|Pontcysyllte Aqueduct NPRN: 33410 (DI2008_0375)|
My knitting obsession started as soon as I learnt to knit. One New Year’s Eve, seven or eight years ago, I finally cracked it, having just been shown how to cast on in a way I actually understood.
One very long scarf later, I was ready for new challenges. My projects became increasingly ambitious, the needles thinner, and the yarn, finer.
Stranded (also known as Fair Isle) knitting is one of my favourites. I’ve enjoyed making hats, cowls, mittens and other things using this technique. When I saw the old painting of Pontcysyllte aqueduct, I thought that the elegant lines and the repeating arches would make a fantastic pattern for a cowl (which, to the uninitiated, is a tube-shaped thing worn instead of a scarf; sometimes it is referred to as a snood).
I simplified the image and, using graph paper, turned it into a chart for knitting. If it appears somewhat stretched vertically, it is because the knit stitch is wider than it’s tall and an allowance must be made for that, otherwise the finished design would appear squashed.
Are you ready? It’s time to get technical.
The pattern is designed to be knitted in 4-ply (or fingering weight) yarn, on thin needles, 3mm or even less. Only stocking stitch is used, and only two colours are used at a time, except at the top where the first two rows of bridge detail (in black) have to be embroidered (duplicate stitch) on the finished piece. The pattern repeat is 14 stitches, and it repeats 16 times in each round.
Some floats are quite long and will have to be caught as you knit.
You should understand about yarn dominance in stranded knitting before you begin. There is a good explanation here: http://paper-tiger.net/blog/13911317/colordominance.
The blue/white vertical stripes are there to help count stitches, nothing else. The pattern repeat is outlined in red on the right hand side of the chart.
The only abbreviations used are: sts – stitches; MC – main colour; CC – contrast colour.
NB. The pattern has not been test-knitted.
You will need:
- Blue yarn to represent the water (CC1)
- Green/brown yarn for the land (something variegated with a long repeat, like Noro Kureyon Sock shade S236, would be ideal) (CC2)
- Light blue yarn for the sky (CC3)
- Grey yarn for the aqueduct (make sure the colour stands out against the background) (MC)
- Black yarn for bridge detail. (CC4)
Or you could knit it in bright and entirely unnatural colours; the choice is yours!
Cast on 182 sts in CC1 using the long tail method. Join in the round.
Work 1x1 rib for at least 5 rows, or longer is you like.
Switch to CC2 and MC until first red line. Work chart in Stocking Stitch, making sure to catch the floats and paying attention to yarn dominance (MC should be the dominant colour throughout).
Switch to CC3 and MC. Work until the second red line.
Switch to CC4 and MC. Switch yarn dominance to CC4 for this section. Work to next red line.
Switch back to CC3 and MC. Resume MC yarn dominance and work 1x1 corrugated rib to last row.
Work the last row in CC4 only.
Cast off. Embroider (duplicate stitch) the missing black details of the bridge in the two rows before the second red line. Tidy up the loose ends.
Congratulations! You can now wear the World Heritage Site.
By Ania Skarzynska
Subscribe to the Heritage of Wales News and sign up for the full feed RSS, just click this RSS button and subscribe!
• Twitter • Facebook • Google+ • Linkedin
Also find us on:
Twitter Hashtag: #RCAHMWales