Did you know that knitting and math have a lot in common? Estimating, measuring....... and PATTERNS! It recently dawned on me why I love knitting. I love patterns. That’s what knitting is.
Knitting is really very simple. There are six basic steps to learn. Casting on and casting off get a project started and finished. Increasing and decreasing are techniques used to add shape to the designs. Knit stitch and purl stitch are what’s done in between. Many patterns are created with various combinations of these two simple stitches and a bit of increasing and decreasing.
Here are some examples of patterns created with knitting and purling.
To go from creating patterns using various combinations of knit and purl stitches to including cables is easier than it looks. The trick is the a cable needle. It is used to change the order of the stitches. Cables seem to jump out from the project. Often when creating a cable the entire row is knitted. Then in the location that the cable is desired two stitches are placed on the cable needle so that stitches behind them in line can be knit first. Holding the cable behind the knitting will make the cables twist to the right and holding the cable needle in front of the knitting will make the cables twist to the left. Repeating the use of the cable needle over the course of several rows makes the cable appear.
knit ten, purl two, knit two, purl two, knit two, purl two, knit ten for many of the rows and
knit ten, purl two, (knit two, purl two, knit two) - change the order of these stitches using the cable needle - instead of what's in parenthesis put the first two stitches on a cable needle and hold them in the back, (purl one, knit two, knit the two on the cable needle, purl one), purl two, knit ten. Pretty cool huh?
Well if all that is a bit confusing fair isle is another pattern technique that doesn't involve the cable needle and all of the stitches are knit. In fair isle the patterns are created using two different colors per row. Almost all of the stitches are plain knitting stitches on the front side and plain purling stitches on the back side. Here are some patterns that can be created using fair isle techniques.
There were different patterns required for each row of the fair isle hat and mittens, but all the stitches were knit stitches. The first row using black at the bottom of the hat was a fun row because it was knit one black, knit one pink.
Fair isle and cable knitting are fun because they are all about patterns. Plus the designs are interesting to create. If you have the basics down I highly recommend trying out these techniques.
There you have it...... Math and knitting are forever linked.
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