Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yarn on Thursday: Stitch Edition - Week 2, four more patterns!

The project: Knitting all the stitches in's Stitch Directory.
The yarn: Anything you want. I'm using a Phentex "Monster Ball of Yarn" (32 oz. 100% acrylic), which won't block, but will give good stitch definition.
The needles: Again, whatever you want that goes with your yarn. I'm using my beloved Lantern Moon size 7s, because they're pretty.
Why this is happening: Because lots of people want to learn new stitches this year!
This week's stitches: Box Stitch (#3), Broken Rib (#4), Checks & Ridges (#5) and Chevron (#6).

I've already stitched my six rows of seed stitch - or at least I'm trying to be good and "finish" each pattern area with the seed stitch rows so I can just jump right into the pattern the next time I pick up my strip-o-swatches!

So, first, Box Stitch, aka Double Moss Stitch. This stitch calls for "(multiple of 4) + 2"; I'm going to use (4x4)+2=18, which means I'll knit six border stitches, place a marker, knit the first pattern row, place a marker, and knit six more border stitches. I'm trying to center the patterns as much as possible inside their little seed-stitch boxes.

Since this is a stitch pattern over four rows, I'll planned to repeat it six times, then do my six rows of seed stitch. Instead, I did three repeats (12 rows) as written, then another twelve rows as follows:
Row 1: k2, *p2, k2*; repeat from * (right side)
Row 2: p2, *k2, p2*; repeat from * (wrong side)
Row 3: k2, *p2, k2*; repeat from * (right side) - or "repeat row 1"
Row 4: k2, *p2, k2*; repeat from * (wrong side) - or "repeat row 1"
Row 5: p2, *k2, p2*; repeat from * (right side) - or "repeat row 2"
Row 6: k2, *p2, k2*; repeat from * (wrong side) - or "repeat row 1"
This makes one repeat of a "three row" box pattern.

Now, here's a brief foray into how tricky it can be to get a decent photo of some knitted patterns. Getting the box stitch to show up? It's not easy to do with artificial light!! Here are three shots of the swatch, with slightly different cross-lighting, in an effort got get the boxes to show up better than they do in the photo above. (I bet I get better results once it's above-freezing outside so I can use sunlight!)

Things I noticed about this pattern: It is reversible - looks the same (more or less) both front and back. It's very easy to let one's mind drift and suddenly have eight or ten rows of k2p2 rib (watch out for this). It, like the Basketweave variants, is a stitch that gives a nice flat fabric that doesn't curl. It would make a nice, textured fill stitch if you didn't want regular moss stitch. I think I prefer boxes worked over three rows, which makes the boxes more square shaped (then it's not double-moss stitch any more, mind).

Now, on to Broken Rib. This stitch can be worked over either an odd number of stitches or an even number of stitches. Since my "pattern area" is 20 stitches, I'll be using the "even stitches" set up. So, I'll knit five border stitches, place a marker, knit the first pattern row, place a marker, and knit five more border stitches. Also, since this pattern starts with a knit-across on the wrong side of the fabric, I have to get there, so I've done a knit-across row on the right side to set up.

Since this is a two-row pattern, I'll repeat it six times, switch so I'm working the "wrong" side of the pattern on the front of my fabric for another six repeats, then do my six rows of seed stitch. I proceeded in the pattern until I had twelve rows knitting, which found me on the end of a right-side row. So I could bring the "wrong side" of the pattern to the front, I started the k1p1 row immediately, then did the knit-across row (row 1) on the front of the fabric, and proceeded from there until I had my 24 rows.

Things I noticed about this pattern: While this pattern is considered reversible, the two sides look quite different. Both lie flat, and the "wrong side" pattern looks like a rib, but doesn't collapse in on itself, which is pretty cool. The "right side" pattern would make a pretty fill stitch. Plus, it just looks cool. Seriously. It seems to take up quite a bit more yarn than stockinette, which makes sense, since it's closer to garter stitch than anything else thus far. (Since I'm doing roughly 24 rows of most of these patterns, I'll have a pretty accurate Master Row Gauge disguised as a blanket, someday.)

Next, Checks & Ridges. Once again, this stitch calls for "(multiple of 4) + 2"; I'm going to use (4x4)+2=18, which means I'll knit six border stitches, place a marker, knit the first pattern row, place a marker, and knit six more border stitches. It's a four-row pattern, so six repeats will give me my 24 rows, and since I'll be ending with a wrong-side row, I can do six rows of seed stitch top border. Pretty straightforward, but once again, a bear to photograph.

Things I noticed about this pattern: Yep, it's reversible, and lies flat. It has a nice almost-shell effect..

Finally, Chevron. This pattern calls for "(multiple of 8) +1"; I'm going to use (8x2) +1 = 17, so this is my narrowest pattern bit thus far. This time, I'll knit six border stitches, place a marker, knit the first pattern row, place another marker, and knit seven border stitches, making sure I start on the correct stitch to keep the seed stitch going the way it should. (Since it's an odd number of stitches on the left-hand border on the right side of the project, I know it's going to start with a p1.) This is a sixteen-row pattern, so I'll be knitting one complete pattern repeat, then knitting rows 1-8 of the pattern again to bring me to 24 rows. Here is the swatch after the first pattern repeat:

Things I noticed about this pattern: Okay, here's the first one so far that doesn't lie flat. Here is the swatch, just sitting on the needle:

And here it is again, pulled taut.

This is a pattern I won't recommend for acrylic yarn - it needs to be knit in something that will block, or it will just puff in on itself. I will have a slightly squooshy-looking section of blanket, here - which is okay, since the whole point of this exercise is to see how the patterns actually behave in the wild. Knowing at a glance that this pattern will need some blocking? That'll save some heartache in the future!

Since at the end of this bit of knitting I've got six "pattern areas" in one strip, I'll measure to see if making a blanket is realistic (or if it may have to be two blankets!). The strip of six patterns thus far is two and a half feet, or 30" long (yay for square-foot floor tiles!). This means twelve patterns will be about five feet (60"); fifteen will be a bit over another foot, or 6", which is a good length for a blanket strip. So, looks like I'll have a blanket-sized Master Swatch after all!

A note on the whole project: Since there are 139 stitch patterns (some are listed under multiple headings), plus 7 different edgings in's Stitch Directory, I'll be trying to do two to three stitches a week, minimum. This should get everyone a goodly number of new stitches by the end of the year, and hopefully get me a blanket. No worries if you "fall behind" or "start late" - this is for fun & education, there isn't *really* a time limit of any sort on it. If you're just discovering this project, this link will take you to the beginning, and this link will pull up all the related entries. Just knit on, and have fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your tracks here...