Knit: Transition from one stitch pattern to another
May 23, 2012
As you go along in your knitting career you may find a desire to branch out and design your own knitting patterns. This is a fun and creative outlet for any knitter how enjoys a good puzzle or a chance to create something only previously visible in their daydreams. One of the great hang-ups in knit design is transitioning from one stitch pattern to the next. Say you are constructing a lace shawl that features one lace pattern in the body and another for the border. If you are designing a triangle shawl, like my Tybee Cover-up, it is easier to plan your transition because the shawl increases every other row to create the triangle shape so if you need a certain number of stitches eventually your shawl will grow big enough and match the stitch count you need. However, it is often not that easy. You will not always want a triangle shawl and sometimes you want to place your transition in an area where the stitch count is not increasing or decreasing (i.e. at the elbow of a sleeve, below the bust of a sweater or the ends of a scarf). Or if you are working with a stitch count that is odd numbered and you want to transition to an even number stitch pattern. This can go on and on depending on your project.
However, transitioning can all be easy with some careful planning and choosing your stitch pattern wisely. Not only do you want to be careful from the start on your stitch pattern choices for the overall look of your design but also for ease of the transition. Try to stick to stitch patterns that are close in the stitch count, this will mean increasing or decreasing only a small amount and that is less stitches you will need to hide. Also plan ahead where you will hide your stitches. If you have a pattern that allows for a garter or stockinette row, this is an ideal place to hide your increase or decrease stitches. For my sample I used a 6 stitch repeat pattern and then transitioned to an 8 st pattern. This may seem easy since it is only an increase of 2 sts, but it is an increase of 2 sts per repeat. I started with 30 sts (5 repeats for the 6 st pattern) and then increased on an all knit row to 32 stitches for the 8 st pattern. This meant I went from 5 repeats to 4 so I kept the size of the sample consistent but if I want to keep the 5 repeats I would have increased up to 40 sts which would have made my sample size increase by ½ in. With this pattern transition the reduction in repeats is not noticeable but if you wanted to transition and add some width this is a great subtle way to go about it.
If you are only increasing by a small amount or increasing by an odd number, space out your increases and decreases so they are less obvious. Also, try out different methods of increases and decrease to see which style works best with your stitch pattern choices!
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