Dropping The Ball Stitch

Dropping stitches is usually a stressful event since under normal circumstances we do not want stitches to drop. However, there are stitch patterns out there that make you drop stitches on purpose. Yes, you read right. On these occasions you really want to drop the stitches (or, as you will see, yarn overs) to achieve an airy, loose pattern that you can use to create different effects.

One pattern that makes use of this technique is the ever so popular “Clapotis” by Kate Gilbert which celebrates its 10th birthday this year.

Picture from here. Close up of dropped stitches.

Another example for achieving an interesting fabric using dropped stitches is the “Harpswell Apron” by Pam Allen. Stitches get dropped after a certain number of rows alternately.

Picture from here.

Both of these designs are in spite of the dropped stitches structured knits, yet they have an airy feel due to the gaps that are created.

Another way to use dropped stitches is to achieve a deconstructed look, meaning yes, it is a garment but looks quite different from what we usually expect.

Picture from here.

“Les Miserables” by Cynthia Parker uses exactly the same technique, yet the deconstruction is enhanced by slightly felting the knitted fabric.

Picture from here.

The “Dropped Stitch Cardigan” by Erica Patberg makes excessive use of dropped stitches with a quite dramatic effect. Another example for a deconstructed look.

The other way of ‘dropping stitches’ is to work elongated stitches by dropping yarn overs from the row before. One can achieve an even row of long stitches or a wavy pattern depending on the number of yarn overs worked.

Picture from here.

#13 Drop Stitch Scarf by Laura Bryant (published in Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2009) makes use of both techniques – you drop stitches and have dropped yarn overs forming elongated rows which results in a light, airy fabric that makes for a lovely summer scarf when knit in a light summery yarn.

As you might have seen, Melissa just finished a design making use of the dropped stitches also. Shibui Twig gives it a textural quality, yet it is also light an airy.

1SS15 | Tier by Shellie Anderson. Sample is now in store!

I am currently knitting the “Spring Lace Infinity Scarf” by Purl Avenue – knit in Shibui Linen the lace pattern combined with dropped stitches makes a for a delicate fabric.

A class for this particular pattern starts on Monday and there are a few spaces left, if you feel so inclined!

Picture from here.

I have chosen only a few from a wide selection –  check out ravelry.com for any number of possible designs and make your pick as you please!

Happy Knitting, as ever!

– Mona

Sheer Spring

‘Sheer’ as in ‘nearly.’

‘Sheer’ as in ‘diaphanous’ (no one tell me I do not make an effort with the English language) also.

Diaphanous is big this year – especially for Spring and Summer. It is not new, the sheer, see through fabrics usually turn up around this time of year, yet I find some or other new idea that I feel drawn to.

Pictures courtesy of eileenfisher.com

These two sweaters are just an example – there are so many possibilities for us knitters to get inspired.

I will admit that knitting a sweater like that is usually a bit of work, since you want to use a fairly thin yarn on slightly larger needles than you would use normally – but the effect is worth the effort.

Lets face it: There is rarely a summer knit I feel comfortable wearing without a tee or a cami underneath, this way I make at least the most of it.

You might be surprised how much pops up by just entering ‘sheer’ into the pattern search on ravelry. However, you can just look at all the designs and imagine them in a thinner yarn that would make them light, airy and summery.  Here are some of my front runners:

The Silken Straw Summer Sweater by Purl Soho. Picture form here. Think Habu Tsumugi Silk, for a special kick Silk Stainless held together with the Fine Merino or Handmaiden Lino (which is available in store, and we just got new stock!).

Yes, I know, this one (Sweet Jane) does not look diaphanous. It is knit up at a gauge of 25 sts with a fingering weight. Now imagine this knit up with Handmaiden Lino, a fantastic linen/silk mix in a lace weight and there you go! Picture from here.

linier5

Yes, indeed. This is one of our newer store samples, the Taiyo Linier Top in Shibui Linen and Silk Cloud. I tried it on and quite like it! Imagine it also in Quince Sparrow, Shibui Twig or Classic Elite Firefly. At a gauge of 18 stitches this one knits up in almost a flash!

One designer who has this look down to a tee is one of our all time favourites: Cocoknits. Check it out and pick your shoo-ins!

Now, wasn’t this inspiring and ‘sheer entertainment’?

Happy knitting, as ever!

– Mona

Are They Going To Freeze?

Indeed, that is the question that was and is running through my head whenever I am thinking about the big event this weekend with Stephen and Steven. Somehow I feel this winter has been extraordinarily harsh, and the snow that fell last night just enhances my conviction. Really, I wanted to crawl under my blanket and stay there all day when I heard that there was more snow.

You might be wondering why it feels like I am complaining about winter – I live in Montreal, after all. Well, every year about this time I am getting thoroughly sick of the snow, and also of the arctic air that seems to have made our lives miserable for so long this year. On the bright side: Look at the Maritimes. They got it way worse!

Did you see Melissa’s Silk’N Scribbles here and maybe you’ve been to the store and saw Lisa’s version? Here is my own – after seeing how it turned out I could not resist. And, after knitting a few of Stephen West designs I thought it only right to knit a StevenBe!

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I think I need to make tassels, don’t you agree that it really asks for tassels? BTW, there are some kits left should you feel tempted like I did!

I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait for the events happening this weekend! Two days of entertainment, learning and lots of fun with Stephen and Steven – let’s just hope they are not going to freeze…

Happy Knitting, as ever!

– Mona