More From the Back Seat

Filed in Skill Building by on August 20, 2013 0 Comments
It’s my afternoon break from driving, so that means it’s time for some podcasts on my headphones and drafting a post on Blogsy. Ah technology. We started by the banks of the Big River this afternoon, headed across Missouri and now find ourselves rolling across the Kansas prairie to Manhattan. Yep, that’s the name of the town where my good friend Amy lives with her family, and we are stopping to spend a friendly night without worrying about when the last time the hotel sheets actually were changed. She’s making chicken and dumplings. That trumps free continental breakfast any day. The good news for you is that while I’m dreaming of a not-hotel night, I’m also writing up some information that will hopefully be helpful to you.
For our skirts, Gwen and I are both creating fabrics with knit/purl combinations. Both have small repeats both stitch-wise and row-wise. We recommend something along similar lines for designing with leftover yarns, because they blend yarns beautifully and are fairly easy to design with, at least in terms of numbers. However, because they are repeating patterns, there may some adjustment at the hip shaping increases of even the simplest skirt. Conveniently, knit/purl patterns are very forgiving for things like this, and there are several ways to handle an increase in knitted stitches. Here are a few that you can consider, and I hope you’ll also chime in with your ideas.
  • Create an increase zone: choose a filler stitch for the increased stitches and leave it the same until you have enough stitches to restart the pattern in that area. This filler stitch can be anything: all purls, all knits, or single seed stitch.
  • Extend the stitch pattern: Example: Turn k2, p2 into a hybrid of that until you have enough stitches to go back to it. So, at the increases, you might do something like k2, p4… This is what I did, and I’m satisfied with the results.
  • Reflect the stitch pattern at the increase points: This requires setting up this way from the beginning, and makes each segment of the skirt between the increases a discreet section. Instead of worrying about the number of stitches in each segment coming out even, work to the marker, pass the marker, then start where you ended before the marker and go in reverse to the next marker, then repeat the process.
Can you see the section where I amended the stitch pattern? Then it resolves back to the original.

Each of these methods has different challenges and advantages, and each one gives a different visual effect as you handle an increase in knitted stitches. If you’re curious about adapting stitch patterns to changing stitch counts, incorporate some testing of how you’ll handle this into your swatching: then you’ll feel in control of the process and the results.

Most of all, have fun!

Tags: , ,