Design Inspiration: Patterns, cont.

I tell ya, I love a good stitch pattern. They stick with me and I mull them over. One that called out to me a while back is good ol’ Tilting Blocks. I love this sort of pattern: strategically placed increases and decreases create a natural zig-zag torque to the knitted fabric once a few rows have accumulated. One day I didn’t feel like working on any of my many WIPs, but wanted to mess around with this pattern. So I cast on 2 repeats, got out plenty of graph paper to make new versions of the pattern and had a go.

Not bad! This is knit with fingering yarn on size US 2 needles. I certainly could have left it at that and called it a good knitting day. Those garter stitch blocks, though…

Ok. No more garter stitch blocks. But now the corners of the stockinette blocks are not crisp; they overlap. That’s not acceptable!

Ok, that’s fixed now. I offset the pattern by a stitch to accommodate the leaning of the blocks and make the corners crisp. That stockinette block is kinda boring, though (and it makes the fabric curl at the edges). Can I get a YO block to lean the opposite way instead and have all over holey blocks that are still nice and distinct?

Gack! What was I thinking? Nope, that’s not working. Back to the drawing board.

Recently, I’ve been having fun with the thick squishy texture produced by knitting in the row below as seen in this scarf I designed:

So I decided to use that texture for the plain blocks. It actually has a hidden garter stitch foundation, so no more curling, right?

Hey! Now we’re talking! I’m liking this a lot. And what you can’t see, is that this addition confers a nice squishy depth to the fabric. Very cuddly, and that’s a good thing for a wrap. And while the pattern is not exactly the same on both sides, the back is still quite presentable. There’s a fair amount of garter stitch hidden in this pattern so it lays nice and flat, too. Blocking is only really needed to open up the lacy aspects and spread all the blocks out.

Here’s my whole pattern progression in one photo. What you’re not seeing are the many erased and marked out graphs for the pattern, lol. Now to cast on for an actual project.

Lovely. This is Malabrigo Mechita yarn, a fingering weight singly ply and it is as gorgeous as it comes (when I die, bury me at the Malabrigo factory, thanks). I have 3 colors to work with and was planning on big blocks of each. But as I knitted along on this pattern, I realized that while I know what the pattern looks like, it’s not really showing up as nicely as I would like.

A contrasting color stripe helps a lot…

So..I’m alternating the three colors, one complete pattern for each. Now the zig-zags show up beautifully. And, just as important: I also sized up to US 5 needles. Sure, blocking does wonders, but I had to give the pattern the opportunity to open up sufficiently and size 2 needles was just not big enough, even though this is a lightweight yarn.

At last, I have my final version! This will be a simple wrap in a long rectangle shape in order to show of the zig-zag pattern (and edges!) nicely. Can’t wait till it’s done!


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