Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mixing It Up Some More ... Easy Knit, Purl Combinations

So when you've gotten to the point that you can easily recognize a knit stitch or purl stitch, then its time to try some more knit purl combinations.  There are thousands of stitch patterns to try out and going through pattern stitch collections will provide plenty of inspiration.

Barbara Walkers collection of stitch dictionaries are a great resource when you want to start practicing different stitch patterns.











If you are very visual, you might want to take a look at:

Here you will find lots of colorful pictures of the different stitch patterns in this dictionary and a pretty good explanation of chart reading.











If you are eager to try a simple knit, purl stitch combination, here is an easy basket weave baby blanket pattern for you to start with:


Finished Measurements:
Approximately 24 ½ x 27 ½

Materials:
  600 yards worsted weight yarn
  One 29 “ long size 8 circular needle 
  Stitch Markers
  Row counter
Note:  You will be working flat, the circular needle is used to accommodate the larger number of stitches

Gauge:
In basket weave pattern, using size 8 needles:
19 stitches and 32 rows = 4”

Pattern Stitches:

Seed Stitch (multiple of 2)

Row 1:  (RS) *k1, p1; rep from * to end.
Row 2:  knit the purl sts and purl the knit sts.

Repeat row 2 for seed stitch pattern.

Basket Weave (multiple of 8 + 2)

Row 1:  (WS) Purl.
Row 2:  k2, *p6, k2; rep from * to end.
Row 3:  p2, *k6, p2; rep from * to end.
Row 4:  Repeat row 2.
Row 5:  (WS) Purl.
Row 6:  p4, *k2, p6; rep from * to end.
Row 7:  k4, *p2, k6; rep from * to end.
Row 8:  Repeat row 6.

Repeat rows 1-8 for basket weave pattern.

Abbreviations:
k = knit     p = purl     rep = repeat     sts = stitches     WS = wrong side     RS = right side    

  
Directions:

Bottom Border:
Cast on 116 sts.  Do NOT join, work back and forth on circular needle in seed stitch for 2”.

Blanket Body:
(WS) Work in seed stitch across 9 sts, place marker, work row 1 of basket weave pattern over next 98 sts, place marker, work in seed stitch across last 9 sts.  Keeping first 9 sts and last 9 sts in seed stitch pattern, repeat rows 1 – 8 of basket weave pattern over center 98 sts until piece measures 25 ½” from the beginning, finishing with row 5 of basket weave pattern.  Do NOT bind off.

Top Border:
(RS) Work in seed stitch across all sts, removing markers.  Continue in seed stitch until top border measures 2”.  Bind off in pattern.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

One Stitch - Two Stitch, Or, I can't tell what's what!

After you've learned to knit and purl the next step is to combine these stitches within the same row.  One of the most common stitch patterns combing knit and purl stitches is ribbing.  I my classes, the point of making fabric in a ribbing pattern is to learn to see the stitches.  When you are first starting out, seeing which are the knits and which are the purls can be confusing.  Also, when you are making ribbing, you're often told to knit the knits and purl the purls.  This is so you don't have to think about what comes next in the stitch pattern, just see what is on your needles - if its a knit, knit it, if its a purl, purl it.

This image of knit 1, purl 1 ribbing shows how the knit stitches resemble a letter V and are sitting vertically at the base of the needle, while the purl stitches look like a bar, or dash lying horizontally across the base of  the needle.


Notice the loose stitch at the beginning of the row ... it is a purl stitch.  Watch out for that guy, he often tries to roll over the top of the needle and pretends to be two stitches.  If you don't see the stitches you could easily fall for this and unknowingly add extra stitches you don't want.

Being able to see the stitches is critical when it comes to recognizing when things aren't going right and also to finishing your knits.  Seeing which are the knits and purls is really helpful when you are weaving in your ends and when you are seaming.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pretty Edges, Pretty Easy

I covered several variations of the chain selvedge in a previous post.  You can read it here:  Wonky Edges.

I'd like to offer a few options for decorative selvedges.  Try them out and see how you well you like them.

1.  Garter Stitch Selvedge:  (version 1)  knit the first and last stitch of every row.
    
2.  Garter Stitch Selvedge:  (version 2)  Right side:  Purl the first stitch and knit the last stitch.  Wrong side:  Knit the first stitch and purl the last stitch.

3.  Double Garter Stitch Selvedge:  Knit the first two and last two stitches of every row.

4.  Penultimate Garter Stitch Selvedge:  Right side:  Purl the first stitch, knit the second stitch, work to the last two stitches, knit the next to the last stitch, purl the last stitch.  Wrong side:  Knit the first two and last two stitches.

5.  Penultimate Chain Stitch Selvedge:  Right side:  slip the first stitch as if to knit, purl the next stitch, work to the last two stitches, purl the next to the last stitch, knit the last stitch.  Wrong side:  slip the first stitch as if to purl, knit the next stitch, work to the last two stitches, knit the next to the last stitch, purl the last stitch.

6.  Seed Stitch Selvedge:  Knit the first stitch, purl the second stitch, work to the last two stitches, purl the next to the last stitch, knit the last stitch.  Repeat every row.

There are probably many more variations for decorative edges, you can even make up some of your own!