Saturday, February 7, 2015

Random Stitch

Random Stitch tree trunk
Malabrigo Lace crescent scarf
My posts lately have tended to the philosophical, but in real time I've been enjoying a sort of pattern stitch that works nicely for scarves.  It started out as a tree trunk for my marketplace booth:  I wanted a stitch that made a rough, organic-looking fabric that wasn't regular.  For the tree trunk, I used a double strand of Red Heart (one strand grey, one strand brown) and a 10mm hook.

The pattern repeat is:  sc, hdc, dc, tr, V-stitch, puff and chain 1, a shell stitch with a sc at each end, and finishing up with (sc, ch2, sc) all in the same stitch.  The diagram for one repeat looks like this:
One repeat of random stitch, no increases

The pattern is a repeat of 19 stitches (the ch2 towards the end of the repeat counts as one stitch).  As long as I don't have a multiple of 19 stitches in the row, the stitches of one row will be over different stitches in the previous row, making a random-looking fabric.

Then, it seemed that doing the same thing in a lace-weight yarn with a biggish hook (size H/ 5 mm or  I / 5.5 mm) might make a nice scarfy thing.  So I tried it for a crescent-shaped scarf/shawl, starting at the center of the back neck with a foundation row of a single repeat.  To increase, don't skip most of the stitches - that adds 7 stitches for each repeat across the row.
One repeat of random stitch, with increases

Because the stitches are slanted this way and that, the increase rows don't show up so much.  Then work even (no increases or decreases) until the piece, when laid flat looks like it could use more increases.  This makes a fairly special-looking grownup fabric.  And another advantage is that mistakes don't show -- it is supposed to be random-looking.
Green silk crescent shawl/scarf








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