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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Knitting: Slip Stitch Designs

While slipping around here and there on the internet the other day I found Purl Soho.  There were several dishcloths using slip-stitch patterns.  This technique appeals to me because you can make some rather stunning designs in multiple colors but only using one color per row.  What is not to love?

We were going to northern Vermont for a family get-together.  Since this trip is not something we make frequently, I looked around to see if there were any yarn shops handy by that just had to visit.  There were!  The one I chose for our visit (because it had the Euroflax yarn called for in this pattern...) was Northeast Fiber Arts Center.   It is a FABULOUS fiber arts center.  ANYTHING you want to do, you can find the tools and materials there. Also the proprietor was so very helpful and took the time I needed to explain something else to me which I will discuss at another time.   I was so tempted to lay down some of my dwindling play money supply, but at the last moment sanity prevailed.  I cannot buy one more thing until I have finished more of my already-started projects!  I cannot, cannot, cannot.  If I say it enough times maybe I will hear it.  And obey!

Anyway, I did not turn out to buy the Euroflax yarn.  It was very very costly and is knit at a pretty fine gauge.  It sounds like it would be wonderful but I have a LOT of nice cotton worsted weight yarn that I need to use up so...I just needed to re-engineer this pattern to work at a larger gauge.  

This is what I have done.  (Well, at least, this is how I have started...)

Cotton worsted weight yarn in two different colors:  name one Color A and the other Color B.  You might even want to write down in your knitting notebook for this project which is Color A and which is Color B.

US Size 7 knitting needles, or even US size  6 or 5.  It just depends on what you like.  I am going to use this for a washcloth so I am using size 7.  (Plus there were two size 7 straight needles in the bottom of the basket where I found the yarn--two part balls of blue and one part ball of red, so I felt that was expedient, picked up the needles, and began knitting.)

There was a certain amount of mental energy spent to translate the finer gauge yarn at 75 stitches cast on to a larger gauge to knit a cloth that is a good size for a face cloth.  I decided to try 39 stitches, and miracle of miracles, that number was right the first time.  (The cast on number had to accommodate the pattern design.  It did.  Such a relief.)

Cloth about half done.
 Many knitters will know that "slip 1 wyib" means to slip the next stitch purlwise with the working yarn in back of the work.  Thus "slip 1 wyif" means that you will slip the next stitch after bringing the working yarn to the front as if you were going to purl (unless you purl Norwegian style--in which case, bring the yarn to the front between the needles before slipping the stitch.) then slipping the stitch and returning the working yard between needles to the back of the work again and continue knitting.  The first time or two it might seem awkward, but it will become second nature really soon.


With Color A, cast on 39 stitches.

Row 1 (wrong side): Purl.

Row 2 (right side): With Color C, k3, *slip 1 with yarn in back (wyib), k3, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 3: With Color C, slip 1 wyib, k2, *slip 1 with yarn in front (wyif), k3, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 4: With Color A, k1, *slip 1 wyib, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1 wyib, k1.

Row 5: With Color A, slip 1 wyib, *slip 1 wyif, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1 wyif, k1.

Repeat Rows 2 – 5 until piece measures the length you want your cloth, ending with a Row 3. 

Since I am not there yet, this is what I will do:  when I get to almost the place where I think the cloth will be square, I will fold the knitting diagonally and see if it is square, or almost square, then work to Row 3. 

At that point I will knit one row of Color A, then turn work and cast off on the wrong side, purlwise.  No, it will not look exactly like the cast on row but--it will work and be reasonable.  If someone knows a better way to do this,  please let me know and I will share it with others on this page.

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