17 July 2009

Net Pattern simplified -- with video!

This net stitch, which can be worked in one color or two, is the sort of stitch pattern that makes you want to drop whatever you are already knitting just so you can try it. That is, until you attempt to read the instructions. Merike Saarniit did provide Estonian-style directions in the Estonian Patent stitch class at STITCHES South 2009. She called the stitch "Net Patent." A little quick research in my home knitting library uncovered what I think is the same stitch in several other resources. Katharina Buss Big Book of Knitting (New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co. 2001) page 129 calls it "Brioche Stitch" and includes it in a section on "Shaker Knitting." Thérèse de Dillmont The Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework, third edition (Philadelphia PA: Running Press 1996) page 248 calls it "Double English Knitting." Barbara G. Walker A Treasury of Knitting Patterns (Pittsville, WI: Schoolhouse Press 1998) page 157 calls it "Double Brioche or Three-Dimensional Honeycomb."

Some things to consider: If you work the pattern in two colors, so that one is a ground and the other the net, then you'll work the right side twice before turning the swatch and working the wrong side twice. This is very similar to how to produce the "Column Pattern" in Elise Duvekot Knit One Below (Sioux Falls SD: XRX Inc. 2008) page IV. In fact, if you aren't already familiar with the knit one below stitch, then grab the book, double-pointed or circular needles, and two balls of yarn. If you take some time to become familiar with the column pattern, the video for the net pattern ought to be easier to understand.

When casting on for this pattern, obviously you can't knit one more below on the first row. Try casting on in the ground color and knitting across on the wrong side in the net color before beginning your first knit one more below row.

In the video, I introduce what are new stitches to me. The first one I call "knit one more below." XRX uses a downward arrow in their charts to indicate a knit one below. In the chart at left, I've added an extra "v" to the downward arrow to indicate a knit one more below stitch. Rows 1 & 2 are right side, 3 & 4 are wrong side, hence the position of the numerals relative to the chart. The knit one more below (k1mb) stitch is worked similarly to knit one below (k1b), but it produces a new stitch in between the stitch on the needle and the one below it. This is done by ducking the right needle under the running thread and then knitting into the stitch below. On the wrong-side rows, you'll need to "purl one more below" (p1mb). In this case, purl into the stitch below, but then poke the tip of the right needle in between the left side of the stitch and the running thread. Both of these methods will produce a stitch in the ground color (rows 1 & 3) with a yarn over in the net color (rows 2 & 4) lying across it.

For me, the big advantage to this odd technique is that the yarn forming the net stitch is purled across on the right side and knit across on the wrong side. This makes it very easy to use novelty yarns, ribbons, and the like to create the net pattern. Also, the net yarn could be used as a stash buster. Every row of the net could be a different piece of yarn with the ends left hanging as fringe. Indeed, the whole pattern could be further embellished by weaving threads through the net matrix afterward. And I have no doubt that this thick fabric would produce nearly weatherproof cloth when felted. Let your creativity loose!


Anonymous said...

Hi Jolie,

Thank you for teaching us your brioche patterns this past weekend in Columbus! We area noxious to put them to good use and create some lovely projects.

The suggestion of the column stitch as a pre-class exercise was very helpful.

Bernie Inskeep

Lori Jernejcic said...

If you ever get the opportunity to take a class from Jolie on anything - do not, walk or saunter - you should flat out RUN TO GET INTO THE CLASS. She is funny, an amazing teacher, gentle and kind - she is also funny and very caring. I took a Brioche class from her this year and absolutely loved it. There is always one teacher who sticks in my mind each and every she and she is the one this year.