Fun with slipped stitches

Slipped stitches can be combined with cables or plain knits and purls for a lovely effect.

We hope you’ve been enjoying our series this week on different kinds of knitting stitches! It has been a fun foray into the world of textured stitches and cables. Today we have one more stitch pattern to show you, once again using some lovely Panda Bamboo needles, and our trusty cable needles. If you’re ever feeling bored with your knitting or just want to try something new just for the heck of it, practicing a new-to-you stitch pattern is a great small project to try. Knit and purl stitches have endless combinations, and here’s how to have fun with slipped stitches.

You can see the texture and tension this stitch combination creates in the fabric.

We’ve already seen how beautiful cables can be in yesterday’s post. This stitch pattern uses a combination of cables and slipped stitches. As new knitters we often think of a slipped stitch as a mistake, because it’s a stitch that simply moves from the left hand needle to the right, without being knitted. But, used intentionally it can be very decorative! The step here is to slip a stitch as if to purl, in other words to move the stitch from left to right needle while inserting the needle as though you would if you were about to make a purl stitch. The pattern instructions will tell you whether to do this “with yarn in front” (wyif) or “with yarn in back” (wyib).

The other stitches here are cables, this time worked over three stitches (last time we worked some cables over four stitches each). These are done as follows:

  • C3L: Move 1 stitch to cable needle (cn) and hold in front. K2. K1 from cn.
  • C3R: Move 2 stitches to cn and hold in back. K1. K2 from cn.

Here’s how to knit the swatch shown above, and put this all together:

  • Cast on 42 stitches (or another multiple of 10, plus 1 edge stitch at each end).
  • First 3 rows: Knit all stitches.
  • Next row: K1, purl to last stitch, k1.
  • Pattern Row 1 (RS): K1. *K2, slip 1 wyib, k4, slip 1 wyib, k2. Repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
  • Row 2 (WS): K1. Work all stitches as they appear (purl all purl sts and slip all slipped stitches wyif) to last stitch, k1.
  • Rows 3-4: Repeat Rows 1-2 once more.
  • Row 5 (RS): K1. *K2, C3L, C3R, k2. Repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
  • Row 6 (WS): K1. Purl to last stitch. K1.
Repeat these 6 rows a total of 7 times or as many times as you wish.

As you try different stitches and knitting patterns, you may end up trying different kinds of needles as well – straight single-points, double-points, or circular needles all have good uses.

You can see the lovely dynamic texture this creates! The slipped stitches create a little bit of pull on the fabric, so that it almost ripples a bit in this pattern. Another popular stitch pattern that uses slipped stitches is the linen stitch, which is common for scarves or sashes, because it produces a more stiff and sturdy fabric.

Finally, as you’re trying out new stitch patterns, keep an eye out for new needles and tools that you may want to try. If you’re knitting a swatch in the round (for a hat or sweater done in the round), you will want to try double-pointed needles or small circular needles for that job. For many simple projects though, the reliable single-pointed straight needle will do the job well.

We hope you’ll try out some new-to-you stitch patterns as you explore more knitting projects. Knit and purl stitches have endless combinations, not to mention having fun with slipped stitches.

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