February 2014

Updated: I totally messed up the number of stitches to cast on (it was tiny) and only making the neat edge on one side, so I’m overhauling the pattern.

I’ve been playing around with the herringbone stitch, which I find too fiddly to want to make something that would take a long time, like a scarf, but it’s so cool that I like it in small doses. I tried a potholder, since it’s a thick, squishy knit, but it turned out vaguely rhomboid in shape (or cattywompus, to use the technical term). Here it is, while I was knitting it, arranged as un-cattywompusly as I could manage.


I remembered loving the thick, solid edges of the beard I use in my bearded hat with twirly mustachios, and thought it would make a nice border to stabilize the herringbone and give it more of a square shape. I also am too lazy to make something so “large” as a potholder at the moment, so I’ll try this out on some squishy, absorbent coasters.



Sl1 = slip one purlwise
K1 = knit one
P1 = purl one
HK2togTBL = knit two together through the back loops, only dropping the first stitch from the left needle
HP2tog = purl two together, only dropping the first stitch from the left needle
* … * = repeat whatever is inside the asterisks

Notes: With herringbone, you use bigger needles than you normally would for the thickness of yarn because it makes such a dense fabric. I normally use size 8 needles for dish cloths and coasters and such, so I bumped it up several sizes for these.

Video tips:

Herringbone Stitch from iknitwithcatfur
How to do a long-tail cast on


CO: 26 stitches using long tail cast on

Border Row 1: Sl1, Knit to last stitch, P1
Border Row 2: Same as Border Row 1

Row 1: Sl1, K2 * HK2togTBL only drop 1st stitch * K2, P1
Row 2: Sl1, K2 * HP2tog only drop 1st stitch * K2, P1

Repeat herringbone rows 1 and 2 six or seven times, then knit the border.

Border Row 1: Sl1, Knit to last stitch, P1
Border Row 2: Same as Border Row 1

And there you have it. Once I finish one, I’ll post how many times to repeat rows 1 and 2 and a picture of the finished product!

This is the result of my third doctoring of the recipe I got from the Gluten Free Goddess, African Bean Sweet Potato Soup. The first doctoring got rid of the bell peppers (blech) and all but the black beans, but now it’s a whole different animal with four-grain rice, more spices, and a cinnamon stick! It’s very thick and hearty, so I’m calling it stew now. I’ll add a picture next time I make it.


Spices Veggies & Liquids Stir Ins
1 T olive oil

1+ T Panang curry paste

1/2 t or 1 stick cinnamon

pinch cloves

pinch nutmeg

1/2 t crushed red pepper
2 t minced garlic

1 medium onion, diced

2 medium or 3 small sweet potatoes, diced

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 quart light broth

1/2 c peanut butter melted in 1/2 c hot water
4 Grain Rice, cooked

2 T cilantro, chopped

juice from one lime

1 T brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

cilantro for garnish

Heat Up Some Flavor

(and make your kitchen smell really good)

  1. Heat olive oil in a big stew pot and add all ingredients from the Spices column. Stir to infuse the oil (and the air around you) with spicy goodness.
  2. Add garlic and diced veggies. Cook on medium 5 to 7 minutes, stirring several times, until softened. At this point, the combined aromas of spices and sweet potatoes will make your mouth water.
  3. Stir in broth and peanut butter melt, heat to a high simmer, cover, and lower heat. Simmer 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Stir in rice and cilantro and simmer another 5 minutes.
  5. Add lime juice, brown sugar, salt and pepper, warm through and serve garnished with cilantro.

This stuff smells and tastes so good! For some reason, the zucchini, having no real flavor of its own, tastes almost like baked apples in this recipe. The rice adds texture that makes it more of a stew than a soup. But the true heart of it is the combination of peanut butter, Thai spices, and sweet potatoes. Thank you, Gluten Free Goddess!