My Material Life

Jute Garter Stitch Wreath

I love the fingering weight wool from Norway that I wrote about in my last post and I was so sad to learn only recently that it is no longer distributed to the U.S. market. (I’d been under the impression that my local shop decided not to carry it any more.) But that only made me happier to discover the perfect material for this project, a wreath knit with jute.

The cover for this wreath was created with one spool of 3mm jute from a Florida company that imports the most lovely cords, yarns and ropes from Spain called Ganxxet. I wouldn’t recommend trying to knit with most jute that you run across in a craft store or hardware store, but this jute was not at all awful to knit with. In fact, it made me wonder what else I should be doing with it.

Why knit a wreath with jute? I was inspired by a doormat Samantha convinced me to buy from Pier 1. I’d never bought a seasonal doormat before, but I had to admit that this one was cute and I liked the colors in it. But I wanted the mat and the wreath hanging on the door above it to speak the same language

To create the wreath’s knit cover I used a very long set of 6 mm (size 10) needles that my friend Terry got me from a flea market several years ago. They’re very cool and such a smart thing to buy second-hand. Of course I didn’t need long needles, but they were  fun to knit with and I wonder if the length helped given my material? They are wood and I will say that after knitting with the dyed jute they are a bit greenish around the points now.  I must have cast on 10 or 11 stitches and then knit in garter stitch until I used up all my spool, creating a knit piece about five inches wide by thirty-one-and-a-half inches long. I wasn’t sure it would be long enough, but I was delighted to find it was the perfect length for the 12″ frames (one called a floral craft ring to go on the bottom and the other called a wreath form that I set on top of the other) that I purchased from Michaels to give my wreath the structure it needed – flat on the back, rounded on the front.

I stretched my knit piece of jute around the frames and stitched up a seam with twine along the length on the back and along the width around the top of the frame. I used a remaining jute tail to form a hanger, then wove in those ends a bit and trimmed that piece.

The decorations are things I collected in recent years from IKEA and Target; they’re attached to the jute with split rings. I’d say that door mat and wreath are definitely speaking to each other now.


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