Learn­ing Mo­saic Lace

How can a knit­ter com­bine color­work and lace? That was the chal­lenge. And could it be done in such a way that the end process wasn’t over­whelm­ingly com­plex?

Creative Knitting - - CONTENTS - BY BAR­BARA BEN­SON

By Bar­bara Ben­son

Even more of a chal­lenge, but I found the solution in slip-stitch (specif­i­cally mo­saic) style color­work. In mo­saic color­work the knit­ter does not have to “carry” mul­ti­ple col­ors along the same row/round. One is only ever work­ing with one strand of yarn at a time, knit­ting stripes. The magic oc­curs when you start slip­ping stitches. The slipped stitches are stretched across the stripes, cre­at­ing the il­lu­sion of more com­plex styles of color­work but with no ad­di­tional yarns “floating” along the back of each round/row. It is the very ab­sence of these “floats” that made mo­saic the per­fect solution to color­work lace.

By com­bin­ing the slip-stitch color­work tech­nique with lace the knit­ter is able both to bring color to her lace and to bring light­ness and move­ment to her color­work. By open­ing up sec­tions of what is a typ­i­cally dense fab­ric, lace al­lows color­work gar­ments to be worn in the warmer sea­sons. But in the end, if you are com­fort­able knit­ting lace, the slipped stitches do not bring much more com­plex­ity to the party. There are just a few guide­lines that you need to keep in mind and you will be able to knit up the Cruis­ing Cowlette (or one of my other slip-stitch lace pat­terns found in Mo­saic & Lace Knits, see page 10) in no time!

You are knit­ting stripes. Us­ing one color of yarn you are knit­ting two row/round stripes. When you fin­ish your stripe you drop the color you are work­ing with and pick up the other color. Carry the un­used yarn loosely up the side/in­side of your work.

Al­ways slip the stitches purl­wise with the yarn held to the wrong side of your work. And when you are slip­ping stitches, the color of the stitch slipped will al­ways be the op­po­site of the one that you are ac­tively knit­ting with. In this way, this style of pat­tern is self-cor­rect­ing—if you need to slip a stitch and it is the same color as your work­ing yarn, then you need to look back and see where you made a mis­take.

Do not sub­sti­tute de­creases. The de­creases are cho­sen for how they ma­nip­u­late the di­rec­tion of the color­work. If you change the di­rec­tion of a de­crease you run the risk of your color­work not com­ing out cor­rectly.

As with any tech­nique there are ex­cep­tions and com­pli­ca­tions, and I go fur­ther in depth in my book, but with a firm grasp on these 3 prin­ci­ples you will be well on your way to mas­ter­ing slip­stitch lace. But let us fin­ish with a few more tips so that you can suc­cess­fully com­plete the Cruis­ing Cowlette found in this mag­a­zine on page 32.

Let’s start with read­ing the charts. Chart A be­gins with a stripe of the CC. From this point you know that you will be chang­ing col­ors ev­ery two rounds and this is re­flected in the charts. When stitches are slipped, they have the “V” shaped slip-stitch sym­bol on them and they are shown in the color of the yarn be­ing slipped. All of the lace “ac­tion” sym­bols such as de­creases and in­creases will only be found in the work­ing color, mean­ing the color be­ing ac­tively knit­ted. When you work de­creases on a round where stitches were slipped on the pre­vi­ous rounds, make note of how the de­creases are ma­nip­u­lat­ing those slipped stitches. This is where the magic hap­pens. The de­creases move the col­ors, thereby cre­at­ing the color­work il­lu­sion.

One el­e­ment that can be tricky is when you have slipped stitches and yarn overs on the same round: specif­i­cally it gets tricky on the fol­low­ing round. In the Cruis­ing Cowlette the round to watch is Round 10 on Chart B. When the stitches are slid­ing over your nee­dles and ca­bles, the yarn overs can creep up and over the slipped stitches, at times get­ting out of their cor­rect place­ment. When knit­ting these rows, pay ex­tra at­ten­tion to the or­der in which the stitches are pro­gress­ing. It might be nec­es­sary to coax some yarn overs back into their right­ful seats.

The fi­nal round of the cowl be­fore bind-off will il­lus­trate the im­por­tance of num­ber 3 in the above guide­lines. There are two dou­ble de­creases at work here. One is a left lean­ing sk2p where the three com­po­nent stitches are all the same color, but the other is CDD, which is a cen­tered dou­ble de­crease. When you work the CDD you in­sert the right-hand nee­dle as if to knit two stitches to­gether and slip both stitches off of the left-hand nee­dle. You then knit the next stitch and pass both slipped stitches si­mul­ta­ne­ously over the newly made stitch. The end re­sult is that you have a dou­ble de­crease where the cen­ter stitch is on top, which just so hap­pens to be the stitch you slipped on the pre­vi­ous stripe! This cre­ates a de­crease with a stripe run­ning up the mid­dle and is pre­cisely what we want.

All of these el­e­ments make the Cruis­ing Cowlette a per­fect in­tro­duc­tion to the tech­niques that make up slip­stitch lace. In the end you have a new bag of tricks for knit­ting color­work lace and a lovely spring­time ac­ces­sory to spruce up your wardrobe.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.