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Dear Ann,

Once in a while, people ask us, how do you knit so fast? And we always say the same thing: We just knit a lot. You and I, and a lot of people we work with and know, have a very low threshold when it comes to “can we knit in this situation?”

If your default attitude toward life is that you could probably be knitting right now, you just naturally get in a lot of stitches and rows. The Zoom lifestyle has only enhanced this, I find. I get twitchy if I don’t have the needles going. So, if I’ve got, say, a Mood Cardigan in need of a seam, and a Zoom or a car ride is imminent, I will cast on a new project without even thinking about it. I have to have a project going at all times, and it has to be in a non-seaming, non-shaping, non-thinking state of play, so that I can just pick it up and knit.

That’s how I achieved my latest FO, Pressed Flowers, a shawl by Amy Christoffers. One Saturday, the fam was heading out on a day trip for Social Distancing Fun Times, the pieces of my Mood Cardigan were just that—pieces—so I foraged a few balls of Felted Tweed (3 in each of two colors—Seafarer and Clay), printed out the pattern, and off I went.

It’s a fun knit. You concentrate hard for the first, blessedly short repeat of the flower motif, and then you’ve got it and you’re off to the races.

I was never really trying to finish it. But as happens with things that are fun to knit, you keep knitting, and they grow, and then they’re done.

I love this thing.

I promised I would show the wrong side of the fabric. Mosaic stitches make lovely flat fabrics, which look woven on the WS. This makes mosaic fabrics especially nice for faux-ven (faux woven) items, such as dishcloths, towels, placemats, rugs, and also for things like shawls, where the WS is going to be on display some of the time.

Ever since it came off the back porch blocking table, this thing has been around my neck at the slightest hint of chill in the air. It’s super handy that most of my clothing is navy blue now.

I wear it all squished up, with the triangle hanging down in front. I’ve never been a party-in-the-back person.

This shot was supposed to juxtapose air-drying hydrangeas with the Pressed Flowers motif. It’s called art direction, gosh.

If you happen to have a few spare balls of Felted Tweed, this is a perfect project. It would also be fun to change the color of the flowers and/or the background for the border section. I want to do another one in two natural-color wools, light and dark, and another one in linen or a linen/cotton blend. And I also want to do some dishcloths in this stitch pattern. It’s just got that special something that makes you want to keep knitting it. It helps that the square flowers make me think of Marimekko and Orla Kiely.

Or maybe my next 6 balls of Felted Tweed could be a Bracken.

Thanks to ever-clever Amy Christoffers for another great pattern.




  • This shawl is so beautiful! I cast on immediately the first time you showed it to us. I used Holst Tilde, a wool/silk fingering weight yarn, in natural and caramel. I had reached just past the first flower, still having to concentrate a lot, when Steven Wests annual MKAL came in the way. Seeing your finished shawl inspires me to pick it up again and finish it!

    • That sounds lovely! I have a DK one on the needles now, but I want to try one in linen next.

  • Your shawl is lovely! And I have gotten a lot more knitting done in this Age of the Virtual Meeting. My mindless meeting knitting is socks, and I surprised my SO last week with two pairs for his birthday. He will no doubt get at least two pairs for Christmas too!

  • This is gorgeous – and I especially commend your showing the “wrong” side. Thank you!

    I’ll take this opportunity to file a request for future stitch dictionary authors to include photos of both sides of the samples. Please. The appearance of the wrong side is often important when choosing a stitch pattern, and I’ve always wondered why none of the stitch dictionaries ever show it.

  • This is beautiful!! Now that my Mood Cardigan is finished I may need to make this. And Bracken is gorgeous too!! Thanks for showing both sides.

  • Beautiful work, Kay!

  • Kay, You got me started with “fun” knitting that took advantage of color and pattern without lace work or cables. When I first saw you working on this I was interested, now with the final piece, it’s moving up in the next cast on, long term project queue. (Unless Field Guide 16 comes out first.)……

  • stunning just stunning

  • Love it. I might have to add to my list of things to cast on. Only fellow knitters understand the need for multiple WIPs for different occasions.

  • There is just so much life in this shawl. How the light petals “punctuate” the dark background. I might have to at least try out the stitch pattern (although I’m not holding out a lot of hope for the long term finished product.). Always so impressed how you and Ann can persevere through long, challenging projects.

  • This is gorgeous in Felted tweed and now you’ve got me wanting to cast on another (that would be a third presses flowers shawl…) thank you so much for knitting and sharing Kay

  • Yours is beee-utiful! I am loving that pattern too. We cast on about the same time – but I have experimented with several flower colors to get one that works in reality. But it’s a cast on and pattern that is easy to start and near-instant gratification in flower production! And my near-miss colors mean I have a new wild yarn stash category – delightfully happy wildflowers!

  • Didn’t think I wanted this….now I do! Thanks for constantly reshuffling my queue!

  • I’m working on Pressed Flowers now – using Cascade Yarns Friday Harbor (Merino Wool and Silk) in black with beige flowers. I hope the wrong side doesn’t catch on anything with those three stitch long threads.

    • Those 3-stitch floats are all mashed in, in part because of Felted Tweed’s feltiness, but mostly from the vertical compression of mosaic stitches

  • Same sentiments about this fun (and addicting) pattern. Once you get it, you’ve got it and I want to put “pressed flowers” everywhere! Thanks for the insta inspiration.

  • I found I already had this pattern in my favorites on Ravelry. It may be what I need to break out of my mild knitting slump (lots of projects, but none that really grab me right now). I’m thinking of the flowers in a skein of Spincycle I have stashed away, now to find a main color. I’m assuming this is the sort of pattern you can just work away at until you run out of yarn, so if I do it on smaller needles with lighter weight yarn I can still have a nice size shawl.

  • I love this! I was in a torturous meeting yesterday – TG I could pick up my knitting! It kept me sane, and I listen better than if I start on my email.

    Your shawl is beautiful! And I like your dishcloth idea! Time to buy the pattern.

  • I now love this thing too and must have one. I was worried at the start, the flowers might look too grandma, but they don’t. They’re Peter Max. You picked the perfect shades of yarn.

  • You got me where you pitched dishcloths, I can so do this, start small today (gifts to put in the mail, red or green flowers with white, say), tomorrow a shawl!
    Luv, bessie

    • I really want to knit this shawl! I bought the pattern and am very disappointed that the repeat rows are only charted. I’m sure there are more knitters who would knit this if written out. I will have to love it from afar! Enjoy.

      • I agree. I found the charts confusing as the first and last two stitches of the repeats are not on the charts and I hate charts.

  • How would it be possible to turn this pattern into a small throw blanket ( i.e. rectangular shape)?

    • The chart shows you the repeat, so you’d just cast on a multiple of that number of stitches, and omit the increases at the edges and center.

  • You are an enabler – my stash busting for this was Ultra Alpaca Light … just need to finish a UFO before I cast on. My pandemic rule…

    Wear it in Good Health! As my mother would have said.
    and – beautiful back!

  • Great shawl, great sunglasses! But when you described your current wardrobe, I heard the Village People singing “In the navy, yes, you can sail the seven seas, in the navy….” You may want some color in the next one…;-)

  • I am twitching to cast on for this, ever since Amy released it but esp seeing your version in this yarn! Kick me for committing to an ambitious gifting project plan that is hogging all my knitting moments (altho tbh I’m enjoying it too, why should I kvetch). Xox

    • It’s all good!

  • I’ve been in the same headspace knitting constantly and getting things done for a change. I’m in school at the age of 67, when my friends are retiring. I ended up on disability after a marriage to a physician. But I have always been self sufficient because I am an RN. And then I learned that I had a disorder that required two surgeries and disability. I can’t live on $1,408/mo. And I immediately signed up with vocational rehab which may work for someone but I am on advisor #5. I’m finally taking these online classes that require listening and knitting and the light is at the end of the tunnel.
    Keep knitting to keep your sanity

  • Beautiful shawl! I fell and broke my right wrist 6 weeks ago. I can identify with getting twitchy without something to knit on. I have been in a splint since then, and have two more weeks! I’m going crazy, surrounded by projects waiting to be completed, and more to be started. I had just started my Mood cardigan, and do so want to get back to it. Soon!!

  • Lovely! I lost my knitting mojo for a couple of months, having recent gotten it back. I knit happily while on line to vote yesterday.

  • wonderful shawl. And so many variations to pursue with so many of our projects

  • Your shawl is beautiful, Kay! I bought the pattern the instant it came out, we have great taste, don’t we? 😉

    • We know what’s good!

  • It’s gorgeous. It’s also lovely to see a picture of you, hi :-D, you look great in your shawl. And the hydrangea juxtaposition works well. I wish I could get away with knitting in my work zooms, but unfortunately I have to make notes or do stuff at the same time so no dice there. I just have to live vicariously through all you fast knitters’ posts.

    • I hold a pen while knitting/crocheting and in meetings, or hold on my lap if I have to type or print a screen, etc. Even 1 row done feels good. Keep trying. Or use the time to change a skein to a ball, etc.

  • Beautiful picture–lady and scarf!

  • Yes!! I totally subscribe to the theory of having a mindless knit cast on at all times. Why waste a perfectly good knitable (totally a word) moment by only having a project that requires thought and/or attention?

  • I bought this pattern the day it came out and went stash diving on the spot. I found 2 yarn combinations I am dying to start. The problem is that I haven’t started! I will, but I’ve been experiencing so much castonitis lately, my WIP pile is about to topple over.
    I love your color choices, and you’re so right- very Orla Kiery.

  • Oooh Kay it’s so lovely ! and heh heh you just know we are 100% with you when you say ‘already plotting next one’ and ‘this pattern on a dishcloth. bises tout plein!

  • Oh I LOOOOOVE it! I love the name too!

  • JUST favorited Bracken the other day – but now I’ve seen this version of yours I’m suddenly torn…. Apparently I’ll need to make both!

  • I made this as my second mosaic knitting project and after a bit of head scratching I’ve finished with a lovely shawl. I used Rowan Felted Tweed and Debbie Bliss Erin Tweed. I made mine a bit larger so I used a bit more that 3 balls for the main color.

  • Really love this. Might someone suggest a color changing, pastel or muted, that could work for the flowers, perhaps with the felted tweed… Long queue.

  • The pattern instantly reminded me of dogwood flowers.
    Seeing the back of the project was excellent; thank you so much for your bravery and transparency. Made me want to run off and knit a Ball Band kitchen towel, I’m just jonesin’ to knit one right now the second I go offline. Here I go….

  • This shawl is beautiful and your words are very inspiring. I have been looking for a shawl pattern for these cold winters months. I have made one shawl and everywhere I have it on, I get a lot of compliments. I ordered the Felted Tweed in Ancient and Cumin. Very excited to receive and get started.

  • This one is on my list!! Looks beautiful

  • Beryl is on my wish list! Baby Fern Lake is finished and waiting for grandbaby boy to arrive soon!

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