Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lesson 6: Knit and Purl Patterns.

The combination of stitches that you repeat in your knitting is called a stitch pattern. With your ability to make knit and purl stitches, there are now a lot of stitch patterns open to you. When reading pattern instructions, K means knit a stitch, and P means purl a stitch. (These may be capitalized or not, depending on the author. But they mean the same thing.)
 Let's start with ribbing. Cast on the same number of stitches you used for your first rectangle. Now, we'll divide that number for the ribbing. I cast on 30, and decided on a k4 p1 rib. If you want your piece symmetrical, start with half the number of k stitches. So, my first row goes like this.
k2, p1, *K4 p1* until 2 stitches remain, k2. (The asterisks indicate that you should repeat the stitches between them.) So, let's see what that looks like:

This is the back. But you can see the ribbing better this way.
Nearly there! Yes, this is the front.
And we will keep doing that, until we have another square. Then, we'll switch to another stitch pattern. Your rib can be k3, p1, or k2, p1, as well. Whatever looks nice to you, and works with the number of stitches you cast on.
The next pattern is called seed stitch. This one goes *k1, p1* to end, turn, *p1, K1* to end, on an even number of stitches. On an odd number of stitches, row 2 will also be *k1, p1* to end. This makes a pretty, bumpy little stitch, that looks a bit like this:

Seed Stitch! Yay!
I bet you guessed already that we're making another square. Yep. So many squares. Use your first two-square piece to guide you on the length. These are going to be sewn together to make the front of your pillow. When you get to the last row and bind off in seed stitch or ribbing, make sure to maintain the pattern as you work the last row and loop the stitches over each other. It makes for a neater edge. 

Now you have a total of four squares, and you have the front of your project. We're almost halfway done! The next lesson will teach you a couple of more simple knit and purl patterns, as well as a little bit of color work. So, if you don't have a second color of yarn yet, go pick one up. It's preferable that you choose the same brand and style as you have been using, so you can be sure that the weight and fiber content are the same. That will make blocking easier.

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