On swatching, part 2

This is a continuation of last week’s post about how I make an eyelet frame around a stitch pattern swatch to help me block squarely. I only use the bottom line of eyelets when the stitch pattern is straight across the bottom. Likewise, I only use the top line when the top of the stitch pattern is straight, with no rippling.

A chart and instructions are included for the mesh pattern I used in the center of the swatch, Star Rib Mesh.

A small swatchlet, with regular eyelets around the edge to make it easier to block.

I’ve worked out by trial and error that I need to do things slightly differently when there are even and odd numbers of stitches, so I’m going to break it out accordingly.

In both cases, I add three stitches to each side for selvedges. If the stitch repeat is small, I cast on at least three repeats, if not more, generally aiming for at least 20 stitches for the main body of the stitch pattern. I don’t like knitting swatches for the blog that are more than 48 stitches wide (it’s a matter of time and how much money I’m earning, frankly). If I’m knitting a swatch that’s got horizontal offsets, I find I can get away with two repeats of the stitch pattern. (Or one, if it’s one of those that’s 18 + 18 stitches, for example.)

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Abbreviations

  • k: knit
  • k2tog: knit 2 stitches together as if they were one. (single decrease; it doesn’t matter if it’s right- or left-leaning.)
  • p: purl
  • yo: yarnover

Odd Number of stitches

Row 1 (RS): k1, *yo, k2tog; work from *.
Row 2 (WS): k3, purl to last 3 stitches, k3.
Row 3: knit.
Row 4: k3, purl to last 3 stitches, k3.
Row 5: k1, yo, k2tog, (work stitch pattern), k2tog, yo, k1.
Row 6-8: k3, (work stitch pattern), k3.
Repeat rows 5-8 until the stitch pattern swatch is complete or has two rows remaining.
If there are two rows remaining, work rows 9 & 10, otherwise skip to row 11.
Row 9: k1, yo, k2tog, *yo, k2tog; work from *, k2tog, yo, k1.
Row 10: k3, (work stitch pattern), k3.
Row 11: knit.
Row 12: k3, purl to last 3 stitches, k3.
Row 13: k1, *yo, k2tog; work from *.
Bind off on a wrong side row.

Even number of stitches

Row 1 (RS): k1, yo, k2tog, *yo, k2tog; work from *, k2tog, yo, k1.
Row 2 (WS): k3, purl to last 3 stitches, k3.
Row 3: knit.
Row 4: k3, purl to last 3 stitches, k3.
Row 5: k1, yo, k2tog, (work stitch pattern), k2tog, yo, k1.
Row 6-8: k3, (work stitch pattern), k3.
Repeat rows 5-8 until the stitch pattern swatch is complete or has two rows remaining.
If there are two rows remaining, work rows 9 & 10, otherwise skip to row 11.
Row 9: k1, yo, k2tog, *yo, k2tog; work from *, k2tog, yo, k1.
Row 10: k3, (work stitch pattern), k3.
Row 11: knit.
Row 12: k3, purl to last 3 stitches, k3.
Row 13: k1, yo, k2tog, *yo, k2tog; work from *, k2tog, yo, k1.
Bind off on wrong side row.

Just for completeness, here’s the chart and instructions for the stitch pattern I put in the example chart, Star Rib Mesh, which I found in Barbara Walker’s first treasury.

Star Rib Mesh

star rib mesh.png

Notes:

  • This is, so far as I know, a traditional lace knitting stitch pattern. It’s not a pattern for a finished object.I found it in Barbara Walker’s first Treasury of Knitting Patterns.
  • It’s a very useful background mesh.

Abbreviations:

  • CDD: centered double decrease: slip the next 2 stitches as if to knit 2 together, knit the next stitch, then pass the 2 slipped stitches over the third.
  • k: knit.
  • k2tog: knit 2 stitches together as if they were 1. (Right-leaning decrease)p: purl.
  • ssk: slip each of the next 2 stitches as if to knit, then knit them together through the back loop. (Left-leaning decrease)
  • yo: yarnover.

Row 1 (RS): k2tog, yo, *k1, yo, cdd, yo; work from *, k1, yo, ssk. [9 sts]
Row 2 (WS): purl.
Row 3: k1, yo, *cdd, yo, k1, yo; work from *, cdd, yo, k1.
Row 4: purl.

I’ll explain the blocking and stretching another week.

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