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Friday, January 7, 2011

Knitting 101: Lesson Six {Patterns}

Knitting 101
I totally let the day get away from me.  Hopefully you have been knitting your fingers right off!  Now that you are ready to go pro, you should know what each stitch can do for you.

The Garter Stitch/Pattern
This look is created by purling back and forth, or knitting back and forth.  The point is that a row is only one type of stitch, and you alternate which side the knot is on.  If you are knitting back and forth, you can keep using the same stitch because it will alternate the side of the knots.  If you are knitting in the round, you will need to alternate stitch type each row so that the knot alternates.  This pattern looks the same on both sides.

The Stockinette Stitch/Pattern
This is created by keeping the knots all on one side of your project.  You will need to knit one row, then purl one row if you knit back and forth.  When knitting in the round, you either knit the entire project, or purl the entire project.  (It will only look like this on one side)

The Seed Stitch/Pattern
This soft and stretchy pattern is created by knitting one stitch, purling the next.  If you have an even number of stitches, begin with knitting every row.  You end up making a checkered pattern with the knots from your stitches.  This pattern looks the same on both sides.

Larger RibbingP1030209Smaller RibbingP1030210
Ribbing is usually used at necklines, wrists, and waists.  You can create ribbing by alternating stitches.  For a smaller ribbing, knit 1 purl 1 until the end.  If you use an odd number of stitches, begin each row with knit.  For a smaller ribbing, knit 2 purl 2 until the end.  You will need to use an even number of stitches and just make sure you knit into previously purled stitches, and purl into previously knitted stitches.

You can combine these patterns endlessly to create different projects.  I recommend beginning with some simple scarves or washcloths using garter, stockinette, or seed stitch the entire time.  If you are feeling adventurous, try the pattern below:

Framed Block Scarf
This scarf is made using the seed stitch, and stockinette stitch.  I used size 10.5 needles, and “baby’s first” bulky-weight yarn from Lion Brand.  The yarn is extremely soft and cozy—perfect for a winter scarf.  You may want to get a row-counter to make sure you are doing the right number of each row.  You can also keep a running tally on a scrap piece of paper (or your head).
  1. Cast 16 stitches
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 to end
  3. Purl 1, knit 1 to end
  4. Repeat steps 2+3 until you have 24 rows
  5. Knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 10, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1
  6. Knit 1, purl 1, knit 12, purl 1, knit 1
  7. Repeat steps 5+6 eleven times (you should have 14 rows of this pattern)
  8. Knit 1, purl 1, knit 12, purl 1, knit 1
  9. Knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 10, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1
  10. Repeat steps 8+9 eleven times (you should have 14 rows of this pattern)
  11. Repeat steps 5-10 until the scarf is about 45 inches
  12. Repeat steps 2+3 twelve times
  13. Cast off
  14. Weave in tails
  15. Enjoy your scarf!

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