying holiday gift knitting. Hint hint.




hatboth bits

Although I love complexity in my garment designs, when I work out  the details of accessories I like them to be easy to knit, with simple stitch patterns. Carry-abouts, I call them! But still—I like these simpler projects to LOOK complex, and that was one of my design challenges in this beret and mitt set.




I decided to combine a couple of my favorite pattern stitches. Each is unique, and they work well together, in addition to being a pleasure to knit. The texture of the patterns is enhanced by the crisp “O-WOOL” I used for these accessory pieces.


If you do not know this little vertical panel, do take the time to try it. I discovered it years ago in one of Barbara Walker’s Treasuries and I have used it countless times. Why do I adore it?

1. So easy to knit: two pattern rows, two plain rows.

2. It employs the easy Right Twist, a favorite “on-the-needle action” of mine. I always feel rich when I am doing Right Twists: all that texture and no cable needle necessary!

3. The finished column of texture is outwardly rounded and has great depth.

If you do not know how to work a Right Twist, here is an explanation: K2tog, leave sts on needle; then insert RH needle between 2 sts just knitted tog and k first st again, then sl both sts from LH needle. Give it a try!





This is another of my favorite panels of stitches! The other pattern in the beret and mitts is a simple column of knit and purl stitches, formed of two separate elements: side ladders and a center “chevron” unit.

In a crisp yarn, this knit/purl combination has both ease and deep texture. I am also fond of this panel since I used it in a sweater I designed for my first book DESIGNING KNITWEAR, modeled by my brother Jason.

Even if you do not make my mitts and beret, do take the time to explore these lovely little patterns and apply them in your own projects!


more colors