Adding Vertical Stripes To A Knitting Project

I read about this technique in the latest issue of KnitScene magazine, but then forgot where I saw it. I tried to describe it in episode 9 of the Unraveling podcast, but I started having doubts about how I was explaining it. So when I edited the episode, I cut that segment out. Then, last week, Knitting Daily published the same story, so I decided to give it a try.

We all know that if you want to add a horizontal stripe to your knitting project, you just need to change yarns, and weave in the ends when you’re done. But what if you want to have vertical stripes? This technique actually marries knitting and crochet to solve this problem.

The idea is that if you’re knitting in stockinette, when you get where you want your vertical stripe, you purl that column on the knit rows, and knit it on the purl rows. This results in a trough, or channel, on the right side that is recessed. After you’ve finished all the knit work, you switch to your crochet hook. You insert the hook, front to back, at the bottom of the column, pick up your contrasting color, and pull it to the front. Then, with the loop you just pulled through still on the hook, insert the hook in the next step of the ladder, front to back, pick up the contrasting color, pull it through, and then pull it through the loop from the previous step. This is just a regular crochet slip stitch. Continue this up the ladder, until you reach the top. Cut the yarn, and weave in the ends.

In the sample I made, I did four rows of garter stitch at the top and bottom, and three stitches of garter on the left and right, as a border. I knitted in stockinette for the rest of it, which, I think, was fourteen stitches. When I hit the seventh and eighth columns, I purled on the knit side, and knitted on the purl side. In retrospect, I should have just done a single column; I will only do one column at a time in the future.

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In the photo on the left, you can see the whole piece, with the recessed columns near the right. The photo on the right gives you a bit more perspective on how deep the column is.

The next step is to do the slip stitches. I failed to take a photo during the procedure, instead only taking them when I was done. You can refer to the original article to see it in action. Below are two photos showing the finished product. I didn’t weave in the ends, since it was just a test, but you would need to do that to really be finished.

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It turned out to be harder than I expected to make this stitch look good. I’ve done a lot of crochet, but the way I had to hold the fabric, and how you pulled the yarn through, made it harder. If I do this technique again, I believe I will get a crisper stripe than I got this time.

Go read the article and give it a try.

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I’ve Taken Up Knitting and Crocheting

About two months ago, I decided to try crochet. I did this, mainly, so I could have a hobby that didn’t make much noise, that I could do while we were watching TV. My Rubik’s Cubes made too much noise, and crochet seemed like it would fit the bill. Shortly after I got started, two of my friends were both extolling the virtues of knitting, so I decided to give that a try, too. One of those friends documents all of his work at Knitting Daddy.

I’ve been mostly alternating between arts: knit one, crochet two, etc. 🙂 I’ve been posting photos of my finished objects to Flickr, but I am going to try to start posting here about the work, not just pictures of it.

Here’s what I’ve done so far. Details of all of these projects, including patterns and yarn info, can be found on my Ravelry page. I’m joeygibson over there.

First Project: A Knit Scarf

I did several test swatches before actually starting a proper project, but this is it. It took me a week to make.

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Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskf3eb4m

Second Project: A Knit Crown

This one was a bit silly. Several of my ukulele friends were making them, so I decided to make one, too. This one took a few days.

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Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskg2beCq

Third Project: Crochet Fingerless Gloves

This one was interesting. I didn’t realize when I started that they were adult smalls, so there was no way they would fit any of us. I continued making them, though, just for fun. I donated them to charity the other day, so maybe someone will get some use out of them. They weren’t supposed to be this big, but I got carried away one night, and did a few too many rows. Rather than frog them, I went ahead and made the other the same length. So they are more like fingerless opera gloves.

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Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskgiD7Bv

Fourth Project: Knit Potato Chip Scarf

This one took about ten days, but I love the results. I actually bought this yarn before I had a plan for what to do with it. It’s a silk blend that really looks nice up close. I’m going to enter this in the county fair, and then my wife gets to keep it.

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Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskgriFrd

Fifth Project: Adorable Cthulhu

I saw the pattern for this one and knew I had to make one. The person who posted the pattern said she crocheted it with double strands, but I just did it as a single. I figured since this was my first somewhat complicated project, I didn’t want to complicate it further by having to deal with two strands of yarn. I will make another one, eventually, with two strands.

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Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskhpJUvr

Odds ‘n’ Ends

These can’t really be called a project, they are just some noodling. I bought a book called Flowers and Leaves: 70 Stitch Patterns You’ll Love To Knit, and I’ve been working some test swatches from there. The first is a little tree.

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Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHski3qHwX

and the second is called “Leaves of Grass”, and sort of looks like grass.

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Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskeGgH8W

This weekend, I’m going to start on some socks.