Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Imprinting On Twist-Stitch Patterns

Ribbed Leaf Panel, knitted in French Tweed Yarn

I used to put fancy cables on every sweater I knitted. I find them fascinating and mysterious, yet easy to knit. However, cable patterns (especially complex ones) have one disadvantage for garment design--they add bulk to the wearer's figure. Very few people want their clothes to make them look bigger around. Twist-stitch patterns are equally interesting to look at (How do those stitches move diagonally across the fabric?), but to me they seem difficult to knit. That's why I've made several pairs of socks with plenty of twist-stitches--practice, practice, practice. Twist-stitch patterns are much flatter than cables, and it's my hope that this "Ribbed Leaf Pattern" will add interest to my cardigan without making me look too roly-poly.

I got this pattern from Barbara Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, my first knitting book, and still my favorite. I bought Ms. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns and A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns as soon as I found them, and I always consult them when choosing designs, but I usually go with a pattern from the middle book. Perhaps it's imprinting--I follow the pattern book I saw first, like a greylag gosling following Konrad Lorenz.

I often rewrite Ms. Walker's patterns to make them easier for me to follow. Here are my altered directions for Ribbed Leaf Panel (19 stitches).

Row 1:  k8, p3, k8 (Wrong side)
Row 2:  p7, RT, k1, LT, p7 (Right side)
Row 3:  k7, p5, k7
Row 4:  p6, RT, k3, LT, p6
Row 5:  k6, p7, k6
Row 6:  p5, (RT) twice, k1, (LT) twice, p5
Row 7:  k5, p9, k5
Row 8:  p4, (RT) twice, k3, (LT) twice, p4
Row 9:  k4, p11, k4
Row 10: p3, (RT) 3 times, k1, (LT) three times, p3
Row 11: k3, p13, k3
Row 12: p2, (RT) 3 times, k3, (LT) three times, p2
Row 13: k2, p15, k2
Row 14: p2, k1, (RT) 3 times, k1, (LT) three times, k1, p2
Row 15: k2, p15, k2
Row 16: p2, LT, (RT) twice, k3, (LT) twice, RT, p2
Row 17: k3, p13, k3
Row 18: p3, LT, (RT) twice, k1, (LT) twice, RT, p3
Row 19: k4, p11, k4
Row 20: p4, LT, RT, k3, LT, RT, p4
Row 21: k5, p9, k5
Row 22: p5, LT, RT, k1, LT, RT, p5
Row 23: k6, p7, k6
Row 22: p6, LT, k3, RT, p6
Row 25: k7, p5, k7
Row 26: p7, LT, k1, RT, p7
Book Cover: A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns

Barbara Walker's Right Twist: (RT) Knit 2 together, leaving stitches on left-hand needle; insert right-hand needle from the front between the two stitches just knitted together, knit the first stitch again. Slip both stitches from the needle together.

Barbara Walker's Left Twist: (LT) Skip one stitch, knit into back of next stitch; then insert right-hand needle into backs of both stitches (skipped stitch and next stitch) and knit two together in back of stitches.

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