I’m feeling determined to make some kind of dent in the stash.

So many beautiful skeins and partial skeins, languishing in the cupboard.

I love the idea of a patchwork blanket, but… let’s be honest. A blanket is a huge amount of work. And I think a blanket is better worked in a heavy weight yarn, worsted or heavier. Fingering, sport, DK… they are a little delicate for a blanket. Our blankets get tossed around, pulled, folded, wrapped… they need to be sturdy.

I love the idea of stripes of course. But… I wanted something a little more eye-catching than plain stripes.

So I turned my eye to chevron patterns.

chevron

 

Chevron knitting stitches can be really easy to work.

Chevron 101:

First, a chevron (a pointy horizontal zig zag pattern) can be made a few different ways in knitting :

With slip stitches. Barbara Walker’s Zebra Chevron stitch is a lovely example. (Here’s a nice example of Zebra stitch at Catching Loops)

With intarsia colour work. This Kaffe Fassett Heat Wave blanket is gorgeous.

chevronhat900With stranded colour work. That’s how I did the Epinette Hat (a pattern that I haven’t released yet).

But, much easier (I think) than those two types of knitted chevrons, is to use increases and decreases.

If you put a decrease right next to an increase (say, yarn-over, knit 2 together), you get a little bit of texture or a hole. The closer the decrease is to the increase, the less interrupted the row of stitches will appear.

Ah, but if you put a decrease and an increase far apart, you interrupt the row of stitches.

Think about it:

When you decrease (by knitting two or three together) you pull stitches together. This means that you force the stitches to lean one way or another towards the decrease. (Picture a row of books on a book shelf: you remove a big fat book from the middle, and the books to the left or right lean towards the void.)

When you increase (by a lifted increase or a yarn over) you push stitches apart. This means that force the stitches to lean away from the increase.

So wave patterns or chevron patterns can be made by forcing stitches to lean this way and that.

Here’s what I’m messing around with. I actully really like the way it looks on the reverse side:

stashbusting_chevron

I wanted a chevron pattern that wasn’t too wide. I’m fond of the proportions in a Missoni scarf, where the zig zags are fairly close together.

So I wrote out this pattern, which has a garter stitch edge 5 stitches wide on either side:

I’m using fingering and heavy fingering yarns. 4.0mm needles.

Cast on 131 (this is a multiple of 15 plus 1 for the chevron plus 10 stitches for the garter stitch edge). You could make this narrower or wider by increasing or decreasing the cast on in multiples of 15. So any of these cast on’s would work: 86, 101, 116, 131, 146, 161, 176, 191.

(I don’t know the gauge, but I do know that I like a wide scarf, and in fingering weight, on big needles, about 120 stitches works.)

The pattern:

Row 1 (right side): Knit 5 (that’s the edge), knit 2 together, *knit 6, make 2 (this means knit 2 into the strand between the needles, here’s a good video tutorial at New Stitch a Day), knit 6, center double decrease (this means slip 2 as if to knit 2 together, knit 1, slip the first 2 over the one just knitted); repeat from the *, stopping when you have 7 stitches left, finish the row with a ssk and knit 5 (that’s the other edge).

 

Row 2 (wrong side): Knit 5 (edge), purl until you have 5 stitches left, knit 5 (other edge).

 

Repeat Rows 1 and 2. Switch colours whenever you feel like it.

 

I’ll post updates as I go.

 

 

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