Paper Stitches came about when I was creating my Craftsy class. I was struggling with how to explain the interaction between knits and purls in a visual way; It is hard to see when stitches are on the needles, even if you have really big needles and yarn. As often happens, I fret and fuss (and usually lose sleep) over something, then one morning I wake up and the answer is right there. I made my stitches, then shot a quick video to send to my producer at Craftsy so he could see what I had in mind. I was fortunate that he got what I was doing and helped me to incorporate it into my class.
My distress was the result of this feeling I had that we all (knitters) make an assumption that the way knits and purl are formed (that is, how the yarn and needle interact to create the stitch) are what make the difference in the stitches. But in my class I was planning to say that the purl stitch is really the back of the knit stitch. That would be completely unclear if there was also an impression that they are two completely different stitches. The more I thought about it, the clearer it became to me that the way we see stitches is impacted by the way the base of the stitch sits in the stitch below it, and eventually above it; then the relationship of the stitch has to the stitches next to it. Those interactions are what we need to focus on, not the actual forming of the stitches.
I decided to try to show the relationships using paper stitches. I envisioned that the knit side of the stitch would be purple and the back or purl would be green–just like in my charts! So I created stitches in Illustrator and fiddled until I figured out how to print them so my color scheme worked and that they would fit together when cut out and would accurately work as representations of the stitches they represented.
I have been thinking about paper stitches again as I am working on putting together posts of Knitting Treasures. so many things require a visual of some kind. I also decided I should have needles so I can explain how stitches interact with the needles.
These are a pain to cut out, so it takes a while to get paper stitches ready to use. I should have better paper scissors, but I don’t. Like everything else, cutting paper is a skill that requires practice. I don’t do it very much anymore. Once cut, they are assembled (temporarily) into the stitch pattern I want to illustrate.
Paper Stitches: When
I think there are times that static images are clearer than videos. I know. Kind of hard to fathom these days! So I’m going to put some photos into this post so you can visualize my paper stitches. I am going to show you how they illustrate a couple of things as well, then look for them as I answer questions about stitch patterns and things.
Next week I will illustrate the interaction of the base of the stitches and how that impacts the fabric we create. This is all toward answering some questions I’ve gotten, but first building some background.
Paper Stitches: How Cute!
When Linda walked over to where I had my stitches on the floor for photographing, she exclaimed over how cute they are!