Friday, March 22, 2013

My (Current) Favorite Stitches

In my quest to take up knitting, I've been honing my skills with a lot of scarf projects - almost a dozen already - and discovered some wonderful stitches that knit up flat, fast, and fluffy, the perfect combination for winter's wicked winds and frigid temperatures. 

It's really only fair that I share these super stitches with my fellow knitter-wannabees, so that is exactly what I will do. Right now. Besides the odd yarn over or slipped stitch, which sound scarier than they are, these stitches are relatively simple and a nice step towards more complex patterns.

Easiest - Seed Stitch

Wool Ease Thick & Quick Yarn in Fig

Shall I count the ways I love this stitch? Although extremely simple, it's just alternating knit and purl stitches, the end result is impressively knobbly and plush. It also lays flat so you won't have to overcome annoying rolled edges that plague even the most chic of cowls. 

To get started: Cast on an odd number of stitches. K1, p1 - continue to end of row. Repeat this row until scarf is desired length.

Note - Some directions call for an even number of stitches, alternating k1,p1 rows with p1,k1 rows. However, as a beginner, I prefer eliminating any possibility for confusion and stick with the simple directions above. 

As Easy - Scrunchable Scarf

Wool Ease Thick & Quick Yarn in Apricot

I found the Scrunchable Scarf on Ravelry* and immediately fell for it's rustic and handmade look. However it was the basic combination of knit and purl stitches that made me finally give it a try myself. 

To get started: The pattern is available online here, however I prefer to add on two additional stitches (end result - multiples of 3 plus 2) which allows me to slip the first stitch purlwise and knit the last stitch to create a crisp, clean boarder. 

Note - For great visual help look up "how to slip a stitch purlwise" on youtube. Once you get a visual, it's really not that difficult. 

A Tiny Bit Harder - Wrapped Stitch

Wool Ease Thick & Quick Yarn in Oatmeal

About a month into knitting I discovered The Weekly Stitch, an incredible site that features a new knitting stitch each week! Scouring the entire site, I found the Wrapped Stitch which has a very modern look with it's geometric lines. 

To get started: Cast on multiple of 2 stitches, plus 2. You will work this stitch over two rows and learn how to knit a yarnover (yo).
Row 1:  Purl all stitches. 
Row 2: Knit 1 *YO, K 2, Pass the YO over the two stitches just knit*  Repeat from * to last stitch, K 1

Note - the pattern looks difficult, however there is a fabulous video explaining everything here. Trust me, you can do it!

Using these stitches, I've managed to keep busy for a couple months working up new scarves. Hopefully I'll be able to tackle some more complex patterns moving forward and share them soon!

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