Knitty: little purls of wisdom
Modeknits - Franklin

For almost as long as I've been a knitter, I've been fascinated by the history of knitting. I've especially enjoyed the mind-twisting process of working with the often obtuse and obfuscatory language of antique patterns. There's a thrill, I find, in watching a project emerge row by row and knowing that other knitters, long gone, followed the same path.

The process of decoding, testing and correcting isn't for everyone, though; and so in this column I hope to share the excitement of the journey by removing as many of the roadblocks as possible. You don't need to be a historian to come along -- just a knitter with a curious mind.

beauty shot

by Franklin Habit, translated from Weldon's Practical Knitter (Fourth Series)











spacer photos: Franklin Habit




Approximately 11 inches per side after blocking


Cascade Sierra [80% pima cotton/20% wool; 191 yd per 100g skein]; 1 skein
spacer color: 50 Caramel OR 20 Navy
Note: 1 skein will make 2 squares.

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer US #4/3.5mm needles for working in the round
Note: the piece is worked from the center out, and so we recommend using Magic Loop or 2 circulars; if you prefer, you can start with a set of 5 dpns and change to a 16 inch circular as the piece gets big enough.

spacer 2 locking-ring stitch markers or coil-less safety pins
spacer scissors
spacer yarn needle


16 sts/28 round = 4 inches in stockinette st


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

The piece is begun at the center with Judy's Magic Cast On and worked in the round.

To allow the square to stretch fully during blocking, use Jeni's Suprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

The chart for this pattern is very large and fits on a letter-sized page.
Click here and print the resulting page.


Using Judy's Magic Cast On, co 8 sts.
If working on Magic Loop or 2 circulars, divide evenly on 2 ndls, placing a marker in the center of the two needles -- the markers will indicate the transition between the 2 quarters on each ndl. If working on DPNs, place 2 sts each on 4 needles. )

K 1 rnd.

Pattern set-up round: [K1, yo, k1] around. 12 sts; 3 sts per quarter
Next round: Work Chart 4 times around.
Work as set until all Chart rows are complete.

Bind off loosely with Jeni's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

Soak and block firmly, taking care that all sides are of equal length. Allow to dry completely. Weave in ends.

Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons(Interweave Press) and proprietor of the popular knitting blog, The Panopticon. He travels widely to teach knitting and photography, and his work appears with shocking regularity in perfectly respectable fiber arts magazines and books.

Franklin is most commonly worked from the center outwards beginning with a surprisingly stretchy center, but his seams keep coming apart.