Saturday, January 16, 2010

BW: Banded Insertion

Very interesting stitch pattern to play with: bands of garter stitch are worked using needles appropriate for the yarn, and then two rows of Stockinette stitch are worked using needles 4 to 5 sizes larger. How much size differences there is between the needles makes the lacey part more open or more subtle:

I consistently used a size 5 needle for the garter bands, but experimented with different needles for the inserts. The bottom three inserts are worked with a size 11 needle; the next three are worked with a 10.5; and the last three are worked with a 10. The largest size begins to look almost like a drop-stitch as the loops are so long. This has me thinking that I'll try it with a 5 and a 13 and see what happens. Many, many possibilities.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

BW: Three Stitches

Having been lax this week, I'm making up for lost time by posting three stitches today:
Waving Rib Pattern, Quaker Ridging, and Wager Welt.

First, the Waving Rib Pattern:

I worked this swatch in Valley Yarn's Goshen, a blend of Peruvian Cotton, Modal, and Silk, on a size 7 needle. The purl stitches pull the rib from side to side which gives the stitch its visual wave. As a bonus, the back side appears as a basketweave stitch:

Next, I did Quaker Ridging, using Wick from Knit One Crochet Too, again on a size 7 needle:

As this particular pattern begins with a few rows of Stockinette stitch, there is major curling at the bottom edge.

This, as Barbara Walker points out, is a highly adaptable pattern, as you can, at will, change up the width of the ridges as you like.

And finally, I worked the Wager Welt, which is an 8-row repeat that uses only one row of Purl (!). Very neat:

Knit Picks Comfy, a very soft cotton/acrylic blend, was used here.

Working on all these stitches is making the design-pistons in my brain begin to fire up again, or maybe it's the January thaw that's starting to happen.

There was a big, fat robin in our side yard yesterday, digging in the leaves for something.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

BW: Escalator Pattern and a Couple of Books

This 24-Row repeat required concentration (and probably, on a real project, a row counter), but the end result is very interesting. I want to try this as a two-color slip-stitch----don't know if it's possible but I really want to try it and see if it works.

Escalator Pattern:

Meanwhile, it is still very cold. Not fun. I walked over to the library yesterday afternoon and even though I was wearing my winter coat (with a hood), a very warm knitted stole as a scarf and a pair of wool, handknit socks, I felt as if I had strolled outside in a summer outfit.

Last week, I finished reading AS Byatt's new book, The Children's Book. Very interesting, very multi-layered characters and plots. It takes place in late Victorian-Edwardian England, and gives a fascinating look at the cultural, artistic and social trends of the times through the lives of the characters. I highly recommend it. I also recommend Christopher Lukas' Blue Genes, a memoir and examination of familial depression, secrets and suicide, and how we never really get out from under what happened to and around us in our childhoods (and don't I know that). Good reads for when you're not knitting (or even while you're knitting).

Friday, January 8, 2010

BW: Ripple Rib Stitch

So, did we really think that I was going to knit a swatch and post every day? I did the swatch yesterday and got around to photographing and posting to day.

Here is the Ripple Rib Stitch:

I don't care too much for how this stitch looks; I much prefer the horizontal Ripple Stitch. Thank goodness there are so many combinations of knit and purl; I don't have to pick a favorite or like every one that I make.

And a digression: just found out that the Pink Rose Pastry Shop closed. This was the best place for breakfast, with excellenet La Colombe coffee and a two eggs/toast/home fries special for $2.50. For a couple of years, I met Allie here once a week for breakfast and to catch up with each other, and since she's moved across town, I've been going by myself, once a week, enjoying DeWitt's singing, Sherman's cooking and seeing the regulars.

I am bereft.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

BW: Ripple Stitch

So while the soup simmers and before I make the Caraway Irish Soda Bread on this, yet another frigging cold day, I thought I'd get today's swatch up: Ripple Stitch:

Purls on Stockinette Stitch create waves across the fabric; attention needs to be paid to where you are in this ten-row repeat. This is a flat fabric that looks the same on both sides (one side's purls are the other side's knits).

Now I can go finish the Little Red cape I'm making for Maggie.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

BW: Roman Stitch

Confession time: usually when I turn to BW for stitch inspiration, I tend to skip over the first part (Simple Knit-Purl Combinations) that I'm working on now. I do this because the little black and white photos of the stitches aren't that inspiring to me (sorry). But now that I am making myself work each stitch, I'm finding real gems in those ho-hum photos. Yes, they're simple combinations, and no, I kind of ignored them, and yes, I'm humbled.

Anyway, today's stich is the Roman Stitch:

Rows (or stripes) of Stockinette Stitch alternated with rows (or stripes) of Seed Stitch, simple but elegant.

The upper part of the swatch if the Roman Rib Stitch where two rows of Seed Stitch are worked and then the next two rows of Seed Stitch are staggered over the previous one. Again, simple but elegant.

Monday, January 4, 2010

BW: Broken Rib

The first thing I do in the morning now, workwise, is my Barbara Walker swatch. I'm not putting it off to later in the day because I know that the chances of being side-tracked increase with every hour that I'm awake.

Today, my swatch is Broken Rib (bottom) and Double Broken Rib (top):

The Broken Rib is worked on an odd number of stitches with a two-row repeat, very easy and meditative to work. The Double Broken Rib is worked over a mulyiple of 4 plus 2 and has a four-row repeat; it takes a bit more concentration to set it up but is then easy to "read" the fabric.

Not as elastic as a k1, p1 rib with a little curl at the edges, the back can easily be the "public side":

I love the Double Broken Rib.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

BW: Sand Stitch

Continuing with "Simple Knit-Purl Combinations", I've done a swatch of Sand Stitch:

This is worked on an even number of stitches and is essentially Seed Stitch where the two rows of that pattern are alternated with rows of knit. I suppose you could work on an uneven number of stitches so then your pattern would be knit one row, seed stitch one row. In any case, the fabric is textured and lays flat.

The reverse side of Sand Stitch is called Dot Stitch or Spot Stitch:

Still flat, still textured but the purl stitches are more distinct.

As I'm working on this post, we're experiencing the beginnings of a real arctic cold snap: the air temp is in the low 20's and the windchill, as reported on the radio, is 3. They're promising it to be like this for the rest of the week. And oh, how the wind is howling through the magnolia in the back yard!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

BW: Seed Stitch & Moss Stitch

Continuing with "Simple Knit-Purl Combinations", I've done a swatch of (bottom to top) Seed Stitch, Moss Stitch, and Double Seed Stitch, page 11.

As per Barbara Walker, Seed Stitch is worked on an even number of stitches over two rows, Row 1 beginning with a knit, Row 2 beginning with a purl. This ensures that every knit stitch is above a purl stitch and vice versa. However, in our teaching blind and visually impaired knitters, we have Seed Stitch worked on an uneven number of stitches so that the pattern is now a one-row pattern, always beginning with a knit stitch: much easier for them to memorize and not have to try and figure which row they're on. In any case, the resulting fabric is firm and flat and the same on both sides.

Moss Stitch, worked on an even number of stitches, is worked over four rows: essentially a k1, p1 rib for two rows that changes to p1, k1 rib for two rows. While still flat and reversible, it pulls in a smidge more than the Seed Stitch.

Double Seed is worked on a multiple of 4 stitches over four rows. This breaks down to a k2, p2 rib for two rows that changes to p2, k2 rib for two rows. The texture is very defined, and the fabric is flat and reversible.

All three of these stitches are good for borders, as they off-set the curling of Stockinette Stitch.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Barbara Walker Project: Stockinette & Garter Stitch

Happy New Year.

I have begun my Barbara Walker Project, and here is the first swatch:

I worked this with Peaches & Creme on size 7 needles to a gauge of 16 sts/24 rows over Stockinette Stitch, and am showing the swatch unblocked so that the attributes of each stitch are apparent. These stitches can be found on page 10 of A Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

From top to bottom: Garter Stitch which is knit every row. The fabric lays flat and is wider than the lower bands of the swatch.

Below that is the Stockinette Stitch, Twisted which is created by knitting through the back loop on the right side and purling through the back loop on the wrong side. This creates tight, well-defined columns, and the fabric pulls on the bias. The edges curl, but not as much as regular Stockinette Stitch.

The Stockinette Stitch, Crossed is next and is created by knitting through the back loop on the right side and purling in the usual way on the wrong side. The fabric pulls a little on the bias, and the edges curl some.

And at the bottom is Stockinette Stitch which is knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side. The fabric is softer and not as firm as the variations, the stitch columns are vertical (not on the bias), and the edges really curl.

This swatch was worked flat on straight needles. If I were to work these stitches in the round, Garter Stitch would be knit one round, purl one round; Stockinette Stitch would be knit every round; Stockinette Stitch, Twisted would be knit through the back loop, knitting every round; and Stockinette Stitch, Crossed would be alternating one round knit through the back loop with one round knit as usual.