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Playing with knitted texture

 

There are almost endless combinations of knit and purl stitches.
There are almost endless combinations of knit and purl stitches.

 

How many of you have said (or heard someone say), “I can knit, but I can only do knit and purl.” Knit and purl stitches are building blocks of all knitted fabric – if you can “only” do knit and purl, you can actually do quite a lot. We’ve already seen some great basic texture from seed stitch, moss stitch, and double seed stitch, but there are almost endless combinations of knit and purl stitches. Many can be very decorative and certainly fun playing with knitted texture.

Today we continue our knitting stitch adventure with one more look at some combinations of knit and purl stitches. In today’s post we’ll show two more stitch patterns which will help you practice following simple patterns that are just a bit more complex. As you learn new stitch patterns, you also learn to “read” your knitting – visually understand what stitches are on your needles, in what sequence, and from which row of the pattern. We’re using some lovely Panda Bamboo needles and worsted weight wool to show you these playful stitch combinations.

This diagonal stitch helps you practice a more complicated pattern.
This diagonal stitch helps you practice a more complicated pattern.

 

Our first stitch pattern today creates a “diagonal” look by shifting the stitch pattern every 4 rows. It’s simple and attractive, and would be great for scarves or cowls! It is worked over a multiple of 6 stitches. To make this swatch, grab your knitting needles, your favorite worsted weight yarn, and work as follows:

  • Cast on 30 stitches (or another number that is a multiple of six)
  • Row 1 (RS): *P2, k4. Repeat from * to end.
  • Row 2 (WS): *P4, k2. Repeat from * to end.
  • Rows 3 and 4: repeat Rows 1 and 2.
  • Row 5 (RS): *K2, p2, k2. Repeat from * to end.
  • Row 6 (WS): *P2, k2, p2. Repeat from * to end.
  • Rows 7 and 8: repeat Rows 5 and 6
  • Row 9 (RS): *K4, p2. Repeat from * to end.
  • Row 10 (WS): *K2, p4. Repeat from * to end.
This pattern uses knit and purl stitches to create a tiled squares look.
This pattern uses knit and purl stitches to create a tiled squares look.

 

Our second stitch pattern for today, pictured above, is a nice tiled looking pattern that would be great for blankets, scarves, even a little children’s sweater would look great with a simple geometric pattern like this. It will help you practice paying attention to working different stitches on the “right side” versus the “wrong side.”

To make this swatch, work as follows:

  • Cast on 31 stitches (or, another number that is a multiple of 5, + 1).
  • Row 1 (RS): Knit all stitches.
  • Row 2 (WS): Knit all stitches.
  • Row 3 (RS): Knit all stitches.
  • Row 4 (WS): *K1, p4. Repeat from * until 1 stitch from end of row. K1.
  • Rows 5 and 6: Repeat Rows 3 and 4.

Repeat these 6 rows five times (or your preferred number), then work Rows 1 and 2 once more. Bind off all stitches.

I hope you enjoyed these two swatches today! These kinds of stitch patterns are wonderful to play with. If you would like to practice more stitch patterns like these, look for “stitch dictionary” books in your local library, yarn shop, or book store. There are many books out there dedicated purely to different kinds of stitch patterns. And remember that knit and purl stitches are building blocks of all knitted fabric and the essence of playing with knitted texture!

 

 

About Glenna C

Glenna took up knitting as stress relief while studying for her PhD in Toronto, then kept right on going. Her knitting and design philosophy is guided by a desire to constantly seek new challenges with interesting techniques and beautiful results, through cables, colour-work, and more. She loves reading, photography, yoga, film and television, and believes in knitting fearlessly and often.

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