Thursday, 9 August 2018

Knitting on the Bias - a short guide to everything you need to know ...

What could be nicer for late summer or early autumn than a swishy scarf, knit on the bias for extra swing? - Something just perfect for wrapping up a little in the evenings when the sun sinks, and things start to cool down just a little.

Read on for our all-you-need-to-know guide and pattern for creating a great patchwork scarf knit in triangles to devour left-over yarn from your stash.

The principle at play

1.      Knitting on the bias creates a texture that drapes beautifully, a little like woven fabric that’s been cut to drop on the bias. It’s very “stretchy” and perfect for creating floaty scarves or swing jackets that swish as you move.
2.     The simplest way to create a bias knit is to work a repeat over 2 rows, cast on one stitch at the beginning of the first row, which is then immediately cast-off at the beginning of the second row.
3.     To achieve a bias drape you must always cast on at the same side, and cast off at the other side. If you mix up the cast-on side with the cast-off side, the drape won’t happen.

4.     This produces a rhombus-shaped knit with great drape along its perpendicular axis.
5.     Now if you happen to want your rhombus to be a rectangle (or a square) all you need to do is start off with a triangle.

a.     Cast-on 1 stitch. (This corresponds to point 1 on the photograph above)
b.      (1st Row) Knit front and back (kfb)
c.      Kfb, k1
d.     Kfb, knit to the end of the row
e.      Carry on repeating c. and d. until you have an isosceles triangle on which the length of the two equal sides is the length that you want for the width of your rectangular scarf.
f.      Now carry on knitting on the bias as follows:
                                             i.     Row 1:  kfb, k to the end
                                            ii.     Row 2: sl 1, k1, psso, k to the end.
g.      When you’ve got to the desired length, proceed with row ii only i.e. working decreases for every row. In this way you will create another isosceles triangle to square the cast-off end. Continue until you have only 1 stitch. Cast off the last stitch.

the Bias patchwork challenge

6.     As an alternative to having all the stitch work following on evenly, you could knit in triangles.
a.     Work an isosceles triangle as before.
b.      Once the equal sides are the correct length for the desired width of the scarf, flip the knitting.
c.      Kfb, ssk. Turn.
d.     Knit to the end of the row.
e.      Kfb, k to 1 stitch from the end of the short row, ssk –slipping the first stitch from the left hand needle to complete the ssk. This pulls the stitches tight across the gap that is created by working the short rows. Turn.
f.      Carry on with rows d. and e. until all the stitches on the left needle have been “used up” knitting onto the right needle.
g.      Now it’s time to flip the work and repeat steps c to f for the next triangle patch.
h.     For the very last triangle: work as with the previous triangles until 1/2 of the stitches are on the right needle and 1/2 of the stitches remain on the left needle. Instead of starting on the right side of the work with an increase, start the row with a decrease (i.e., K1, k2tog). When you get to the centre, continue to work the decrease in the "middle" of the row as before ie SSK. Knit the wrong side row. When 6 sts remain, work as follows: K1, K3tog, turn, k2 k3tog, turn, k1 K2tog, cut yarn & pull through last remaining loop.

All the best for now,

Bonny x

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