Friday, September 27, 2013

baktus, revisited

Following up on the pictures of the scarf progression, I'd like to encourage anyone who has not yet made a Baktus, lacy or otherwise, to give it a go! The patterns are free, and it's a very satisfying knit (or knit-and-purl, or lacy knit - your choice!) in all sorts of variations.

The basic design of this pattern is a triangle, begun at one end and gradually increasing in width until you are satisfied with the size of your half-a-scarf or until you are halfway out of yarn. Then you begin decreasing and creating the mirror image of the first half.

It's pretty neat.
And very simple.

In fact, it is simply neat.

It's the type of pattern where, as you are knitting it for the first time you think, "I'll be making this one again!"

I've made three now, all the Lacy Baktus version but each slightly different. The first was a special gift for a friend at work who was going through a tough time. As all knitters and crocheters (and hand-makers in general) know, it is a powerful thing to put good thoughts into a project, day by day, bit by bit, stitch by stitch. It is deeply comforting to the maker and - one fervently hopes - to the recipient.

This first one was knit on size US2 needles, with a skein of tightly-plied sock yarn purchased at a local fair. It worked up with a lovely drape; soft but dense, and with an almost woven look to the fabric.

And here's a picture of the early stages of Lacy Baktus 2:

I was the very lucky winner in my bloggyfriend Michaela's 2009 birthday drawing, and this very soft, very pretty, bluesy-purply merino/silk blend yarn seemed perfect for something to be worn close to the face. Hmmmm....whatever could it be??

A fun thing about knitting the same pattern multiple times: one is inclined to play. This time, instead of using tiny sock needles, I swatched with a few sizes to see what the resulting fabric would look and feel like, then settled on US8...quite a difference!

And you have already seen the third iteration (same size needles, but with a i-cord edge knitted into the bottom of the scarf this time). It was made with the yarn I dyed way back in February. Remember? Gosh, so long ago!

I am embarrassed to say, this scarf could have been finished months ago, but for some mysterious reason I set it aside when it was within about two minutes of being complete, and then sort of...didn't complete it. 'Til this week. I am shaking my head right now, can you tell? Anyway, I just want to reassure the knitters who may be reading:

You can knit a Baktus in a very short time!

And here are a couple of links that will lead to the free patterns:

Strikkelise's Baktus 

Terhi Montonen's Lacy Baktus

I think Ravelry links will work for everyone, but if not, will someone please let me know? I am often baffled by what works and what doesn't work. For example:

Why does my own blog comment box suddenly have a drop-down list? I don't know...I didn't put it there!
Why can I no longer comment on some blogs that I have commented on in the past? No idea!
Why am I now only getting email "new comment" notices for some of the comments here?
I discovered this only last week, and I do apologize if I was slow responding to any of your comments. I really enjoy hearing back from you, and now I am trying to get into the habit of checking the Comments section in the Blogger dashboard instead of relying on email notices.

So, knitters...have you knit a Baktus? or two? or ten? I'd love to see them!



  1. This is blogger "updating" things. I have noticed the changes too.
    I am eager to see your work progress, I have not crocheted for 40 years!

    1. You've been too busy sewing your gorgeous patchworks! But maybe this winter when you've got a fire roaring in your lovely new woodstove, you'll suddenly get the urge to find some knitting needles or dust off your crochet hook. I've spent many a cozy hour knitting by firelight ;)

  2. I think I've made 3 Baktus so far - two plain and one lacy but sadly I only have one left as poor Mr Locket shrank one in the washing machine and I think moths must have got the lacy one as the edge was all unravelled :(
    I think I need to have another shawl on the needles for telly knitting as I can't concentrate on colourwork and watch telly at the same time! I'm thinking of doing this shawl which has a similar shape to Baktus x

    1. I like that ripply edging! I've been thinking of making one with a leafy edge, like Saroyan, and maybe even with a few beads knitted in. But what I really need is something I can wear to the barn every morning, get full of bits of hay and goat hair, and toss in the washer regularly. My life (and wardrobe) are geared to labor more than glamour these days ;)

  3. I'm having the same problems, both in terms of Blogger and knits that should have been finished. So far I haven't found a way to reset the Blogger stuff back how it was, but I know the solution to my knitting delays ... I need to just get on with it!

    Pretty shawls :)


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