Knitting Nuances

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Celebrating Cassini


I try to stay focused, really I do. I promise myself I will work on the almost a dozen projects ready and waiting for patterns, but then inspiration strikes and I’m off on another tangent. This project not only diverted my attention, it shoved its way to the front of the publication line.

The Worthy Culprit

Saturn_PhotoThis time I was sidetracked by the end of one of the most successful projects in NASA history. After 20 years, the Cassini space craft recently met its end when it purposefully crashed into Saturn’s atmosphere, heroically  measuring conditions until the last second.

Cassini gave us years of amazing photos of Saturns rings (ahhhh, now you see the pattern inspiration) and knowledge of the giant gas planets and their moons that we did not have before. I was always taken by how the rings looked different based on the wave of light they were studying.

What’s Different

Cassini_LinesI’ve had a crescent shawl on my to do list for a while now but with so many crescent shawls already out there, it needed something different.

Enter the Showy Garter Decrease. Where the Granite Lake Shawl played on the vertical  elements, the Cassini Shawl curves these lines while maintaining the perpendicular detail that makes it so attractive. But that’s not all, the elegantly shaped (or successfully inspired) shawl needed interesting edges too, which led to the techniques below & the amazing Knotted K2tog bind off in the last blog post.

The Techniques

k2f&bKnit 2 Front and Back (k2f&b): The k1f&b increase is not always a favorite because it shows. In fact, we blogged about a less intrusive alternative (k1b&f) here. In this case, we are doubling down on the interruptive nature of the increase by working it into 2 edge stitches to create a knotted look.

Wrap 2 K2tog: The wrap also creates a knotted look that adds definition to our Knotted K2Tog Bind Off, in the edge of this shawl and soon we’ll show it with our Knotted Cast On. Since it is just 2 stitches, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to work and it has the added benefit of being stretchy.


Knotted K2Tog Bind Off

Texture is the name of the game for this shawl and we’ve added it in a number of ways:

  • Short Resilient Cast On matches nubby edge of the shawl
  • Wrapped Knit 2 Back & Front add interest to bland garter edges
  • Showy Garter Decreases add raised lines running perpendicular to the garter stripes.

New! Video Support for our Patterns on You Tube


My niece, Sarah on my visit to her Boston campus.

We now have a You Tube Channel to support Knitting Nuance patterns and techniques. Some of our prior video were on Drop Box which changed its sharing method so I took that as a sign to finally jump in and use You Tube. There are several Nuance videos there including an updated version of the Alternating Long-Tail Cast On, the Resilient Cast On and a soon to be announced Knit 1 Row Below edge.

Pattern Comes with a Free 20-Minute Video Class

Now you can start your project with me.

There are enough new ideas in the Cassini Shawl that I wanted to make sure I explained them well. There is a short overview video followed by a 20 minute ‘class’ that literally starts at the cast on edge, works the set up rows and shows you how to add new Showy lines. I’m so in love with this shawl I want to make sure you are successful with it.

I’ll keep making videos as fast as I can and add them as soon as they are ready. I’ve added a new Video category to the blog so you can easily find them all. You can link here or search on Laura Cunitz to find them. I can’t customize the channel until I have a hundred subscribers so please add us to your You Tube list and it will get even better.

The Yarn

  • Sock Yeah DK: I had the opportunity to meet Rachel Coopey designer at Coop Knits speak at the Jimmy Beans Bus Tour (where dedicated knitters hop on a bus in San Fran and ride 3 hours to Reno). The vibrant DK weight yarn was calling to me so that’s where I started.


  • Rowan: My personal color palette is a little softer and almost always includes some blue so the second version was knit with a delightfully soft yarn of a merino silk blend, Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK. A sunny fall day on Lake Tahoe was the perfect place for a photoshoot.


  • Berroco Nebula: And then, in the perfect example of impulse purchasing, I passed the display of long-change gradient yarn by Berroco. This Nebula yarn has a label gauge of 26 sts on US 3 but when knit on a US 6 it works beautifully. This one ball project knits up smaller. You could knit a larger version with a second skein.


Even after knitting three shawls in a row, I really want to knit another but there are so many other projects in the queue that will have to wait. I’m teaching this project at Jimmy Beans Wool in Reno so if you are going to be in the area send me an email so I can schedule something for you. Classes are listed in the sidebar to the left.

Cassini_Blue_Flat copyResource Links

10 comments on “Celebrating Cassini

  1. Gretchen Paul
    November 2, 2017

    The yarn that I wanted to use is fingering weight.

    • Laura Cunitz
      November 2, 2017

      That will work. The pattern starts from just 6 sts and grows until you run out of yarn. If you are not working stripes then it is not an issue, you will just want to add more stitches between Showy Lines so it’s not too busy. There is about 2″ between stripes so instead of 8 garter stitches, maybe 12 in fingering? Try a swatch, the pattern is free so it doesn’t hurt to download it. Also check out the 2 videos to see if it helps you decide. Let me know if you need help. Laura

  2. Jean Lauren
    November 2, 2017

    I met you at jimmy Beans today.Thank you for your help.
    I look forward to trying this pattern. The shawl is beautiful.

    • Laura Cunitz
      November 2, 2017

      Hi Jean! Was great to meet you. I look forward to dropping in to your knitting group. Laura

  3. ljpidgeon
    November 3, 2017

    hi my name is Linda J Pidgeon I hope you can help i am looking for book that could put a name on a hat or Christmas stockings thank you

    Linda J Pidgeon

  4. Judi
    November 4, 2017

    I’d be using either a superwash wool (At 83, I don’t have the strength to handle a large wet object) or an acrylic. Would these need blocking also? How bad would it look if I didn’t block it?

    • Laura Cunitz
      November 5, 2017

      I’m sure it will be fine. Can you steam block it at all? It just helps smooth it all out. Just happy you’re knitting. Laura

  5. Pingback: This Porthole Eyelet Stands Up to Blocking | Knitting Nuances

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