Mmmmmmm

Coffee lovers may be familiar with the Moccona Coffee ad: Mmm ... Moccona.

For yarn lovers, there's another Mmmm moment and it's even better than coffee. It's Mmm ... Malabrigo.

As incredible as it may sound, until recently I didn't even know of its existence. Now, I can't get enough of it. It is one of the softest, silkiest yarns I have ever knitted with colours to die for (or should I say, 'dye'). It is truly delicious.


Since making my first Baktus, I have become addicted, and Malabrigo yarn has only fueled the addiction. I have (to my dentriment as evidenced by the pain in my wrists and elbows) knitted a Malabrigo Baktus each for DIL#2 and DIL#1 as early birthday presents and have begun another one for DIL#3 (as a rather belated birthday present). Once completed, I'm hoping to finally knit myself one using one of the many beautiful Malabrigo yarns.

But, I'll let the projects speak for themselves:





(Above) This is the scarf I knitted for DIL#2 using the edging pattern from here and the Basic Bakuts Pattern#1 (pattern below). The yarn is a lovely mix of blue, purple and green (just what Son#2 ordered).



This second one is more green than it looks in the photos and is the one I knitted for DIL#1. It uses the lace edging from here and Basic Baktus Pattern#2 below.

For those on Ravelry, project notes are here and here.

In the top photo, there are two works in progress. One is a shawl knitted on the bias and the other is another Baktus that uses the Basic Baktus Pattern#2 with this beautiful edging from 1884 (scroll down for English).

I don't know if anyone ever uses any of the patterns I post but, if nothing else, they are a record for me of some tried and true patterns.

Basic Baktus Pattern#1
100g of yarn of choice (I used Malabrigo Sock) and needles larger than normal to give the desired fabric (I used 4.0mm but I knit tight and usually go up a size - so probably equivalent to 3.75mm).
One stitch marker.

The instructions are for the body of the baktus only. Extra stitches for the edge of choice will need to be cast on at the beginning and the edging worked according to instructions.

Cast on 5 stitches for the body plus required number of stitches for edging.
Set up Row: K2tog, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, place maker, work edge stitches according to pattern.
All Wrong Side Rows: Work edge stitches according to pattern, slip marker, knit to end.
Next Row: K2tog, k1, yo, ssk, yo, k1, slip marker, work edge stitches according to pattern.
Row 1 (increase row): K2tog, k1, yo, k to one stitch before marker, yo, k1, slip marker,  work edge stitches according to pattern.
Row 3: K2tog, k1, yo, k to 3 sts before marker, ssk, yo, k1, slip marker, work edge stitches according to pattern.
Rows 1-4 form the pattern for increases for the baktus. Work these rows until almost half of the yarn has been used. From now on, decreases will be worked in place of increases. 

Work right side rows as follows:
Row 1: K2tog, k1, yo, knit to 4 sts before marker, k3tog, yo, k1.
Row 3: K2tog, k1, yo, knit to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, yo, k1.

Basic Baktus Pattern#2
100g of yarn of choice (I used Malabrigo Sock) and needles larger than normal to give the desired fabric (I used 4.0mm but I knit tight and usually go up a size - so probably equivalent to 3.75mm).
Two stitch markers.

The instructions are for the body of the baktus only. Extra stitches for the edge of choice will need to be cast on at the beginning and the edging worked according to instructions.

Cast on 10 stitches for the body plus required number of stitches for edging.
Set up Row: slp 1, k2, yo, k2tog, kfb, place marker, k2, yo, k2tog, place maker, work edge stitches according to pattern.
All Wrong Side Rows: Work edge stitches according to pattern, slip marker, k2, yo, k2tog, slip marker, knit to last 3 sts, yo, k2tog, k1
Next Row: slp 1, k2, yo, k2tog, knit to marker, slip marker, k2, yo, k2tog, slip maker, work edge stitches according to pattern.
Row 1 (increase row): slp 1, k2, yo, k2tog, knit to one st before marker, kfb, slip marker, k2, yo, k2tog, place maker, work edge stitches according to pattern.
Row 3: slp 1, k2, yo, k2tog, knit to marker, slip marker, k2, yo, k2tog, slip maker, work edge stitches according to pattern.
Rows 1-4 form the pattern for increases for the baktus. Work these rows until almost half of the yarn has been used. From now on, decreases will be worked in place of increases. 

Work right side rows as follows:
Row 1: slp 1, k2, yo, k2tog, knit to 2 sts before marker, k2tog, slip marker, k2, yo, k2tog, slip maker, work edge stitches according to pattern.
Row 3: slp 1, k2, yo, k2tog, knit to marker, slip marker, k2, yo, k2tog, slip maker, work edge stitches according to pattern.

Tips, Hints and Terms
The knitting terms I used are, I think, fairly common to all knitters. 
k2tog = knit two together
yo = yarn over
ssk = slip two stitches knitwise, insert left hand needle in to front of both stitches and knit together
slp 1 = slip one purlwise. To do this, insert right hand needle as if to purl with the yarn in front, slip stitch to right hand needle, pass yarn to back before commencing knitting. (This really does create a lovely edge.)
k3tog = knit three stitches together

An alternative - and easier- method of working k3tog is to knit two together and then slip the resulting stitch back onto the left hand needle; pass the stitch next to it over this stitch, and then pass the resulting stitch back onto the right hand needle. Try it: it really does work!

Depending on the edging, when I get to the end of the Baktus I will sometimes cast off the body stitches and work one more pattern repeat of the edging.

I'm experimenting with knitting one set up row before beginning any of the pattern instructions to see if this gives me a straighter cast on edge.

Blocking really does make a difference in an item such as this and is worth the extra effort. I simply soak the item for about ten minutes, roll it up in a towel, and then stretch it out on a couple of old towels, with lots of pins to hold the edges in place.


I'm not sure how clear any of that is. I've made the items and my instructions seem garbled to me ... but perhaps that's just a reflection of the day I'm having. I will certainly be test-knitting these patterns again to check for errors, so watch this space.

Meanwhile, here are some further lovelies to enjoy:



Comments

winterwren said…
Jules,

Holy smokes, those are gorgeous. That is the sort of thing that makes me want to try knitting again. I can see why you do not want to give it up, despite the bum elbows. You really should start selling on Etsy. Then I could just buy a Baktus!

Take care,

winterwren
Jules said…
Winterwren, thank you. Unfortunately, the amount of time that goes into making a baktus could not be reflected in the price.

If you do want to try your hand at one, these patterns are excellent:

http://www.heavenlysocksyarns.com/patterns/lacy-baktus-scarf.pdf

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/any-yarn-scarf

I've knitted both with sock yarn but you could use a heavier weight if you wished (in fact, the first one uses a heavier yarn).

At present I'm trying some wrist and elbow exercises, and sitting with an ice pack on my elbow while knitting! It works okay but I know it's only a temporary measure and that soon I'm going to have to REST it.

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