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Yarn Over Season: Turkish Stitch

The last post defined the thing knitters do to make holes in fabric on purpose (“yarn over”) rather than by accident (“oopsie”). Via  words and animated gifs, it showed how to make them between different types of stitches as well as with yarn held in the left hand and yarn in the right hand. Now, those are my left and right hands, and the way you hold yarn and needles may not look exactly the same. As long as whatever you do gets the yarn from where is after making the first stitch on the right needle, over the right needle to make the yarn over, and to where it needs to be to make the next stitch!

A yarn over adds a stitch to your total stitch count. Much like wine goes with cheese, a yarn over goes with a decrease, and keeps the stitch count constant. Which decrease and its placement, before or after the yarn over, determines the overall look in the fabric.

In this post and the ones that follow we’re going to look at several easy-to-remember stitch patterns containing little else but pairs of yarn overs and decreases. All have a mesh-like appearance, and can be used as overall fabric, in panels, and as horizontal and vertical insertions in other fabrics. As a class they are sometimes referred to as faggoting.

Yarn Over Plus Knit Two Together

The first stitch pattern we are going to look at pairs the yarn over with a knit two together (k2tog) decrease. It’s known as Turkish Stitch. The yarn over is worked first and the k2tog follows. As a right-slanting decrease which puts the left stitch of the pair on top of the right, the decrease points toward the yarn over. If the pair were isolated in a ground of stockinette stitch, the stitch in the “hole” column disappears behind the decrease column and is a very unobtrusive pairing.

There is only one row, comprised of our yarn over/decrease pair repeated between a knit selvage stitch at each side.

Turkish Stitch (mult of 2 sts +2)

All rows k1, *yo, k2tog; rep from * to last st, k1.

Cast on 20 or so stitches, and work a couple of rows in stockinette stitch  to give yourself a nice base. Then work the first row as written above. Regardless of which hand you hold the yarn in, it can be helpful to pull the fabric below the first two stitches on the left needle down; it can make it easier to insert the needles into the two stitches. When you get to the last few stitches, remember to end “k2tog, k1!” It’s all too easy to continue the rhythm of yo between knits, and add an extra yo before the selvage stitch. And that will completely mess up what follows!

 

After the first row, when you turn the work you’ll see the stitches on the left needle are, from right to left: a purled selvage, a right-slanting purled decrease stitch, and then the yarn over strand. After working the selvage stitch, you begin the “yo, k2tog” repeat again. Notice what this means: when you work the k2tog, you insert the right needle into/under the yarn over first, continuing into the k2tog stitch. The yarn over ends up on top. Continue across the row, again remembering to end with k2tog, k1.

The fabric produced by working successive yarn over / k2tog pairs  in this way is wonderfully elastic. At rest the dominant feature of the fabric is its diagonal lines, created by yarn over strands  and k2togs of the front that slant in the same direction. Pull it open even slightly, and the yarn over strands from the back show through. You see a zig-zag lattice of yarn strands, as well as zig-zag columns of decreases.

Turkish Stitch, unstretched and stretched

Project

What better way to take advantage of Turkish Stitch fabric’s stretchy nature than to use it in one of my favorite shawlette shapes?! I’ve also used a tape yarn with some stretch, an oldie but a goodie from Colinette.

You’ll use a slipped-stitch selvage instead of the k1s at each side as above. This gives a nice edge, and it makes it a bit simpler to seam: 1 slipped edge stitch to 1 stitch at bottom or top (depending on which edge you fold!).

Finished measurements 12 x 40 inches [30.5 x 101.5 cm]

Collinette Tagliatielli (90% wool, 10% nylon; 175 yds/3.5 oz [160 m/100 g]): 1 skein
US 15 [10.0 mm] needles or size to get gauge
Tapestry needle

Gauge 10 sts = 4 inches [10 cm] in Turkish Stitch, slightly stretched

LOOSELY cast on 30 stitches; knit 1 row.

All rows slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front, *yo, k2tog; rep from * to last st, k1.

Work as above until there is approximately 9 feet [ 2.75 m] of yarn left. Knit 1 row; bind off loosely. Fold one end to one side as shown in this post and seam.


Back in the day I was obsessed with faggoting stitches, as well as capelettes. And Colinette yarns. My Delores Cape pattern uses all three, naturally. Read more here or on my Ravelry pattern store.

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Yarn Over Season is Coming!

In this final weekend of April, I’m looking ahead to May and spring knitting. Warmer weather (for many!) means lighter knits, such as those incorporating lace patterns. If you’re a beginner (and a Monty Python fan) that statement may have you thinking “Run away! Run away!” In this post I hope to remove some of that fear with an introduction to one of the main maneuvers of lace knitting, the yarn over, known in knitspeak as a “yo.” In the rest of May we’ll look at some of my favorite easy lace stitch patterns, the faggoting stitches—how to work them, and what you can do with them.

What IS a Yarn Over?

A yarn over is, simply put, a strand of working yarn laid over the right needle. The instructions after “yo, ” anchor the yarn over, but are not actually part of the yarn over. This confused the bejesus out of me when I first attempted lace: I wanted a yarn over to be more, to be harder than it actually was!

What you have to do to make a yarn over depends on two things: where is the working yarn as you start and end the yarn over, and which hand holds the working yarn. When knitting, the working yarn is held at the back, on the far side of the needles; when purling, the working yarn is held in front, on the near side of the needles. The path of the working yarn may be the same regardless of which hand holds it, but the moves for getting it there are different when it is held left than when it is held right.


Between Knit Stitches

Between two knit stitches.If the last stitch before the yarn over is a knit stitch, the yarn begins at the back of the work. If the stitch(es) following will be knit (or knit together in some fashion), the yarn needs to be in back after the yarn over is made.

First the yarn comes between the needles, then it is laid across the right needle, then it needs to get to the back in preparation for the next stitch(es), the anchor stitch. For left-hand holders, taking the right needle under the working strand completes the yarn over, preparing for the anchoring stitch at the same time. For right-hand holders, bringing the yarn between the needles gets the yarn in the right place for the yarn over, and the motion of working the knit anchor stitch creates the yarn over.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Between A Knit and a Purl

Between a knit and a purl stitchIf the last stitch before the yarn over is a knit stitch, the yarn begins at the back of the work. If the stitch(es) following will be purled (or purled together in some fashion), the yarn needs to be brought to the front after the yarn over is made.

The yarn at the back is brought to the front between the needles in order to be laid over the right needle. Then it comes around again to the front for the following purl stitch(es). Left-hand holders take the right needle under the working strand (or lay the strand across) then bring it between the needles again (or lift it over the left). Right-hand holders bring the yarn between the sticks once for the yarn over, then again in preparation for the anchor stitch.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Between Purl Stitches

Between two purl stitches.If the last stitch before the yarn over is a purl stitch, the yarn begins at the front of the work. If the stitch(es) following will be purled (or purled together in some fashion), the yarn needs to be in front after the yarn over is worked.

The yarn begins at the front; the action of getting the yarn in place for the purl anchor stitch creates the yarn over, Left-hand holders lift the working strand over the left needle to get it in place for purling. Right-hand holders take the working yarn between the needles, and your hand position brings it around, ready to purl.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Between a Purl and a Knit

Between a purl and a knit stitch.If the last stitch before the yarn over is a purl stitch, the yarn begins at the front of the work. If the stitch(es) following will be knit (or knit together in some fashion), the yarn needs to be in back after the yarn over is worked.

The yarn begins at the front and ends in back. Left-hand holders lift the work strand over the left needle (or take the needle under) to make the yarn over; with the yarn in the left hand it is naturally in back, ready to knit the anchoring stitch. With the yarn already in front from the previous purl stitch, right-hand holders can create the yarn over in the same motion they use to bring the yarn to the back and knit the anchoring stitch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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lace: a video and an experiment

So, here it is: the short video filmed (on an iPhone 4S!) in support of Creative Knitting‘s Spring 2013 special issue, Easy, Everyday Openwork & Lace. My goal for the video was to expand a bit on the basics of the article, and illustrate how to work 2 types of double decreases. Here I’d like to expand still further, with an experiment on relative yarn over and decrease placement.

Continue reading → lace: a video and an experiment