Knitting on the Bias
April 16, 2012
One of my favorite ways of changing up a basic pattern or putting a new twist on an old classic is to try knitting it on the bias. If you are new to bias knitting it is definitely different but not difficult and a lot of fun. The fundamental premise is that you cast on a small number of stitches (I go with 3-4 depending on if I need an even or odd number for a pattern) and then you increase at the beginning and end of each RS row (I increase after the first stitch and decrease before the last stitch to make the edges smooth) until you have the desired number of stitches. Once you have your correct number of stitches you will start maintaining by increasing at the beginning of each RS row and decreasing at the end of each RS row. Once you get used to this you can easily add this new technique to your Knitting in Public project, knitting in the car, and movie knitting (though probably not a truly riveting movie that distracts you too much). I love venturing in to bias knitting on some of my comfort projects (those you make time and again because you just enjoy it and it is easy).
You might remember that my Swing Scarf (Free Knitting Pattern Download) is knit on the bias in a simple lace stripe pattern. It is simple but by knitting it on the diagonal it adds an element of detail that not only makes it unique but the illusion of difficulty that will make your fellow knitters and friends sit up and take notice.
If you want to create a scarf like my sample, you will need a skein of worsted weight yarn. Cast on 4 sts and increase after the first stitch and before the last stitch. You can use your preferred increase and decrease but I used M1 (Make one) and SSK (slip1 knitwise, k1, pass slipped stitch over k1) until you reach 18 stitches. Start a 6 st Left Cable in the center 6 sts (Left cable: slip 3 sts onto cable needle hold in front, k3 sts, and k3 sts from cable needle). Continue until you have a total 28 sts and 2 cables going at any one time. They will drift to the left and disappear as you decrease at the end of each RS row and will appear as you increase at the beginning of each RS row. Keep a space of 6 sts between your cables. Continue until your scarf is almost as long you would like then begin decreasing at the beginning and the end of each RS row until you have 4 sts again. Loosely bind off. Enjoy your simple but elegant bias cable scarf!
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