Knitting on the Bias

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Spool knitting, corking, French knitting or tomboy knitting is a form of knitting that uses a spool with a number of nails around the rim to produce a narrow tube of fabric, similar to i-cord. Many things can be made from the resulting tube e. Spool knitting has also been used historically to make horse reins. Detailed close up of multi-coloured knitting stitches. This article about textiles is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

Demonstration of knitting and basic stitches. Multi-colored knitwork made in stockinette stitch. Knitting is a method by which yarn is manipulated to create a textile or fabric for use in many types of garments. Knitting creates multiple loops of yarn, called stitches, in a line or tube. Knitting has multiple active stitches on the needle at one time. Knitted fabric consists of a number of consecutive rows of intermeshing of loops.

Knitting on the Bias

Knitting on the Bias

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Knitting may be done by hand or by using a machine. Structure of stockinette, a common knitted fabric. The meandering red path defines one course, the path of the yarn through the fabric. The uppermost white loops are unsecured and “active”, but they secure the red loops suspended from them. In turn, the red loops secure the white loops just below them, which in turn secure the loops below them, and so on. Alternating wales of red and yellow knit stitches. Each stitch in a wale is suspended from the one above it.

Like weaving, knitting is a technique for producing a two-dimensional fabric made from a one-dimensional yarn or thread. To secure a stitch, at least one new loop is passed through it. Parallel yarns zigzag lengthwise along the fabric, each loop securing a loop of an adjacent strand from the previous row. There are two major varieties of knitting: weft knitting and warp knitting. In the more common weft knitting, the wales are perpendicular to the course of the yarn.

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In warp knitting, the wales and courses run roughly parallel. Weft-knit fabrics may also be knit with multiple yarns, usually to produce interesting color patterns. The two most common approaches are intarsia and stranded colorwork. In intarsia, the yarns are used in well-segregated regions, e. Thus, a knit stitch on one side of the fabric appears as a purl stitch on the other, and vice versa.

Knitting on the Bias

Two courses of red yarn illustrating two basic fabric types. The upper red course is purled into the row below and then is knit, consistent with ‘garter’ stitch. In securing the previous stitch in a wale, the next stitch can pass through the previous loop from either below or above. The two stitches are related in that a knit stitch seen from one side of the fabric appears as a purl stitch on the other side. V’s stacked vertically, whereas the purl stitches look like a wavy horizontal line across the fabric.

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This is known as slip-stitch knitting. The slipped stitches are naturally longer than the knitted ones. In some cases, a stitch may be deliberately left unsecured by a new stitch and its wale allowed to disassemble. This is known as drop-stitch knitting, and produces a vertical ladder of see-through holes in the fabric, corresponding to where the wale had been.

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The stitches on the right are right-plaited, whereas the stitches on the left are left-plaited. Within limits, an arbitrary number of twists may be added to new stitches, whether they be knit or purl. Here, a single twist is illustrated, with left-plaited and right-plaited stitches on the left and right, respectively. Hand-knitters generally produce right-plaited stitches by knitting or purling through the back loops, i. The blue and white wales are parallel to each other, but both are perpendicular to the black and gold wales, resembling basket weaving. Vertical and horizontal edges can be introduced within a knitted fabric, e. Two knitted fabrics can be joined by embroidery-based grafting methods, most commonly the Kitchener stitch.

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The central braid is formed from 2×2 ribbing in which the background is formed of purl stitches and the cables are each two wales of knit stitches. By changing the order in which the stitches are knit, the wales can be made to cross. Ordinarily, stitches are knitted in the same order in every row, and the wales of the fabric run parallel and vertically along the fabric. However, this need not be so, since the order in which stitches are knitted may be permuted so that wales cross over one another, forming a cable pattern. In lace knitting, the pattern is formed by making small, stable holes in the fabric, generally with yarn overs.

A wale can split into two or more wales using increases, most commonly involving a yarn over. Depending on how the increase is done, there is often a hole in the fabric at the point of the increase. By combining increases and decreases, it is possible to make the direction of a wale slant away from vertical, even in weft knitting. This is the basis for bias knitting, and can be used for visual effect, similar to the direction of a brush-stroke in oil painting. Various point-like ornaments may be added to knitting for their look or to improve the wear of the fabric.

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Examples include various types of bobbles, sequins and beads. Ornamental pieces may also be knitted separately and then attached using applique. For example, differently colored leaves and petals of a flower could be knit separately and attached to form the final picture. Separately knitted tubes can be applied to a knitted fabric to form complex Celtic knots and other patterns that would be difficult to knit. The word is derived from knot and ultimately from the Old English cnyttan, to knot.

One of the earliest known examples of true knitting was cotton socks with stranded knit color patterns found in Egypt from the end of the first millennium AD. With the invention of the stocking frame, an early form of knitting machine, knitting “by hand” became a craft used by country people with easy access to fiber. The topology of a knitted fabric is relatively complex. Unlike woven fabrics, where strands usually run straight horizontally and vertically, yarn that has been knitted follows a looped path along its row, as with the red strand in the diagram at left, in which the loops of one row have all been pulled through the loops of the row below it. Because there is no single straight line of yarn anywhere in the pattern, a knitted piece of fabric can stretch in all directions. This elasticity is all but unavailable in woven fabrics which only stretch along the bias. Many modern stretchy garments, even as they rely on elastic synthetic materials for some stretch, also achieve at least some of their stretch through knitted patterns.

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On the right side, the visible portions of the loops are the verticals connecting two rows which are arranged in a grid of V shapes. Different combinations of knit and purl stitches, along with more advanced techniques, generate fabrics of considerably variable consistency, from gauzy to very dense, from highly stretchy to relatively stiff, from flat to tightly curled, and so on. The most common texture for a knitted garment is that generated by the flat stockinette stitch—as seen, though very small, in machine-made stockings and T-shirts—which is worked in the round as nothing but knit stitches, and worked flat as alternating rows of knit and purl. Some more advanced knitting techniques create a surprising variety of complex textures. Fair Isle knitting uses two or more colored yarns to create patterns and forms a thicker and less flexible fabric. The appearance of a garment is also affected by the weight of the yarn, which describes the thickness of the spun fibre.

Plenty of finished knitting projects never use more than a single color of yarn, but there are many ways to work in multiple colors. Parrot Colorway” by its manufacturer, for example. Heathered yarns contain small amounts of fibre of different colours, while tweed yarns may have greater amounts of different colored fibres. There are many hundreds of different knitting stitches used by hand knitters. A piece of hand knitting begins with the process of casting on, which involves the initial creation of the stitches on the needle. There are also different ways to insert the needle into the stitch. Knitting through the front of a stitch is called Western knitting.

Going through the back of a stitch is called Eastern knitting. A third method, called combination knitting, goes through the front of a knit stitch and the back of a purl stitch. Once the hand knitted piece is finished, the remaining live stitches are “cast off”. Although the mechanics are different from casting on, there is a similar variety of methods. In hand knitting certain articles of clothing, especially larger ones like sweaters, the final knitted garment will be made of several knitted pieces, with individual sections of the garment hand knitted separately and then sewn together. Seamless knitting, where a whole garment is hand knit as a single piece, is also possible.

Mega knitting is a term recently coined and relates to the use of knitting needles greater than or equal to half an inch in diameter. Mega knitting uses the same stitches and techniques as conventional knitting, except that hooks are carved into the ends of the needles. The hooked needles greatly enhance control of the work, catching the stitches and preventing them from slipping off. It was the development of the knitting machine that introduced hooked needles and enabled faultless, automated knitting.