At last! I am knitting a pattern I have admired for years: Frankie Brown’s Ten Stitch Blanket. The original, square version.
I am using Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn in the colorway called EKS. (Someday, I’d love to know how these colors acquired their monogram-like names. For now, just EKS has to do.) This is a traditional Scandinavian type of yarn with long, gradual color changes. Some American knitters find it too scratchy. I do not! I appreciate its twist and resistance to pilling and overall quality and connections to ski sweaters I grew up in. And beautiful colors!
I am using 3mm needles. Two double-pointed needles rather than anything longer, as it is easier for me. This produces tighter garter stitch than some would like. Hand and drape are really personal decisions.
So, this very simple pattern has only 10 active stitches at a time. Easy, right? But there are a surprising number of variations possible with those 10 stitches. Choices must be made to three big questions.
- Q: What are you going to do with the first stitch on the right side? My A: Slip as if to knit with yarn in back. Or in knitterly shorthand, sl 1 kw wyib.
- Q: How are you going to make the join to the existing fabric? My A: With a knit-like welt on the right side. At the last stitch on the right side, slip as if to knit with yarn in back. Pick up a stitch from edge of fabric. Pass slipped stitch over. Turn. On wrong side, slip first stitch as if to purl with yarn in front (sl 1 pw wyif). Knit to end.
- Q: Where exactly do you pick up the stitch from the edge of the fabric? My A: Here!
This method of joining gives me consistently handsome joins on both sides of the fabric. While swatching I found that other joins, such as doing an SSK after picking up the edge stitch, raised the knit-like welt and made it more pronounced than I liked. Picking up in other places in the edge matters also.
The image of both sides of joined work shows an un-blocked blanket-to-be. I knit a swatch for this design and blocked the swatch. This let me test gauge and various ways of joining and working the edges. Valuable information to have before starting a blanket-sized project. You might make difference choices from your swatch.
That’s it for these three questions about joining; if this were a story, it would be the middle. How did I begin, how will I end, and how long will the story be? Three more very good questions to consider another day.