March is National Craft Month, and in celebration of it, I’ll be bringing you a post every Friday for the next four weeks with a project and the skinny on how to make it.
Every project will involve yarn, delving into different ways to play with it. I love to knit, but I also love other crafts, so let’s see what else our fingers can do! Let’s get multi-craftual!
My November post included a mini-tutorial on working single row stripes and carrying yarns in the round. As with that project, our hands won’t be doing anything but knitting, though the end result will definitely have purls on it. It’s a good lesson in separating the fabric you want to make (product) from the process of making it (circular, in the round, knits, purls, etc).
Our end result is the fabric at right: single row stripes in two colors, nothin’ but knits. So how do we make it?
Grab two colors of yarn, an A and B, and double-ended (read: circular or double-pointed) needles two or three sizes larger than the yarn requires. With A, cast on for the scarf below or for a swatch of 12 to 20 stitches, depending on the yarn weight you’re using and how much you want to practice. I used the long-tail cast-on, but any cast-on will do (see 1 below).
Turn the work, join B and knit 1 row. As you can see in (2), I don’t do anything special to join, just begin using the new yarn. At the end of this row (3), the working yarns for each color should be at opposite ends. Now: we’re alternating colors every row, so where is the working yarn you need to use next? At the other end of the double-ended needle! SLIDE the stitches to the other end where it—the A working yarn—is hanging (4). With A, knit 1 row.
*Now both yarns are at the same end. At this point, you could just pick up the yarn you need to use next and knit. Or you could bring the one you need up and around the discard, then take it to the back to knit. If you are consistent about how you handle the yarns at the edge, the end result will be visually regular, and the eye will just go right over it.
For this scarf, I handled the edge a little differently. When the two yarns are on the same end, hold both together to work the first stitch (7-8) only; after the first stitch, drop the discard (A, in this case) and continue with the needed yarn to the end of the row (9-10). SLIDE the stitches to get to where the yarn needed next is waiting, knit the two strands of the first stitch as one (11), and knit to the end of the row. Turn, repeat from *. Holding the yarns together for the first stitch makes a nice little picot-y bobble-y thing along the side edges that I liked.
Now: what have you actually done here? How come you have alternating ridges of knit and purl stitches, a.k.a. two rows of stockinette alternating with two rows of reverse stockinette, a.k.a. welting? Call one side the RS and the other the WS: sliding every other row means you work on that side twice, then the other side twice. So: knit two rows with RS facing makes stockinette on the RS; turn the work, and knit two rows with WS facing makes reverse stockinette (purls) on the RS. Voilà!
Single-Row Stripes Super-Long Scarf
4-1/2˝ x 8-1/2 ft [11.5 x 2.54 m]
125 yds each of 2 colors #5 bulky wt yarn
I used Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky, colors M65 Sapphire (A) and M120 Limeade (B)
US 15 [10mm] double-ended needles, either dpns or 24″ circular needles
With A, cast on 12 sts; turn work. Join B, knit 1 row. Slide stitches to other end of needle where A is hanging. With A, knit. Turn work. Both A & B are on this end.
Row 1: Holding A & B together, knit the first stitch; drop A and continue knitting across row with B.
Row 2: Slide stitches back along cord to other point; with A, knit. Turn work.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until A is almost gone and/or about 5 scarf widths of B remain, ending on a Row 1. Turn; with B, bind off.