And the adventure continues!
Today’s pattern is an Eyelet and Stocking Stitch Dishcloth. Number two in our progression of beginner skill-building patterns.
This pattern incorporates the following skills:
- Casting on,
- and binding off
It includes “seed stitch” (aka moss stitch); stocking stitch (aka stockinette stitch) and simple eyelet lace.
So last week’s pattern embraced garter stitch.
Garter stitch only needs the knit stitch, so it’s a great way to get some good practice in just knitting.
It takes some time and practice to get your tension to remain consistent.
Concentrating on just knitting lets you get a really good feel for how to maintain the tension without the added process of moving the thread to the front and to the back of the work, as you do when you switch between knit and purl stitches. Of course, there were a few wee little interesting bits in addition to the garter stitch so as not to put you to sleep. If you made it up, I hope it went well for you. It’s an easy pattern, but when you are a brand new beginner, just getting the basic coordination required to knit can feel difficult.
This week I wanted to incorporate stocking stitch (also called Stockinette). Stocking stitch requires you to knit on the right side (rs) of the fabric you are creating, and purl on the wrong side (ws). It gives a smooth texture on the front and a wavy and bumpy texture on the back. This tends to curl along the sides as you knit. That’s normal.
I wouldn’t want you to get bored, so I gave this cloth a narrow border of “seed stitch” (also called “moss stitch”). Now this edge still curls a bit, but not as badly as just doing stocking stitch. Once it’s damp and laid out flat to dry, it will stay flat. Seed stitch requires you to alternate one knit and one purl all the way along the row. When you turn the work you will knit wherever there is a purl stitch and purl wherever there is a knit stitch. It creates a checkerboard design of knit and purl stitches that is quite attractive and easy to do.
I incorporated a mountain-inspired eyelet pattern (my nod to the snow-covered mountains that surround Revelstoke) mirrored on either end of the cloth. This is a very simple form of lacework. In the middle is a nice little stocking stitch section to give you a break from having to think too much. It will also give you a chance to work on getting those purl stitches nice and even if you are still working toward that goal. 🙂
I have a couple pointers for you:
As you follow the pattern, use a sticky note to indicate where you are in the pattern and move it, row by row as you proceed. It’s easy to get confused about where you are, especially if you are relatively new to reading patterns. When the stickiness wears off, grab a new one. 🙂
Avoid stopping in the middle of a row unless you really have to. I mean, hey, if your child is in immediate danger it’s simply not okay to say, “sorry Love, I have 7 more stitches to the end of the row. You’ll have to wait.” (As much as you might want to some days… LOL)
If you take a break and walk away from your work, make a note in pencil on the pattern to show exactly what you have completed so far. Do it in a way that is absolutely clear to you and be consistent with this. Use the same indication every time. This way when you go back to it, you won’t have to worry if your pet unicorn decided it just had to knock the sticky note off your page.
To begin with I encourage you to stick with a worsted weight cotton yarn for these cloths. Cotton yarn tends to separate into strands when you knit. It’s easier to see these when you use a thicker yarn. So until you have a good sense of what to watch for so you don’t split the thread, hold off using lighter weight yarn. (Bamboo and linen will also separate into strands unless it is blended with wool or another fibre that helps to hold the strands together.)