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Simple changes in knitting techniques make for interesting creations!
One of the most interesting aspect of knitting is the seemingly endless possibilities of stitches and color patterns. Simply changing one element of a basic stitch creates an entirely new one. Adding one color makes a difference, adding several gives you yet more results.
One of my favorite thing to do when I start designing a project is to sit needles in hand with an inspiring yarn in a great color and start investigating the many pattern and stitch possibilities. I cast on a number of stitches to equal at least four stitches across and start knitting. I often use books of stitches as a starting point for many swatches. From this point I like to plan and experiment by changing the stitches ever so lightly.
A great stitch I have used several times over the years is the “woven stitch.” Although it is entirely knitted, it gives the appearance of a woven fabric. It creates a flat, non-curling fabric that lends itself to project needing little or no finishing. The way the yarn is slipped on the right side of your work creating a vertical “woven” bar makes this stitch ideal for use with variegated yarn. It prevents the dreaded striping effect you often get with using such multicolored yarn.
Work the woven stitch as follows:
Cast on an odd number of stitches.
Row 1 (right side): K 1, * pass yarn to front, slip next stitch without working it, pass yarn to back, k 1; repeat from * across.
Row 2: P 2, * pass yarn to back (which is the right side of your work), slip next stitch without working it, pass yarn to front, p 1; rep from * across, p last stitch.
Repeat these 2 rows for the woven stitch pattern.
This pattern stitch works great for two-color knitting, changing color every two rows. To create an attractive striped pattern, use several colors and create your fabric by changing colors at will, in multiple of 2 rows
You can see two examples of this stitch at: http://www.knitcrochetpatterns.com/stitch%20library/wovenstitch.html
When working the woven stitch it is a good idea to go up one needle size to counteract the inevitable tightening of slipped stitches.
Once you’ve created your swatch, don’t rip it out! Instead, insert it in a clear sheet protector. Add notes describing your work (yarn type, needle size, color sequence used, etc) along with the above stated instructions. Keep it all in a three-ring binder and you’ll be well on your way of creating a great stitch library!
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