Top Tips for Lucky Pieces
Lucky Pieces, Issue 36's cover star, uses many familiar skills like picking up stitches and changing colours, but also features an interesting set up! After hearing that a few knitters have found this tee an especially challenging project, we called on Brontë Swannick for her list of top tips! Brontë is a knitwear designer - you might remember her pullover, Aloft, from Issue 32 - and long-time Pom pal who is currently knitting Lucky Pieces! We asked if she could write a list of handy info a knitter would need to know before embarking on their entrelac journey. Over to Brontë!
Lucky Pieces is the beautiful cover star of PPQ36, and uses an interesting version of entrelec to create a quilted appearance. The instructions may seem a little intimidating at first, but we want you to be able to knit a wonderful Lucky Pieces for yourself!
You will learn so many new skills with Lucky Pieces. By the time you finish you will not only be an entrelac expert, but you will also be a champion of picking up stitches, and a colour palette whiz!
Choosing your yarn
Lucky Pieces is a really exciting opportunity to both use up odds and ends of 4ply that you have in your stash, and to really play with colour! You’ll need a solid main colour, and your nine contrast colours will need to not only contrast well with each other but also with the main colour. That said, this pattern would be fantastic with only one or two contrast colours, as a minimal colour palette would really let the design's interesting texture shine!
As Lucky Pieces is made up of lots of short spurts of knitting (you’ll only be working 7 stitches at a time) we really recommend you use a nice toothy non-superwash yarn. This will prevent the small amount of stitches from sliding off your needles and becoming laddered.
The original sample uses Jamiesons of Shetland Spindrift, but some alternative yarns suggestions are:
- Jamieson and Smith 2ply Jumper Weight
- Retrosaria Mondim
- Daughter of a Shepherd Broome 4ply/Heritage 4ply
- Gathered Sheep Yarns Shetland 4ply
- TukuWool Fingering
- Garthenor Number 2
- Brooklyn Tweed Loft
You will be casting on a chain of triangular pieces that are connected to each other. Once you have a few on your needles they start to look like little flags!
After you work your First Base Triangle, the bottom of this will be in your main colour (yarn A), and the top including the live stitches will be in one of your contrast colours (yarn B). You’ll then follow the ‘Base Triangle’ instructions, continuing to work in yarn B, and switching back to yarn A when instructed to change yarn.
The Base Triangle will be connected to the First Base Triangle. This will be worked from the 8th stitch on your RH needle as you KFB into this stitch with yarn B and then work the instructions for the Base Triangle.
Each of your Base Triangles will have 7 sts. Even though you increase to 8, the 8th stitch will go into setting up the following Base Triangle.
Tip! - When the pattern tells you to ‘change yarn’ you will also need to break the yarn and leave a short tail for weaving in later. Please see our recommended technique for weaving in yarn on the purl side, for both English and Continental knitting styles! These videos are useful, even if you aren't working on Lucky Pieces!
RH Corner Triangle and RS Rectangle
When working your very first RH Corner Triangle, you will be working your first 6 rows in yarn A, and then switching to a brand new yarn B colour, NOT the one you have used just below.
Image shows finished RH corner triangle, Row 13 just worked.
On these RS rows you will not only be completing the pinwheel below, but you are also starting the base of a new pinwheel. These RS rows use more colours than the WS rows, so you will have more ends to weave in later on.
When switching colours, you’ll find it useful to refer to the diagram above. Our heartfelt thanks to emilywools for creating this guide and for allowing us to share this with our readers.
First row of RS rectangles
Tip! - Make sure to note the double decrease, sssk, on Row 2 (RS) of the RS Rectangles. You will be decreasing 2 sts with the first decrease you work, and the ones that follow you will only be decreasing 1 st.
Tip! - To help you keep your contrast colours spaced out nicely throughout the pinwheel motifs, use a long circular needle (100cm+ in length) so you are able to lay your work out flat. Get out all of your contrast colours and decide what you would like to sit where, and make a list of the colours in order of use. This helps you when knitting the next RS row, and will help prevent your colours ‘pooling’ together. We would recommend using a sticky note, that way you can stick it to the pattern next to the instructions you are working for easy reference.
When working your WS Rectangles, you will have less ends to weave in, as you’re adding 2 parts to the pinwheel you started below. This means you’re not adding in any new colours; you are building on the ones below. This makes these WS Rectangles a bit more intuitive to work.
Again, you can reference the diagram above to help with this.
There is another double decrease to remember here! Note the p3tog decrease on Row 2 (WS) - you will be decreasing 2 sts with the first decrease you work, and the ones that follow you will only be decreasing 1 st.
You should be now in the swing of the pattern with these two rows!
Tip! - When establishing your colours, keep in mind the following when starting the rows -
1st repeat RS start with main colour (yarn A)
1st repeat WS start with with contrast colour (yarn B)
2nd repeat RS start with contrast colour (yarn B)
2nd repeat WS start with main colour (yarn A)
This pattern continues until the divide for front and back.
This is a very mindful knitting project, and we do recommend taking pause to admire the amazing fabric you’re creating as you knit. By laying out your work before every RS row to pick colours, you can really reflect on the clever construction and the colour story you’re creating.
As mentioned above, the designer recommends weaving in the ends as you go, but for another element of mindful knitting, you can also take a pause each time you finish a row to weave in your ends by hand.
Thank you, Brontë for your top tips! We hope that this post helps knitters to create their own Lucky Pieces!
A final note: a small amount of errata has been spotted, which you can read here.
Our additional thanks to the community on our Ravelry group here for their guidance and help with this post. You can continue the Lucky Pieces chat in the forum where we'll be happy to help with any further questions you may have.