Box of Delights v2 by Alasdair Post-Quinn

Box of Delights v2

Knitting
September 2018
Aran (8 wpi) ?
20 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches
in Double-stockinette
US 5 - 3.75 mm
105 yards (96 m)
3.5" square

While brainstorming things to put in this book, someone suggested a little box might be just the thing for a small project, not too much of a time commitment, good for practicing several techniques. I thought this was a good idea, but I think I may have strayed too far from the original concept. Still, I think it can be said that this box is unique in construction — searches online for knitted boxes invariably turned up boxes with no lids, or lids knitted separately. This box not only has a lid, but a seamless construction, shaping and an integrated hinge thanks to the marled stitches used. It is loosely based on the masu box, a traditional origami pattern.

For practicing techniques, this is an ideal small piece — it has cast-on, bind-off, increases, decreases, color-changing, simple two-pattern double-knitting and marled knits and purls. However, it’s also designed to be sturdy and stand up on its own, so the fabric is tough and unyielding, for the most part. This is not something you want to hear about most knitting projects, but for a box it’s not a bad thing.

Regarding the name, this is named after the John Masefield book and my favorite bizarre BBC Christmas miniseries from childhood.

What’s New?

This box was a very underrated pattern from my first book. The design was a little sloppy, and the execution was difficult as written, largely because I pursued an unwise solution to structural stability: I worked it in bulky yarn on US4 needles. In addition, I was using twisted stitches, which made the fabric denser but also made the increases much more difficult to execute. The original proof of concept was done in Bartlett yarn, and I decided to revisit that yarn for the redesign. This box has been redesigned completely, although the general construction is the same. To get the best structural stability without using bulky yarn and twisted stitches, I used a simple two-pattern concept where the purl stitch of every pair is Color B, regardless of what color the knit was. This means that the inside of the box is all one color, but the subtle stranding also stiffens the fabric. The little knob on the top is something that I saw someone do on Ravelry, although my method for creating it differs from theirs. The top of the box is also increased differently from the original so that there is a subtle dome effect.