Martina Behm

Salute to Fractal Danger

Ladies and gentlemen, please pour one out for my lovely sweet Fractal Danger, taken from me (by public transportation) too soon! She was a darling of a little scarf. She was made from yarn that I hand dyed in March of 2009 at Bjorklunden with my college knitting club. You know, like all the cool kids were doing in 2009.

The yarn, Knit Picks Bare Gloss Fingering, dyed with KoolAid, waited patiently in my stash for the right project. At 70% merino wool and 30% silk the yarn has a real shine to it. The KoolAid dye created nice summery pastels that reminded me of a flowerbed. When I saw Martina Behm‘s Fractal Danger pattern, I knew this skein would make the perfect spring time scarf.

Sadly, I can’t really show her to you because somehow in the juggling of purse, backpack, knitting project, hat, mittens, and sanity on the train, this beauty managed to get left behind. All I have are a few selfies from right after it came off the needles–not even blocked–and a few pictures of it on the carpet just after the blocking pins were removed.

The pattern was so fun to knit. It’s actually a rare pattern I could see myself making again (something I normally dislike!) The scarf is shaped with short rows, so you are never working on that many active stitches at once. That makes it feel like the rows move really fast. (Anything that makes you feel like your knitting is progressing quickly is a special kind of satisfying.)

I was so happy with the finished object. The yarn didn’t pool or flash. It also didn’t look to pastel-cutesie. Before I started, I was a bit worried that colors might lean more toward sorbet than subtle. It all worked out, though. The scarf was beautiful. It was soft. And now it’s gone. I hope someone out there is enjoying it. Have you ever lost something you’ve knit?


Please do not let the snow on the ground in these photos fool you. There is no snow in Portland, only cold, dreary, rain. We are just wrapping up one of the wettest Thanksgiving weekends in as long as I can remember.


This snow is actually from January… that’s how long it’s been since the photos were taken for the blog to the actual writing of the blog post. What is life if not a constant struggle to do better…

This is the Tensfield I knit last winter for Bob. The pattern comes paired with another version called Langfield, which is essentially the same hat but slouchy. Both patterns are by Martina Behm. I’ve knit several of her shawls patterns and this was equally well written.


Of course, the fact that it is a well-written pattern doesn’t mean that I didn’t manage to screw it up. At one point the instructions clearly tell you to knit “until 20 stitch before marker.” Well, I just knit 20 stitches and continued on to the next part of the pattern… which was much too soon. Once I realized my mistake (after rereading about 100x before I realized my error) it was easy enough to get back on track.

The yarn is Araucania Huasco DK. It’s super tightly spun so the yarn has a lot of “sproingy” bounce to it. It was fun to work with.


(I like that action shot of rummaging in the trunk.) The variegated yarn really makes it easy to see the unique construction and the different directions you work to all meet together at the crown.

I never much like to remake patterns. Too many good ones not to try something new. But since this pattern is written so that you can use any yarn and needle size that you want I could see re-doing it again in different weights to get a different effect. A super chunky one would be really cute and cozy!

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