Nubbins of Comfort and Joy
As you know, I have an unstoppable drive to knit every single one of Cecelia Campochiaro’s charismatic designs in MDK Field Guide No. 19: Marls. I’m a fool for marling. It’s so fun!
My drive may be unstoppable, but I’m always open to a little detour. I was all set to knit up a couple-three Striped Marl Hats (Ravelry link), which would be awfully nice holiday gifts, wouldn’t they? I have the yarn, and the colors picked out and everything. I was going to start as soon as I finished my Marlogram Scarf.
And then, a couple of weeks ago, on a visit to MDQ World Headquarters in Nashville, two bright wheels of Freia Ombré Merino Lace (shades: Coho and Melon, because I love brunch?) jumped into my arms, and on my way home I cast on a second Marlogram, this time in the cowl format. Wait up, Striped Marl Hats! I’ll be right there!
The Marlogram, worked in two strands of laceweight, is a good amount of knitting—like, a lot. I was knitting and knitting, the wheels of Freia turning and getting smaller and smaller as I worked through the color shifts.
And then I was down to the nubbins.
The nubbins taught me a new rule of knitting physics.
I already knew the first law of knitting physics: if it looks like you might run out of yarn before you finish a project, you must knit faster. I think the way it works, from a relativity perspective, is that the yarn is so dazzled by your knitting speed that it cannot keep up. You sneak ahead and get to the end of the project before the yarn has a chance to run out. Or something like that.
The law of nubbins is the opposite. You get to the nubbins, so close to the end of the yarn, and you keep knitting and knitting, for days and days, and the nubbins Never. Get. Smaller. Nubbin size remains constant across time and space. Like matter itself, nubbins are neither created nor destroyed. (Apologies to anyone who knows anything about actual physics.)
MDK reader Lucy told me that when she got to the Nubbins Phase of her Marlogram, she started weighing them after each knitting session just to prove to herself that they were in fact getting smaller. Science!
Enough About the Nubbins
Once you’ve defeated knitting physics and dispatched the nubbins, the Marlogram Cowl is finished by unzipping the provisional cast-on, and then doing a modified 3-needle bind off of the two ends of the knitting. The modification gives you a nice flat chain of bound-off stitches, with no vertical ridge as with the regular 3-needle bind off. Here’s a link to a video of the technique.
I’ve unzipped my provisional cast-on—which I don’t mind telling you is a fiddly little business—but I’ve got live stitches on both ends now, and I’m all ready to work the 3-needle bind-off!
Here are my two Marlograms, basking in north-window light.
When the nubbins (finally) are niblets, it’s time to bind off!
On the right, a scarf, using 2 wheels of Freia Ombré Merino Lace in the murkilicious blues and purples of the shade Squid Ink. And on the left, a cowl, in the shades Coho and Melon.
And look: a bonus Marlogram Cowl. This one is Cristina’s.
Nautilus and Chinook
Marlogram Shade Picking: Let Go and Let Freia
Picking colors can be challenging. Picking multi-colored skeins even more so.
Here’s the trick: don’t aim too hard. Tina Whitmore is an extraordinary colorist. Even the seemingly wildest—or seemingly tamest—pairing of two colorways of Ombré Merino Lace is going to be a pleasure to knit and yield up a gorgeous finished Marlogram. I’m having a ball.