“All The Angles” by Stephen West

Using the hole in the needle, usually interchangeables, is such a fast and relatively simple way to go.
I agree about knitting speed. I’m a slow knitter but I figure that if I finish this sweater I’ll just have to start another so, no rush.

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I’m so glad you are a slow-knitter, Salmonmac, although I rather think your definition of ‘slow’ may be different from my gastropod’s take on it! But I reassure myself that the snail’s pace stops me from making the kinds of mistakes that result in FAR longer to repair; so in the long run I may just beat to the finishing line the hare that keeps urging me to go faster. Well, that’s the theory, anyway, or the excuse rather!


I KNOW it’s really a tortoise…!

One other thing about speed: I do a lot of free motion quilting, and have learned that the ‘riding a bike’ analogy is a good one: if you hurtle too fast you fall off; but if you go too slow you wobble, and can also fall off. The crash landing might hurt a bit less with the wobble, but you’ll still crash.
With a sewing machine it’s certainly true that going too slow can end in tears, as can going too fast. I think that’s true of knitting, too? If you go really really snail (or tortoise) slow, you can ‘wobble’ and over-think yourself into a mess; the mess is usually easier to tidy up than if you rush through a whole row and then realise you’ve ‘fallen off your bike’, but it’s still a mess. So, as in most things in life, there is a happy medium, I guess?


Lalla, knitting and free motion quilting. You are a force to be reckoned with!

No, not so much a force, more an obsessive maker!


Probably half way through Section 3, which turns out, as you surmised, Salmonmac, not to be Section4!! And, in my wheel-re-inventing guise, I’ve worked out a totally sanity-saving bit of help for myself that I’m sure lots of people must do, but somehow I had never thought of, before necessity drove me to problem-solving: when you have a relatively long already-worked section, plus a whole lot of stitches on a spare cable, with those little screw-on end-y bits, plus the tails of a lifeline, plus two (or more) colours going on…that’s a lot of stuff to tangle up and generally get in the way. Every time you turn round to work the next side you have to disentangle the two working colours, unhook the bits that have got snaggled up on the endy things, all that stuff, re-cross the working two colours…etc.

So here’s what I now do, and what has, I’m absolutely certain, been mentioned long since here, but there’s probably little harm in mentioning something useful again?

Find a small soft bag with a drawstring closure, like the sort of thing that travel hairdryers, or other such items come with. Shoe bags were, for my purposes, too big, though they might work for some projects? It helps if it’s a non-shiny surface, like the plastic ones that come with bathroom things such as electric toothbrushes, because the plastic ones are slippery.

Stuff (carefully!) the bit of the work that you are not working on into the bag, and draw the drawstring carefully closed over the whole mess-attracting lot of it! Tuck the little toggles on the closing cord into the top of the bag so you don’t have them to contend with. You need to be able to get at the stitches you are actually working on, of course, but there’s a whole lot you can get out of the way and into the bag. Non-slippery helps if you work on your lap, it saves the little bag skidding off all the time. And turning the whole thing after each row (or short row, in my case at the moment) is SO much easier with all that clutter tucked safely out of the way.


Good idea! Stephen West’s shawls tend to be large so this is a good way to control the project and keep it out of reach of pets and small children. It would work well with blankets, coats, whatever. Thanks for posting.

VERY happy you think it’s a good idea!!

Hadn’t thought about pets, either, which is pretty silly of me as we are in the process of acquiring a new puppy, oh heaven!! At least it’s not a kitten….and my present dog, Cuba, is very peaceful and respectful of yarn!

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Just when I thought things were going nicely, what (and I’ve looked up other threads but am still not clear) does kfb twice mean?? Does it mean kfb in a stitch, then kfb in the subsequent stitch?? Why oh why can’t people spell it out for poor people like me!!! I’m assuming it means kfb in two separate stitches, not twice in just one?? Don’t want to discover I’m wrong 200 stitches into the row!!

It means in 2 adjacent sts. There would be different directions if it were make 4sts out of one. Well, I hope there would be.
Yes, that’s confusing and especially with so many sts.
Is it just to increase the stitch number or is it part of the design?

I don’t even know the answer to that, yet, Salmonmac; I’ve trawled through many notes on Ravelry, and everyone says it’s so much fun and SO super easy peasy, and I really don’t think I’m particularly inept, but I just don’t understand some bits; nowhere in section 4 does it explain properly what I presume (??) must happen, which is that you continue along, in each row, picking up the stitches of the original Section 1, bit by bit, row by row - I presume that’s what the ssk is doing, but it doesn’t say, and it’s just so unclear. To me. I’ll bash on and hope that all is revealed as I do my best to say yes and not stress! Too much stress here in Hong Kong at the moment, with total lockdown looming where everywhere else in the world is opening up. Honestly, it’s all too much sometimes!!

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It does seem like too much so many times in the past 2 years (yikes, 2 years!). Hong Kong has been especially so. Knitting should be some restful place to go without stress. Maybe challenging but not stressful.
I’d put in lifelines, try my best interpretation and carry on. If necessary there’s always ripping back to the lifeline. Sometimes it’s good to have a safe project. Something easy and small that you can turn to for a change, a hat, a sock, anything different from the current project. Then you can come back with a fresh eye and mind.
I know you’re up for this and you can do it!

Yes, I’m putting in lifelines incessantly, especially now the rows are over 200 stitches long…Usually I turn to practice things for relaxation, little swatch-y experiments; I love learning new techniques and am forever knitting up strange little bits and pieces; the short rows experiments take on a surreal appeal very quickly, tacking off in all directions. I do the same with my quilting, and eventually put all the little test pieces together in one big picture called “The Learning Curve”, it’s sort of curve-shaped, and continues to grow! As for All the Angles, well, I think I’ve worked it out for myself; what I found odd was that the pattern is incredibly kind when you get to Section 2, and explains in detail and with photos how to connect to Section 1; but by Section 4, which is quite different in its construction, there is nothing at all to make clear what is happening. Funny, really, but maybe it’s good for one, all the struggling……? Hmmm!


Hi, Lalla, there is an alternate way to work the kfb stitch which doesn’t leave a purl bump. You knit into the front of the stitch as normal, then swing and insert your needle tip into the back leg of that same stitch and just slip both off the left hand needle. I never liked that “purl” bump when doing the kfb but this way takes care of it!

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Thanks for the encouragement, Salmonmac! And for the tip, Sknitter56 - really useful! I don’t much mind, in this particular project, the purl bump - it’s lacy and the yarn is speckly, so you don’t really notice; but for other things, that would be a really useful way to do it, thanks!

Meantime, I’m managing ok, getting near the end, fudging here and there, but generally speaking it’s fine now, and of course, as usual, once you’ve worked it out for yourself it all falls into place. I just do think it would be kind of pattern-writers to be kind to pattern-workers. It shouldn’t be that you need to be experienced and/or intrepid to do something; tricky bits can be explained. The odd thing about this pattern is that it has the detailed explanation of one lot of pick-ups, but none whatsoever with the next lot, which are different, in so far as the first lot are k2togs and the second lot are ssks, but it would just be kind to say that you are, in fact, after achieving the same thing - picking from the edge at right angles to the one you are working; obvious when you think hard about it, but helpful not to have to worry whether or not you are right. I don’t think it would have been difficult to be equally explicit in those second lot of instructions, and would have saved me at least a lot of angst. Never mind, getting there at last. And I really like the way Stephen West does the picot bind off, which is a bit different from other ways I’ve seen, and produces a nicer finish, in my opinion (and obviously his, too!) It’s more of a little ‘tooth’ than a little tag. Here’s a link; if you watch to the end he tells you how to do it with a crochet hook, too, though personally I prefer the knit way:


Finished! Apart from the blocking. Hooray and phew!! On to the next one, in my Hong Kong self-imposed isolation, happy with a ton of wool and the next Stephen West pattern. His new book arrived just in the nick of time, and I’m on to one called “Painted Columns”, a present for someone who is going into hospital at the end of March for a major operation. I hope the Painted Columns will help to keep her cosy and cheer her up a little.

Is it a good thing to start a thread on a particular pattern, a sort of diary of small successes, pratfalls, teeth-grinding, questions, happiness, frustration…the usual gamut of knitting as I seem to see it??! Not sure if it’s a bit boring when it’s just one person’s ‘journey’ through life’s rich knitting pattern?


Well it’s fun for us to go on the journey with you and it’s a good reference for anyone else making the pattern. It’s like good Ravelry notes, very helpful.

And I guess, if it’s not fun or interesting, no-one has to read it!! Thank you, Salmonmac, for the encouragement; what I really need to do now is work out why I seem still to be unable to download photos - I’ve tried all your very helpful suggestions, including through the app you recommended, still with no joy. I can do it easily on Ravelry, so I’m not quite sure why I’m finding it so difficult here….try and try and try again!

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