There’s a knitting stitch combination that I’ve seen called a gather, and I’ve mostly seen it in Estonian stitch patterns, though I’m guessing they get used elsewhere too. Essentially, they are a combination of a double decrease (or more) and a double increase (or more) happening at the same time.
It sounds more complicated than it is. Take the 3/3 gather. When making a k3tog decrease, the basic principle is to insert the needle through all three stitches as if they were one stitch, and then knit one stitch in that clump of stitches. The gather expands upon that: knit those three stitches together without removing them from the needle, then yarnover, then knit the three stitches together again. This is the same as working a KYOK at the same time as a k3tog. Start with three stitches, end with three stitches, but they’re gathered together.
But thinking of it as a decrease/increase started making my brain fizz.
I’ve been watching the numbers on my next Patreon goal with excitement – if I can get up to $75 a month income, I’m going to start making a second stitch pattern from my Patreon words each month. If you can support me at a dollar a month, you can help make this happen! Only thirteen dollars to go. (And I have some ideas percolating for some new goals after that which I think you’ll like.) Here is my Patreon page.
I talked a couple of weeks ago about wanting to share more swatches of the kinds of stitch patterns my needlework charts can be turned into. The swatch I’ve posted today is the result of taking the Mountain needlework chart, turning it sideways, and making a k/p stitch pattern from it. Each black square is purled on the right side and knit on the wrong side, and each white square is knit on the right side and purled on the wrong side.
For my birthday this year, I bought myself two books I’ve been yearning for: Sequence Knitting and the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook. Both have to do, in rather different ways, with demystifying particular design processes, though sequence knitting is also a new method for knitting complicated patterns using extremely easy-to-memorize methods. I am pleased as can be with both these books. I’ve already learned a lot from both of them. I have so much to say about each of them that I can’t possibly review them both in one post.
Sequence Knitting: Simple Methods for Creating Complex Reversible Fabrics, by Cecelia Campochiaro. Sunnyvale, CA: Chroma Opaci, 2015. ISBN: 9780986338106, website: sequenceknitting.com, on Ravelry: Sequence Knitting
A long time ago, I accidentally put my needle between the next two stitches, pulled a loop through, and then knit the next stitch. That’s interesting, I thought, but it’s not what I need right now. Later, I played around with it a bit more. I might or might not end up using it in a design, but it’s well worth sharing anyway.
I ended up finding the name for this kind of increase in Montse Stanley’s Knitter’s Handbook: loop increases, though she discusses them in the context of pulling a loop through a spot in your already knit fabric. I ended up liking this kind of effect better in any case (though you might decide differently).
A key thing to remember about this kind of increase is that you should be very sure to pull enough yarn through that the fabric isn’t puckered (unless that’s the effect you want). The further away from the needle you pull the yarn through, the longer the float will be, and the more likely it will be to snag on things.
Also, a loop like this doesn’t have to be an increase; you can knit it together with one of the stitches on your needle right away.
In the swatch above, I used loop increases to make a kind of feathery pattern. It turned out to be easiest to use a crochet hook for some of the stitches, though I don’t think one is really required. (An extra knitting needle or even a darning needle could be used, too.)
If you want to achieve the exact effect shown in the photo, here’s what I did:
- Pick a stitch to be the center stitch of the feather.
- Knit up to one stitch away from the center stitch.
- Find the gap between the next two stitches, look down one row, and put your needle in that hole. (X marks the spot in the diagram above.)
Knit a stitch through the hole, leaving enough slack.
(X marks the next spot you’ll be knitting in step 5.)
- Knit the next three stitches.
- Find the gap between the stitch you just knit and the center stitch, count down two rows, and pull a loop through that hole. (This is where I like to use a crochet hook.)
- Knit onward!
Purl back (or knit the next round plain), then repeat the same maneuvers on the next round. I like the feathery effect this makes.