Poncho Mondrianesque

Here’s my latest knitted garment for body adornment using Binary Stitch #4. For this knitted item, I looked to the works of Piet Mondrian and the aesthetics of Minimalism for inspiration.

Piet Mondrian NY MoMA

The definition of Minimalist art of the 1960s described as seriality, succession, progression, repetition permutation also applies to my concept, knitting with Binary Stitches.  Encoding letters as binary numbers creates an original design using knit and purl stitches.  Knitting the assigned  knit and purl stitches builds a basic block, and through repetition, forms a sculptural grid-like appearance.


Even though each knitted rectangular plane is separated by a black line, the plane itself is not contained on all four sides by a black line..  Each plane is knitted without an exact pattern repeat producing an asymmetrical balance.

Poncho Mondrianesque 2016©

Poncho Mondrianesque is a one-piece rectangle.

Yarn: (5 colors) Plymouth Yarn Arequipa Worsted 218 yds 90% Superwash Merino, 10% Mulberry Silk.  I’ve also incorporated various yarn from my stash.

Size 6 US circular needle

Stitch Pattern: (8-stitch pattern repeat)

Row 1:  P2,K1,P2,K1,P2

Row 2: (All even rows) Knit as stitches present themselves

Row 3:  K2 P4, K2

Row 5:  P1, K1, P1, K2, P1, K1, P1

Row 7:  K3, P2, K3

Row 9:  P3, K2, P3

Row 10:  Repeat Row 2

These ten rows create the stitch pattern.


24 sts = 4.25″ = 5.64 sts = 1″

5.64 sts x 18″ wide = 101.5 sts


  1.  In keeping with the stitch pattern, CO 96 sts + 2 edge stitches
  2. For edge stitches: (RS)  Wyif, slip the first and last stitch purlwise.  (WS) Knit tbl of first stitch and knit the last stitch.
  3. Begin and end with 6 rows of K1, P1 ribbing.
  4. Separation of rectangular planes knit with color black in reverse stockinette stitch.

CO 98 stitches and knit in pattern for 48-52 inches.  For a more form fitting poncho, I knit to 43 inches.

How To Assemble:

Fold one end of rectangle (A) over and seam to one edge (B) on the opposite side of the rectangle.


Poncho Mondrianesque ©




©2016 Mary Lou Fall




Rextangle #7_1

I know it’s summer, and what am I doing knitting a scarf?  It all began by knitting a swatch in order to explore the relationship between unexpected color combinations.  As the swatch grew longer, so did my interest.  What would happen if I varied the size of the rectangle?

ReXtangle #4Rextangle #2_1_1_1

What started out as a swatch turned into something worth exploring.  An interesting sequence of color combinations emerged, accentuating the texture of a slip stitch pattern.

Without hesitation, I began seaming the two swatches together.  By seaming the two together, I was able to explore the various color combinations side by side.  To achieve the maximum interaction between rectangles, it’s imperative to line up the slip stitch rows when seaming.   I decided to leave an opening.

Rextangle #6_1

I attached two Dorset buttons as closures.

Closure on Canvas

I’ve always wanted to paint on canvas.

“Closure on Canvas” asks the viewer to consider the purpose of a button.  The button as a utilitarian object as a fastener reflects modern fashion design.  The focus of this three-dimensional piece of art considers the button as a handmade object of art, sewn to a substrate of hand felted wool, attached to a painted canvas using French knots. “Closure on Canvas” celebrates the individuality and uniqueness of handmade craft vs. industrial mass-produced items of today.  The buttons are designed using worsted-weight wool yarn inspired by Dorset Buttons of the 1700s. The Dorset Crosswheel and Star Shirtwaister designs are the perfect vehicle for experimentation with color combinations and endless stitching possibilities.  With each round of color, a rhythm develops enhancing a momentum of interest.

Closure on Canvas #4cClosure on Canvas #2

Got Gauge?

“Save time by carefully checking your gauge.”  Famous last words for anyone that knits or crochets.  Knitting a gauge swatch indicates the tightness or looseness of the knitter’s tension by measuring the stitches and rows per inch over atleast a 4″ swatch.  Getting correct gauge determines the finished size of the stitched item and insures time wisely spent.  How is gauge checked for items knit in the round?

I’ve posed this question to many in my knitting circle and received a variety of responses. “It doesn’t matter, just knit a swatch.”  “If you’re knitting in the round, swatch in the round.” Why not knit a swatch using two double-point needles creating an I-cord?  (Check-out  www.knitty.com Winter 04 Issue Knit by Numbers).  Got Gauge

I decided to knit three swatches to find out what the difference in gauge would be with each method.  The I-cord method, knitting back and forth on straight needles, and in the round using circular needles.  Each swatch was knit atleast 5″ wide with a worsted weight yarn in stockinette stitch on Size 7 bamboo needles.

The stitches were cut up the back on the I-cord swatch to lay flat. Got Gauge #3Got Gauge #2Compared to the other two swatches, the tension on the knit back and forth swatch was looser.  Before measuring, each swatch was washed.

Got Gauge #4

I-Cord Swatch:  19 sts = 4″ = 4.75 sts = 1″       6.5 rows = 1″

Knitted Flat Swatch:  17.5 sts = 4″ = 4.375 sts = 1″       6.375 rows = 1″

In The Round Swatch:  18 sts = 4″ = 4.5 sts = 1″        6.85 rows = 1

So, I have the answer…each method produces a different gauge.  I believe the I-cord method and knitting in the round are more reliable because both methods mimic knitting in the round.  Of course, each knitter knits differently and your results will be unique to you.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Frost on the ground, water in the cats’ bowl frozen, and my feet are cold!  For the last two weeks, a cold weather snap from Alaska has invaded California.  The farmers’ crops are threatened and my precious plants our frostbitten.  What would I do with snow?

I’ve searched online catalogs for slippers and shopped at the mall and cannot find a slipper that suits my fancy.  I want a slipper for utilitarian purposes, not embellished with satin bows, a designer label or cartoon characters.   Machine wash and dryable, provide warmth and comfort are what I seek, just like the knitted slippers I received every winter as a child.  The slippers are knit with 4 ounces of worsted weight Coats & Clark’s Red Heart acrylic yarn held double, gathered at the toe and accented with a pom-pom.

I looked online for the vintage 1940s knitted slipper pattern and found something similar to what I was searching for.  At my lys, a patron wrote down a pattern for the slipper she knit while in college, but I discovered the instructions for the toe of the slipper were incomplete.  While at a recycled bookstore, I found a book published in 2004  with an adaptation of a double-knit slipper pattern reminiscent of the vintage pattern.

Well…I combined different parts of each pattern and came up with my own slipper pattern.Vintage Slipper Pattern #2

On my quest to find the pattern, I came across the following in a vintage Coats and Clark’s Book No. 158 Jiffy Knits featuring Red Heart Yarns.  I found an interesting pattern for Women’s Stretch Slippers and an amusing pattern for One Skein Book Socks.

Vintage Slipper Pattern #5

Vintage Slipper Pattern #3Vintage Slipper Pattern #4

Dorset Button Bracelet

As you know by now, knitorious loves Dorset buttons.  The Crosswheel reinvented using worsted weight yarn, and especially variegated yarn, produces a kaleidoscope of patterns and colors.  The original purpose of Dorset buttons were for men’s waistcoats, but knitorious’ vision for the almost lost technique finds its way in adornment.  knitorious will be teaching the Crosswheel technique at the creative craft lounge of  A Work of Heart studio in San Jose, California.  Visit http://www.aworkofheart.com to peruse a plethora of classes and sign-up online.

%d bloggers like this: