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The definition of using stitch definition when knitting

 

One of the aspects I really liked about the Relaxing Ripple Throw from yesterday’s article was the definition on the center double decrease. I wanted to delve into that a bit more today because it’s an important topic for all knitters who knit patterns.

 

 Looking at the stitch running down the middle of this swatch you can really see the definition of the stitches in this throw.

Looking at the stitch running down the middle of this swatch you can really see the definition of the stitches in this throw.

 

The center double decrease was so well placed in this throw, it really made you sit back and admire it.

Using stitch definition can give your garments a bit of a three-dimensional look. Instead of using a knit stitch, you’re able to knit through the back loop and the stitch still looks like a knit stitch, but it sits up higher and is more defined than a regular knit stitch. I know I’ve talked about using plain yarns for intricate patterns, but if you’re absolutely set on having a busy yarn and a busy pattern, this is going to help. Especially when you’re doing a rib or a seed stitch.

 

Here is a side view of the raised stitch from the previous photo. You can see just how much it is raised.
Here is a side view of the raised stitch from the previous photo. You can see just how much it is raised.

 

Let’s be clear that I’m not talking about twisted stitches, which make more of an X than a V when you’re knitting. Those stitches have their place, but they lay flat along your knitting. What I’m talking about is the center double decrease, any kind of nupp, or bubble stitch. Creating ridges and valleys in your garments to make the pattern you’re knitting really stand out.

 

You can even see the stitch definition of the seed stitch along the edges
You can even see the stitch definition of the seed stitch along the edges

 

As was the case with the Relaxing Ripple Throw pattern, you can also create a dip in your fabric on either side of a knit stitch to make that stitch stand out. When I was knitting the pattern from yesterday, my M1’s were knit in the front and back. This causes the fabric of your knitting to create the slightest indent, which gives the illusion of the center stitch standing out more. In the pattern yesterday it balanced out the center double decrease and created a line running parallel. The pattern would have looked a bit awkward if there was only one line running down through the bottom of the chevron V’s.

 

It is always advisable to knit a swatch first to see how the yarn is going to knit up.
It is always advisable to knit a swatch first to see how the yarn is going to knit up.

 

This design aesthetic gives your knitting an elegant extra design aspect and helps take the look from homemade, to handmade. You can definitely find patterns that have already incorporated these techniques, but you can also start to play with them yourself! When you’re looking at a new pattern, find the stitches you think could be a little more defined and knit a swatch to sample what they would actually look like. It’s the best way to advance your knitting practice, just try it!

 

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Center double decrease makes a good knitting mantra for Soft blanket

Go to part 4: Knitting snowflakes into a hat

About Michelle Nguyen

Michelle Nguyen is founder and creative director of Stitch Please Yarns. She originally got into the fiber arts business writing about knitting at her blog Stitches be Slippin, and now, also writes for KNITmuch.com.

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