15 December 2015

More Knitting in Japanese

Yesterday I showed you swatches from Gayle Roehm's "Challenging Stitches from Japanese Designs" class. Today I present the swatches from its sequel, "Even More Challenging Stitches from Japanese Designs." In this class, Gayle labeled the swatches with numbers instead of letters.

Swatch 1 from "Even More Challenging Stitches from Japanese Designs"
 This first swatch is a "basic" Japanese lace pattern -- that is, it has action on both right and wrong sides. Although it is a stockinette-based lace, the increases and decreases push the wales in different directions to create a surprising amount of movement and texture.
Swatch 2 from "Even More Challenging Stitches from Japanese Designs"
Gayle called swatch 2 a faux paisley. Like the dogwood lace swatch B in yesterday's post, the chart has large open area of white space that are disconcerting to the uninitiated. The top of each paisley also has a strange maneuver that is sort of a cross between a cable and a decrease. Once again, something you want demonstrated to you in person.
Swatch 3 from "Even More Challenging Stitches from Japanese Designs"
Like yesterday's swatch F, swatch 3 uses multiple wraps to create texture. It is hard to see with the black yarn, but there are over-sized stitches that create texture. This bears some similarities to a stitch from Merike Saarniit's "Fiendishly Difficult Stitches" class.
Swatch 4 from "Even More Challenging Stitches from Japanese Designs"
Swatch 4 shares some commonalities with yesterday's swatch C. Once again, there are lots of short rows in the middle of the fabric. This time, the short rows are combined with cabling on the wrong-side return row. The long strand is an unavoidable element of the design. Of course, if you threaded some long bugle beads, the effect might be flashes of light playing off the high texture. Who thinks up this stuff?

Swatch 5 from "Even More Challenging Stitches from Japanese Designs"
Again, I've worked this in a dark yarn so it is somewhat difficult to see. The right portion is a lace motif common in Japanese patterns. The left part of the pattern contains a section of wrapped or bundled stitches. It is this left section that contains several strange maneuvers -- multiple wraps, slipping or parking stitches that are reincorporated on later rows, and bundling several stitches together.
Swatch 6 from "Even More Challenging Stitches from Japanese Designs"
What can I say about this one? Two colors, multiple wraps, passing stitches over and through, knitting through the back of the loop -- might as well put up a sign saying, "Do not attempt without a sherpa" or "Why merely knit or purl the next stitch, when there is so much else you could do?"
Swatch 7 from "Even More Challenging Stitches from Japanese Designs"
Japanese knitters do not distinguish between knit and crochet the way we in the West do. Swatch 7 reminds me of the Solomon's Knot pattern from crochet. This knitted version involves knitting up a stitch from a strange location and then immediately making a decrease. There is also yarn over patterning on the wrong side return rows.
Swatch 8 from "Even More Challenging Stitches from Japanese Designs"
This circular pattern reminds me of a Gothic rose window. The chart was written out flat, with lots of big gaps in the columns. In typical Japanese fashion, the details are well-considered. The wales of knits are twisted stitches, making them pop off the reverse stockinette background. Twisted purls are used to close yarn over increases.
Bonus Swatch 9 from "Even More Challenging Stitches from Japanese Designs"
Because the class did not fill completely, Gayle had some extra bonus handouts. This last swatch I've had to photograph rather than set on my scanner, as it is too big. I think it was a bonus swatch from this class rather than the other, but I'm not quite sure. I've worked it in a long-print yarn to show off that the motif is not worked from the center out. Rather, it is cast-on at the diagonal and worked as a decreasing triangle with a cabled border on both the left and right selvedges. The next quadrant is picked up along one of the cabled sides from the previous quadrant. In the end, the first and fourth triangles are sewn or grafted together along the miter. Between the twist and the diagonal lines, the square has a strong feeling of motion. And once again, how many people would think of knitting a square as four triangles picked up on the bias?

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