How Bella Chenille enhances basic knit stitches differently than most yarns

This week I’m reviewing Bella Chenille yarns. Yesterday I looked at the anatomy of this yarn and its colorways. Today I’ll try out some basic stitch patterns to see how different they look in this yarn.

Stockinette stitch creates clear ridges or columns of stitches.

Bella Chenille has almost zero elasticity, so this means that you as the knitter will need to focus on as even of a tension on your yarn as possible so that the stitches are consistent. The fuzziness of the yarn makes it necessary to manually work any extra loose or extra tightness in an individual stitch into the neighboring stitches.

This next tip is an important one to get gauge. After knitting several rows or rounds of stockinette stitches, grasp as much of the needle and live stitches on it with one hand and the bottom of the knit columns with the other hand and pull to stretch the stitches vertically as a group. Repeat this ‘pulling’ for the remaining stitches across the needle.

Chenille in stockinette tends to create wide stitches with a deep channel in the middle of each stitch. By pulling it, the yarn goes into the strands that create the typical “V” appearance of a stitch rather than the horizontal strands that make the bumps on the purl side. If you don’t stretch the fabric vertically, these horizontal strands are visible through the stitches from the right side.

If you study the picture above you’ll notice deeper grooves between each column. These are actually the stacked center of the stitches. The vertical V strands like to snug up close to the  neighboring V strands / stitches rather than with their own paired strands.

Horizontal ridges are actually purl bumps which are “hidden” because of the fuzziness of the chenille.

When you want the purl side or the reverse stockinette stitch side of the fabric to be the public side, you’ll see that the typical “purl bumps” take on the look of plied yarn in horizontal ridges. The usual zigzag look of purl rows is hidden by the fuzz of the chenille. I really like this look, especially for side to side items.

Bella Chenille in garter stitch rows, has a rippled horizontal ridge look to it, but a wider space between them than in reverse stockinette.

When Bella Chenille is knit into garter stitch rows, the ridges are more like squiggly horizontal bumps with a wider space in between them than in reverse stockinette, and look more like their namesake, the ‘caterpillar’, I mentioned in yesterday’s post. These mitered squares are part of a blanket pattern I’ll show you later this week.

1×1 ribbing looks itself in Bella Chenille, and moss stitch is the best way to remove the very ridge-like appearance of the other basic stitches shown above.

Lastly, when you knit 1×1 ribbing with Bella Chenille, you’ll achieve the more characteristic columns of Vs separated by bumps. In moss stitch, the horizontal and vertical ridges are broken up and the fabric loses the strong grain in either direction, making it look more homogeneous. I also think the squishy factor is heightened in the moss stitch fabric. This last photo is taken from one of the free patterns I’ll feature tomorrow.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Belle Chenille, a soft and versatile polyester yarn

Go to part 3: 5 baby gifts to knit up in a few days with chunky Bella Chenille yarn

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