It is at this point that we learn one of the first rules of knitting: that whatever stitch you work on one side shows as the opposite on the other. So your carefully worked knit stitches that you just completed on the wrong side now show as a line of bumps on the front!
The good part is that it gives a fabric texture. In the stitch pattern I featured yesterday, for example, you can see the purl bumps of the Horizontal Parallelogram Check standing out strongly from the knit stitches behind giving the pattern a wonderful depth and character.
However, the bad aspect is that it can introduce curl into a fabric if there are too many purl stitches on one side compared to the other. Have you ever seen a length of Stocking Stitch as it is being worked on a knitting machine? If so, you may have noticed that it emerges as a tightly rolled tube of fabric with the purl side on the outside. It can take a fair bit of unrolling and blocking to get the fabric flat enough to seam it together into a sweater! Well, that is because all the purl stitches are on one side and force the fabric into a tube.
In Garter Stitch, each row of purl ‘bumps’ push outwards, first to one side and then to the other. This gives a strong horizontal patterning with deeply‐indented spaces between the rows but each one is perfectly balanced by the next, so the overall fabric lies perfectly flat! True, the rows are highly compressed, but the finished result is neat, stable and flat.
In this series of twelve blogposts, I am focusing on one stitch from each of the chapters in our Reversible Knitting Stitches book, and featuring a knitting pattern that has been inspired by each one. Today it’s the turn of the humble Garter Stitch from Chapter 6 of the book, and one of Anna‘s colourful patterns, the Autumn Scarf.
The result is eye‐catching and the scarf can look very different depending on how it is worn. If it is wrapped casually around your neck in a college‐style fashion, then the bold colours will show separately over your shoulder. However, a more complex wrapping style would bring the colours into closer proximity, giving a fun result.
The scarf uses a lovely soft chunky yarn so is quick to work and it won't be long until you have a new scarf to keep those wintry winds at bay!
If you would like to go back to the first of this blogpost series, then please click here and follow the links at the bottom of each page until you get back to this point again.
I’ll be back next time with a true story of a pair of Swedish hikers and their close encounter with a knitter preparing for winter…
Until then – Happy Reversible Knitting!
Book/Reversible Knitting Stitches, Patterns/Women’s Scarves & Wraps,
reversible knitting, reversible stitches, knitting stitches, scarf, scarves, autumn, Garter Stitch, texture.