Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Week 29 of the Super Stitches Knitting Project

This week saw me through to the end of the textured section of the book. There were two pages left, with three stitch patterns on each page. I had intended to work up the Diamond Trellis Pattern, the Diagonal Grain Stitch, and the Interlocking Leaves Stitch on Monday. I attempted the Diamond Trellis but found that, again, the stitch instructions given by Karen Hemingway didn't seem to produce the intended result. Diagonal Grain went off without a hitch, but then the same stitches from Diamond Trellis (named Cr2B and Cr2F) were present in the Interlocking Leaves stitch. I decided to attempt it too and again didn't achieve anything similar to the picture after about 20 rows of the 28 row pattern. I abandoned it. There must be something I'm doing wrong, and struggling over the same rows with the same technique isn't going to produce different results. For now I decided to turn the page, which offered the Elongated Stitch, the Woven Butterfly Stitch, and the Cluster Stitch. I skipped the elongated stitch because it just looks like weird gross caterpillars, but here is a link with descriptions on how to perform it in case weird gross caterpillars are your thing. I saved the cluster stitch for another day, which leaves me to introduce my swatches:

1) Woven Butterfly Stitch and
2) Diagonal Grain Stitch

Of the two I rather preferred the woven butterfly as far as the actual knitting goes, but the diagonal grain looks much more attractive to me upon completion. Both produce a nice texture with little effort.

1) Woven Butterfly Stitch
This stitch is worked on a multiple of 10+7 and is a 20 row repeat. However what was really cool is that you didn't have to keep track of anything really and it felt more like a three row repeat. Because the main pattern was worked by slipping a few stitches while holding the yarn in front and then offsetting those slipped stitches in the following section, as long as you got the first row of the new butterflies situated correctly, then following where to slip the stitches was super easy because there was a length of loose yarn there telling you where to slip stitches. And the more loose loops, the closer you were to making your butterfly. Once you have 4 loose strands, it's butterfly time. Furthermore, purlside rows are just all purl all the time, so it was incredibly easy to knit this swatch. There was, frustratingly for me considering my issues with the previous swatches, an illustration showing how to perform the butterfly stitch as well although I believe the instructions were quite clear and the illustration quite unnecessary. (I sure think an illustration for C2RF from the previous page is in order!)
The reverse of this swatch shows that the butterflies do distort the fabric quite a bit. This stitch reminded me of the time I knitted Catching Butterflies by Tiny Owl Knits, and how I knitted three mitts before I got a pair, because these slipped stitch patterns can really distort your tension.It still has a fair bit of stretch, but thinking of a use for a decorative stitch like this isn't easy for someone who mostly makes sweaters. I also think the butterflies look more like cat whiskers than anything else. Gosh it sure would look cute if you only did one, perfectly placed to make a cat stuffy. Or even separated them more and duplicate stitched wee eyes for an allover cat pattern.

2.) Diagonal Grain

So, looking at this stitch one can immediately see that it is like a mock cable formed by holding the yarn in front while you work some stitches. I anticipated that, but what I did not anticipate is that this pattern has you perform the wrapped stitches on the purl rows. That was weird and frankly turned me off of the whole thing. It's a four row pattern, so the odd rows are knitted plain and the even rows are P2's alternated with a wrapped P2 and every other row they alternate to create the diagonal. Which looks great! We can agree that the stitch is pretty. It has multiple uses: a pretty wristwarmer, a hat, a little clutch, even a cozy sweater.. but how impractical if, say, the knitter wants to work the stitch in the round? If you can get the same effect working from the right side, WHY include instructions to work it from the wrong side?
Here's the wrong side
Working it in the round from the wrong side wouldn't make any sense at all- who wants to do all that purling? Still, the website "The Weekly Stitch" includes the same stitch, naming it "Closely Wrapped Stitch (scroll down a little to find it) and it shows the same instructions, working the wrap around two purls. I haven't experimented to see how one would make this stitch on the right side, so maybe it is easiest to achieve this way.

I am skipping the edging section of the book, and next week will move right along to Ornamental Stitches, which focuses on "another sort of texture- of the more theatrical variety." This includes bobbles, embossed leaves and bells, loops, faux cables and smocked patterns.
Next week's stitches are:

Bobble Stitch
Popcorn Stitch
Hazelnut Stitch

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