Sunday, June 27, 2010

Slip Stitch Afghan

I am all for knitting techniques that are easy to do but result in something that looks intricate or intriguing. And I love texture. That’s why I’m crazy for slip stitches.

Last weekend I was in Columbus, Ohio to teach some workshops at Knitters Connection
. (It was a great knitting conference! There were workshops by many renowned knitting instructors and designers over 4 days; special presentations in the evenings, and a Knitters Market with about 30 wonderful vendors. I do hope to return there next year.)

One of the workshops I taught was on slip stitch knitting. In advance of that trip, I knitted an afghan in a slip stitch called “Speckle Rib” that I found in the Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches (the older version, Lyric Books Ltd, 1983; not the newer version published by Interweave Press).

The older Harmony Guides are terrific sources of slip stitch patterns. Over the years, I’ve knitted innumerable swatches and many many slip stitch projects from these books, yet I still find surprises and new knitting delights in these books. The reason for this continuing novelty may be due to the inherent limitation of putting pictures and instruction on paper; I have found that most of the stitch pattern pictures do not do the stitches justice. The textural and 3-dimensional features of the stitches don’t show up well in photographs. You have to touch them (or, even better, knit them) to appreciate their virtues.

So, it’s easy to overlook a stitch pattern because of a bland picture. Such was the case with the “Speckle Rib”. But I’m sure happy that I finally gave it a try. I am delighted with the result of this stitch in this afghan. It was especially effective for combining yarns of various colors. I knitted this afghan from 6 colors of a yummy wool-alpaca yarn, Berroco “Cuzco”, that I bought in Madison, Wisconsin in September 2008 when I was there as a presenter for the Madison Knitters Guild. I got the yarn at a delightful shop, Lakeside Fibers.
If you’re ever in Madison, check it out!

Here are two pictures of the afghan.

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