Woven Textures

Here I am again, finally…I have true admiration for the consistent and regular blogger!

The Textile Museum Yardage Sale was such a great time, though I managed to come away with little yarn. That’s probably a good thing, since I haven’t knit everything I bought last year!

I did, however, get a new knitting bag! This one is in a lovely deep rose woven textile. It is perfect for taking my knitting to the park for an afternoon sit ‘n knit.

I have been inspired by woven textures lately. It started with some yarn I bought at this year’s DKC knitter’s Frolic; beautiful local wool in three natural tones from the Stoddart family farm.(www.stoddart.ca) This sport weight is undyed- it is of excellent quality: very smooth ply with a lovely sheen. It is much softer than alot of “farm wool” I have come across, but has that same great ‘sticky’ quality, which makes stitches pop. I really hope to get more of this yarn!

I wanted to find a way to use all three colours together. I started a tip- to – tip shawl in a tricolour woven stitch. The garter stitch band along the bottom will be unravelled at the end to produce a fringe- What fun! Unfortunately, I don’t think I have enough yarn for even a small shawl. I look forward to buying even more of this lovely local yarn !

The tricolor fabric stitch is quite an amazing thing- like its cousin, the linen stitch, it truly looks more like weaving than knitting. That’s because every second stitch is slipped with the yarn in front, making a firm and detailed fabric.

Here’s how to do it:

You need 3 yarns (color A,B, and C) of very contrasted or complimentary colours, depending on the effect you want. My choices are muted, so it gives a tweedy natural look . Four ply to DK weight are ideal as they produce a medium weight fabric. Use a needle size slightly larger that suggested on your yarn ( my yarn is a sportweight, so I used a 4mm).

Tricolor Fabric Stitch:

Cast on an odd number of stitches with colour A and purl one row.

Row 1 (RS): With B, k1, *slip 1st with yarn in front, knit one; repeat from * to 1 st remain, k1
Row 2 (WS): With C, k1, p1, *slip 1 st with yarn in back, p1; repeat from * to 1 st remain, k1
Row 3: With A, repeat row 1
Row 4: With B, repeat row 2
Row 5: With C, repeat row 1
Row 6: With A, repeat row 2

This stitch, in cotton linen yarns, would make lovely placemats ! It would also be good for mittens or even a tailored jacket.

You don’t need to use more than one colour or any fancy stitches to get a woven look. Case in point, my latest sample knit for Americo Original. Shown here is the current sample, but I am re-knitting it for the winter season. Claire’s Waffle Stitch Swing Jacket (current name) is worked in a knit/ purl pattern that is made dense and sturdy by using two strands of Aran (50% wool, 50% llama) held together. The yarn really makes the woven texture pop! This is a great example of how yarn and stitch choice are important to the overall look and structure of a garment. Side note: Sturdy yarns such as Americo Original Aran may not be next- to-the-skin soft, but they make outerwear garments that will last HUNDREDS of years. Knit today, have your ancestors wear it for centuries to come!

Despite the summer heat, I am enjoying knitting up this lovely jacket as the firm fabric whips out from beneath my needles! Instant gratification plus it’s extra stylish!  Start planning your winter knitting queue now and make this swing coat first on your list! (pattern available in fall at www.americo.ca– free pattern available with yarn purchase)

Knit on,
Ash

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