Have you ever knit a rib and been bothered by that pesky loose knit stitch? The last stitch before the purl stitch? I used to routinely twist the first purl stitch by wrapping it clockwise and pulling it a little tighter to avoid that ugly loose knit stitch. Most of the time that was all I needed to do.
But my most recent pattern, Liz, from the Montisi Collection, sent me looking for another solution. Even after knitting tighter, twisting stitches, and all my usual methods – I still had a looser knit stitch. It was driving me crazy!
The pattern stitch in Liz is a series of wide knit columns followed by narrow furrows of purl stitches. I usually stay away from cottons and cellulose fibers for patterns like this, but the yarn used here is Air Lace, from Zealana yarns, a luxury blend of cashmere, brush tail possum down, and mulberry silk, so I wasn’t so worried about it. It’s exquisite to knit with by the way!
So I began. I tried one method after another, and kept going. Finally, when I had about 9 inches already knit (yes, really!) I was so discouraged by those ugly loose stitches, I almost chucked the whole design. I had already gone through every technical knitting book looking for suggestions, but only found my previous methods. Then one google searched changed everything. And thanks to this post from TECHknitting I was dancing happy for days.
So here’s what you do:
Working a RS row, knit the knit columns as written. When you get to the first purl stitch after the knit column, slip it instead of purling (as if to purl).
Then next row- and this is the tedious part – when you get to that slipped stitch, pick up the running thread as if it were a dropped stitch and pull it through the stitch on the needle. Next row, repeat, but this time you will slip the knit stitch after the purl columns. Do this on every row.
It does take longer at first, but once you get the hang of it, you start to develop a rhythm and it goes pretty fast. Trust me, you’re gonna love the results!
We’re planning on doing a video to show the technique, so come back soon or subscribe to my newsletter where the news always goes first…
Update: October 2017
I was recently reminded of the video mentioned above, which I have to admit, I totally forgot to schedule! Unfortunately, I’ve broken my wrist but I do have it planned (as in scheduled to do) for as soon as I can return to knitting!