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SURFACE ATTENTION

Let’s focus on surface design: knits and purls, yarn-overs, twisted stitches, slip stitches, short rows, and other interesting ways to create texture in a knit.

First Laces

We offer a series of knits that add simple lace repeats to the mix—perfect for the beginning lace knitter, but beautiful enough for any wardrobe.

Shawls are knits that do not need to be sized. There’s no stress over making something fit; all you need to make it work is the perfect color. Venus takes a sock yarn to new heights. The mitered squares with their simple lace pattern and drifting colors build quickly. Try the Scales kerchief—this small knit will work year-round as a decorative scarf or a chill-chasing neckline filler. In a luscious muskox blend, it is an elegant gift for any woman, and a real treat to knit. 

The short-sleeved Perforated top has just enough interest to keep the knitting from becoming mundane. Simple garter ridges are interrupted by eyelets for added jazz. Interwoven plays interlacing ribbons of knit and purl, defined by yarn-over and knit-2-together combinations, through the yoke, sleeves, and hem.

Stockinette plus

Add a little detailing to your stockinette. Add stripes and intarsia in Lines, lines, lines. Turn stockinette inside out to expose the purl side, then apply crocheted chain-stitch columns in a contrasting color for Retro pinstripes. Work a combo of the two sides in Bombs away, adding a sailor collar, rib accents and attention-grabbing buttons. The traditionalist might want Vintage Blooms accenting their ensemble with luxurious yarn and bead embroidery.

Special effects

The Stitches South Design Challenge featured half a dozen designs worked in “knit plus” combinations. It was all about adding contrast in texture with crochet, embroidery, piecing, and even simple short rows and slip stitches. Butterfly dreams featured dolman sleeves, lacework, and an option with crocheted granny squares. The alternate choice replaces the granny panel with knit lace and seed stitches. Meadows in bloom has you work intricate panels of texture, finished with embroidered accents. This vest is a fun exercise in embellishment and construction.

Watercolor patche
s features integral design elements in some blocks, while others are embellished before the jacket is assembled. It makes use of knitting skills, single crochet, lacing, and slip-stitch crochet—all easily accomplished by any knitter.  

I prefer to knit without turning my work. Whatever you choose to call it—knitting back backwards, back and forth, or to and fro—it is most efficient for all my knits and invaluable for knitting our three scallop designs. The scallops are made of decreasing short rows with slip-stitch turns. If you work all rows from right to left as usual, you will spend much of your time turning your work. It is worth your efforts to eliminate the turn; instead change knitting direction to save time. I suggest that you look at page 36 and practice purling from left to right.

Gray scale, is an upside-down knit, where you start with many stitches and bind off a multiple at the beginning of each tier until there are none. Each tier is worked similarly, the openwork is created with the slip stitch followed by the turn, and the diagonal edges are shaped organically. All you need to do is bind off—what more could you desire? Scallops & slips requires vertical edges, so the alternating tiers begin and end with half scallops and the stockinette yoke is striped with well-placed slip-stitch pairs to create an additional pattern. Waves in motion is less obvious, as the dyed-to-match yarns play with texture and subtle color flow. Each tier begins with an extended half-scallop and ends with a single row of similar stitch count for stripes along each end—each featuring a different yarn combination.

Lace Flow
The intricacy of lace is evident in Curried lace and Ribbons in time. Every other row is pattern work, with pure knits or purls on alternate rows. Because the former is knit in flat pieces, all wrong side rows are purl—if you don’t turn your work you can knit back  backwards and read the chart back and forth like your knitting. The latter has you start in the round, reading every row of the chart from right to left up to the beginning of the neck, then back and forth like your knitting—turning your work for those alternate rounds that were knit but are now WS rows that require purls.

Pleasing textures

Sleek knits make for easy separates. A skirt, dress slacks, or jeans could accompany any of these for a day of work, celebration, or play. Each creates texture with twisted stitches—singles, pairs, or sets. Blue horizons treats a yarn-over as texture rather than lace, and its pebbled texture creates a visual of verticality. Add a pair of buttons to the jewel neckline for a little pizzazz to counterbalance the scalloped hemline and cuffs. With decorative and classic ribs, Summer in the shade keeps the verticality going. Roxanne plays with zigzag rib and a grid texture, while Golden ladders adds a twist between all those horizontals and verticals.

No matter your choice or approach, these stellar designs are testimonials to your knitting skills. Each has a detail that holds your interest as you knit and accents the finished piece. They will become mainstay wardrobe elements that always command surface attention.

And that’s no superficial thing!
Rick Mondragon,
Editor