Saturday, January 26, 2013

Welts Wave Too!

I’ve been asked to design an afghan/blanket for Chris Roosien of Briar Rose Fibers . I love working with her yarns; her color work is lovely and quite distinctively her own. I had a couple ideas that played upon some of my recent swatching adventures.

I was leaning toward a rib and welt sampler, something with just knit and purl stitches. So, yesterday I grabbed a few stitch pattern books off the shelf. This time, but for no particular reason, I chose the Harmony Guide books (the older publications).

Most stitch pattern books have a section at the beginning of the book on knit and purl patterns. This is where I focused my attention.

With my mind on ribs and welts lately, I was especially looking for stitch patterns that incorporated one or the other or both. I found a good handful of patterns with potential for the blanket.

But what smacked me across the face was a pattern called “Purl Triangles” in the first Harmony Guide. It’s an ordinary-looking pattern of triangles I’m sure my eyes had previously passed over innumerable times. This time I was looking at it in the context of my recent examination of pleating patterns. With a brain flash, I recognized this pattern as a horizontal version of Pennant Pleating.

Welt pleats! What a concept! The pattern as written wasn’t really taking advantage of the pleating effect, so I modified it and this morning I knitted up a small swatch to make sure it actually waved. It did.

To get horizontal pleats, it’s important to remember purl stitches come to the fore in welts, so you need to have a wave of purls that crash over knit stitches. In this pattern the wave crashes downward. You could reverse the order of rows to get the wave to crash upward.

Amy’s Welt Waves (or maybe Dr. Tyler’s Welt Waves)
(multiples of 12 sts plus 1)

Row 1:  *p6, k1, p5; rep from *, end p1.
Row 2:  k1, *k4, p3, k5; rep from *.
Row 3:  *p4, k5, p3; rep from *, end p1.
Row 4:  k1, *k2, p7, k3; rep from *.
Row 5:  *p2, k9, p1; rep from *, end p1.
Row 6:  k1, *p11, k1; rep from *.
Row 7:  k
Row 8:  p
Row 9:  p
Row 10:  k

Here’s the chart (patt repeat between thick vertical lines):

Of course, I want to spend the rest of the day knitting variations on this horizontal pleating.  I’ll do that eventually; just not today.

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