My original intention was to knit it in linen stitch, which is perfect for scarves, as it forms a stable fabric that doesn't curl and it's pretty easy to remember, which makes it perfect for knitting hundreds of stitches without too much concentration. As a stitch on its own it's relatively unimpressive, but it really comes into its own when it's worked in a self striping yarn as the rows are dotted with strands of contrasting colour.
However when I started knitting a tension square in my handspun yarn, it just looked a bit too flat and I couldn't help thinking that the reverse side looked better as it had so much more texture.
I just love how the purl stitches show off the hand spun yarn and the texture creates shadows and contrast that bring out the colours far more, than on what is supposed to be the right side.
I searched and searched for a 'reversible linen stitch' that had purl stitches on both sides, as well as the slipped stitches that carry the colour changes across the rows to get the woven, blended effect of linen stitch. Well if it exists, I couldn't find it, so I decided to work out my own stitch.
It's often said that there are no new stitches, as knitting has been around for so long that it's just not possible to design a stitch that hasn't been done before - in fact, many, many years ago, when I was applying to universities to study knitwear design, I was naively showing a swatch of a stitch to my interviewer that I had proudly "invented"; the lecturer rather snootily told me that it's just not possible to invent a new stitch and that there is nothing new in hand knitting that hasn't been done before.
So maybe I haven't invented this stitch, but here's my version of a reversible linen stitch, which I'm calling the "Bouclé Stitch" as the texture reminds me of fabric woven from bouclé yarn.
My bouclé stitch is based on a moss stitch (US seed stitch) instead of stocking stitch and it's worked over 4 rows instead of 2, over an even number of stitches, as follows -
sl1 - slip 1
yb - yarn to the back, passed between the needles
k1 - knit 1
yfwd - yarn to the front, passed between the needles
p1 - purl 1
Boucle Stitch Pattern
Boucle Stitch Pattern
Row 1. *sl1, yb, k1, yfwd. Repeat from * to the end
Row 2. * k1, yfwd, sl1, yb. Repeat from * to the end
Row 3. *P1, yb, sl1, yfwd. Repeat from * to the end
Row 4. *sl1, yfwd, p1, yb. Repeat from * to the end
You may notice that the same alternate stitches are worked over two rows, you then switch over to work the remaining alternate stitches.----------
There isn't really a right or wrong side, but if there is, this would be the front...
... and this would be the back.
I've nearly finished the scarf and I'll be posting about it soon.
So what so you think? Does this stitch already have a name? I'd love to know. Do you think it's really possible to "invent a new stitch", or has it all been done before?
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