Saturday, February 22, 2014

Basketweave Stitch - Great Stitch for Interesting, Repetitive Knitting

Lately, I have been making a lot of progress on Kearsarge for my husband. I finished the back and have begun the front.

As are all of Lisa Lloyd's patterns that I have knitted so far (eight, including the ones I test knitted for a A Fine Fleece), Kearsarge is a well written pattern that is easy to follow and a dream to knit. I have loved basketweave stitch from my very early days a new knitter since it wasn't hard to execute or keep track of, but it provided interest; there were changes in the stitch patterns every few stitches. I highly recommend a pattern like this to a fairly new knitter who might want to take on the challenge of knitting a sweater made in pieces, which will need to be seamed together. Here is a closer photo of the stitch pattern so that anyone who is interested can see how simple yet fun the pattern would be to knit.

The stitch pattern consists of a combination of two knits and four purls, which alternate in terms of placement every so often. There is also a ridge in between each of the groupings of basketweave stitches consisting of two rows of stockinette (please note that this ridge of two rows of stockinette makes Lisa Lloyd's pattern different from the basketweave stitch link I provided above as does her specific combination of knits and purls). As you can see, these simple changes provide interest, but they aren't hard to execute or to see when you are trying to "read" your knitting to be sure you didn't make a mistake. Other features that provide interest from the beginning are the seed stitch border at the bottom and the plain stockinette section before the basketweave begins.

Another reason I really like this pattern for a newer knitter (or for anyone really) is that as soon as you get tired of the basketweave pattern (which I never seem to tire of somehow since it is so relaxing) after knitting the back and the front, Lisa has you knitting mistake rib for the sleeves, an interesting choice that provides a striking contrast with the body of the sweater. I also like this choice for the sleeves since it changes things up a bit when you go to knit the sleeves and makes it easier to focus on the increasing involved in making a sleeve (especially for a newer knitter).

The last reason I think this would be a great pattern for a newer knitter is that Lisa Lloyd does an excellent job of planning selvedge stitches at the edges of the garment to make seaming very easy. I haven't seamed this sweater yet, but if it is anything like some of her others that I have seamed, she will have spent time and thought making sure this fits together like puzzle pieces. I am expecting it to be a joy to seam (which isn't always the case). I will be sure to take pictures as I do it (maybe even a video clip) so that anyone who is new to seaming can see how simple it is using the selvedge stitches.

I can't wait to finish this sweater so I can see how happy my hubby is when he can wear it for his next ski trip (which might not be until next year -- oh well -- a girl can only knit so fast and stay so focused).

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