Mission Statement

This blog journals my quest of art, whether it is a piece of work that is inherent in nature or one created by artists known or unknown or that I created myself. During this search, I have come to appreciate the magnificence and generosity of God who in his infinite wisdom surrounded us with exquisiteness everyday...everywhere and inspired our human spirit to create beauty that feeds our bodies and souls. Come join me on my journey to find art through my travels and my own creative endeavors. Maraming salamat.

All rights to all posts and contents on this blog, including photos and artwork are reserved by jojo sabalvaro tan.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Knitting a Snood

SNOOD (scarf/hood in one)

For years, I have been trying to learn how to knit. I had different people show me how but I just could not get it.  Somebody even suggested I have a left handed person instruct me so it would be like looking at a mirror image of what I should be doing - it did not work. One day, I was window-shopping  down in Oak St. in Chicago. This street is famous for the high-end designer boutiques and stores on it such as Celine's, Hermes, David Yurman and Barney's. I happened upon a sign for We'll Keep You in Stitches tucked in the fourth floor of the building. It turned out to be a place for needlepoint and knitting.

At first, I was interested in all the handmade needlepoint canvases and then my attention turned to all the colorful yarn tumbling from the bins. There was a group of ladies seated around a rectangular table, obviously having a great time chatting about TV shows, the latest Chicago scandal, their families and what have you. They were also in various stages on their knitting projects. I stopped to admire their handiwork and said hello. They were all very friendly. I expressed that I had wanted to learn how to knit for the longest time. That was it. I was immediately offered a seat,  a ball of yarn and knitting needles were handed over. 'We'll teach you how", they all chimed in. I don't know what happened - the stars were aligned, it was the right aura from the combination of ladies present but I did learn how to knit right there and there. Using the basic garter stitch, I made my first scarf.

I kept coming back to this place and if I were honest to myself, more because of  its interesting ladies who had interesting stories to tell than knitting itself. I knitted with them at the table in the middle of the shop learning more about knitting and life at the same time. Without really struggling or trying hard, I completed many projects including a poncho, shawl, sweater and a knitted winter coat and gained new friends, in the process. To me, this shop was a magical place. It felt that there was nothing I could not knit or tackle. Sadly, I no longer visit the shop but I still continue to knit on my own, I really miss the ladies and just being there. I still hear their chatter and encouragement anytime I pick my knitting and that always makes my knitting time a happy time.

While I was learning to knit,  one thing I never tackled is the cable stitch. It seemed so complicated and involved. But to me, it defines knitting. One day, I was watching a TV show featuring knitting and they were demonstrating the cable stitch. The host said it was easy as long as you break down the stitch in the usual knit and purl patterns. So I decided to teach myself how to cable. The first thing I did was look for a pattern that looked simple and had easy directions - a scarf was a safe bet. Then I bought a cable needle. I sat down and tried the cable stitch and the host was right, it was relatively easy as long as you just think of it as just a combination of the normal knit and purl stitches using a special tool (cable needle). I made a few more scarves featuring the cable stitch after my very first cable-stitched scarf.

My latest project is a snood - a scarf/hood. Here is a picture of my first completed snood and it's different uses - a hood, a scarf, a bolero vest, a shawl and a nursing cover. I have included directions below, if you'd like to try this fun knitting project.

This project finishes at about 48 inches by 20 inches.

Snood used as a Muffler
Snood used as a Bolero
Snood Used as a Baby Nursing Blanket

Snood Used as a Shawl

I used six 50 g/1.75 oz. balls (each approximately 100 yds), a pair of 6.5 mm (Us 10 1/2) knitting needles and a cable needle.

The cable stitch I used is abbreviated on the instructions as Cr6R and is stitched as follows: Slip next 4 sts onto cable needle and hold at back of work, k2, slip p sts from cable needle to back unto left hand needle and p2, then k rem 2 sts from cable needle.

Cast on 88 sts.
1st row (right side) K3 (p2, k2) to last 5 sts, p2, k3.
2nd row K2, (p2, k2) to last 3 sts, p2, k1
3rd row to 8th row, repeat 1st and 2nd row 3 times more.
9th row K3, p2 *(k2, p2) twice, Cr6R, p2*, rep from * to * once more,  (k2, p2) 4 times, **C46R, p2,    (k2, p2) twice**, rep from ** to ** once more, k3
10th row As in 2nd row

Repeat rows 1 to 10 to desired length ending in the 10th row.

Cast off and then join cast on and cast off edges making sure that the rib pattern is continuous.

Thanks May and Gianna for modeling.


  1. I am a visual person. I need to make this with you showing me how to do it, each step of the way. Like the many uses for it.