Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Recent stitchings

Oh dear, it has been over two months since the last post.  Sometimes life is like that.  But I have been stitching quite a bit lately.  And my most satisfying versatile stitch right now is a basic pattern stitch using single crochet and chain stitches.

As an aside:  Many knitters know that (k1, p1) is a really handy combination:  it makes a good ribbing (that looks like stockinette on both sides and lies flat) if you "knit the knits and purl the purls."  The same combination also makes Seed Stitch, which also lies flat and is a pleasant change from the flatness of stockinette, and looks the same on both sides, where you "knit the purls and purl the knits."

Back to topic:  (sc1, ch1, skip1) is a handy combination.  If you single into the singles and chain over the chains, you end up with what I call Light Single Crochet.  If you single into the chain spaces and chain over the single crochets, you have a Chain One Net Stitch.  Now gauge can vary quite a bit from one crocheter to another because crochet is fairly complex at a basic level.  But for me, this stitch has a fairly square gauge.  That means I can use it to explore some of the ideas that Elizabeth Zimmerman explored with garter stitch (like the Baby Surprise Jacket).  Either way, the fabric is a bit open - you don't want to wear it with nothing underneath (unless you are making a statement, but that is another issue), but it also has a lot of 'give' to it - almost like it stretches.  With a fairly square gauge, it also means I can work it on the diagonal to make a rectangle -- increasing or decreasing one pattern stitch each row.

 This sample shows the ch-1 net stitch on the diagonal, making a nice square, and then edged in plain single crochet, working 1 stitch per row end.


This is the stitch I am using to make a rectangle-based sweater like the ones currently popular being knitted in a 1x1 rib.  Theoretically, it should work.

Explicit details about this stitch:

Ch-1 Net Stitch, on the diagonal:  Ch3, slip st to form a ring.  Ch2, sc in ring, ch1, sc in same space.  Row 2 (Increase row):  Ch2 to turn (you might want to ch1, depending on how firm or loose you want the edge to be.  If you tend to make tight chain stitches, you might prefer to ch2.).  Sc in last sc of pr row.  (ch1, sc in next ch space) across, ending with sc in turning ch from previous row.  Repeat this row for pattern.  When you want to start decreasing, make the Decrease Row like this:  ch1, turn.  Skip 2sc, sc in next ch space.  (ch1, sc in next ch space) across, ending with sc in turning chain space of pr row.

To make a rectangle:  Work increase rows only until the piece is as wide as the short edge of the rectangle along the row ends.  Then alternate between Increase and Decrease rows until the longer row-end side is as long as you want.  Then work only Decrease rows until all stitches are worked off.

So that is my favorite stitch for right now.

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