Is it slip stitch or slipped stitch? I think that a stitch may be slipped and that you might be instructed to slip a stitch. Let’s see.
I fell in love with Slip Stitch patterns in 1995. I remember the timeline because we were experiencing a lot of medial issues in our families, and I remember being at hospitals and clinics working on projects and swatches involving slip stitch patterns. Slip stitches can make wonderful textural patterns, as well as great color patterns. Often the same pattern can be worked texturally and in color.
I’m going to use Thee-and-One Pattern from A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker for this discussion. It is a pattern that works both texturally and in color. The Barbara Walker Treasuries cost $30 each and are worth every penny if you like to explore stitch patterns. [Note: There were references to free treasuries when I did a Google search. I would not risk what you will get if you download those.]
Basics of Slip Stitch Patterns
wyif If the yarn is to be held in front of the needle we say “with yarn in front” and wyif is the abbreviation used.
wyib Where the yarn is to be held in back of the needle we say “with yarn in back” and wyib is the abbreviation used.
sl# Sl stands for slip stitch, and the number following it tells how many stitches to slip. Stitches are alway slipped as to purl–so the right needle goes into the stitch as if you were purling and the stitch is just slipped onto the right needle.
Every time you are to slip a stitch it will appear with a combination of those instructions. For instance, Row 1 of Three-and-One says sl1 wyib. I found that when working slip stitch patterns I was always slipping my stitch before I got the yarn in the correct position, so I reverse the order of the two so my instructions look like this: wyib sl1. To my mind that is more in line with the action needed: get the yarn in position, slip the stitch.
Slip stitch patterns generally have a stitch slipped on one or two rows, then that stitch is worked on the next row or two while other stitches are slipped. It is important to keep everything lined up. Obviously, I rewrite the patterns so the stitches stack in the written, the chart, and in your knitting. Here is what it looks like when I write it, but you can see its original form here.
Multiple of 4 sts + 3
Row 1 (RS): K3, *wyib sl3, k3; repeat from *
Row 2: *K3, wyif sl3; repeat from * to last 3 sts, end k3
Row 3: K1, wyib sl1, k1, *k2, wyib sl1, k1; repeat from *
Row 4: K1, wyif sl1, k1, *k2, wyif sl1, k1; repeat from *
Repeat Rows 1 through 4.
If working it as a color pattern Rows 1 and 2 are worked in Color A, and Colors 3 and 4 in Color B.
Logistics of Slip Stitches
Where the yarn sits is always in relation to the needle and determines where the float of unworked yarn will be located. Allow the yarn to “float” behind the stitch. Don’t pull it tight or your knitting will buckle. On the stitch pattern used in the Copenhagen Headband (see below), the floats go over 5 stitches and are on the right side. I always spread the slipped stitches a little bit to ensure I get a nice relaxed (not droopy) float.
wyif on a right side row and wyib on a wrong side row will put the yarn float in front of the stitch being slipped. Remember this is in relation to the needle.
wyif on a wrong side row and wyib on a right side row will put the yarn float behind the stitch.
Working slip stitches in multiple colors uses only one color per pair of rows. So the unused color sits at the beginning of the row or round while stitches are worked or slipped using the other color. I was immediately attracted to the technique because I didn’t have to manage two strands of yarn per row.
The patterns shown in this photo represent a lot of the variations available, including wrapping stitches, lifting floats, and using floats for color on the front of the fabric. This cardigan is not available as a stand-alone pattern. It first appeared in the Spring 2003 issue of Cast On if you want to find it. Called Slip Stitch Cardigan.
A free recipe for the Copenhagen Headband was released on Monday through my newsletter. It uses slip stitches and lifted floats to make a nice butterfly pattern, which I slightly modified from the original. You need to sign up for my newsletter either here on my website or on my Facebook page.
I’ll get back to my report on TNNA on Friday.