Knitting is a very popular and widely-loved technique of manipulating yarn to create a soft, warm fabric. This is done by looping the yarn with needles to create multiple rows of stitches and purls.
- Wool or Acrylic yarn of any size or colour
- Knitting needles (size will depend on yarn chosen)
Knitting basically consists of making knit and purl stitches in a variety of patterns. The number of repeated knit and purl stitches create different knit patterns such as stockinette, garter and ribbing.
Continuous knit or purl stitch creates a garter pattern which is the same on both sides.
After getting comfortable with purling, I tried to combine knit and purl to create a stockinette pattern.
When adding different yarns, I also tried switching needle sizes to suit the larger yarns. Introduce the new yarn colour on a knit row to create a smooth transition between colours.
I also tried to knit ribbing but this could be neater with more practice!
Experimentation: Knitting with unconventional materials
I attempted to knit with a fine jewellery wire but it did not work out beyond a few rows as the wire formed kinks and lacked elasticity, making it difficult to loop and manipulate.
Instead, I tried weaving the wire together with wool yarn to form a new 3-coloured yarn with white yarn, charcoal grey yarn and golden wire.
I used this 3-coloured yarn to knit a sample which was soft to the touch yet stiff due to the wire coil.
The next unconventional material I experimented with was knitting with plastic, specifically a used correction tape plastic film and nylon string.
The two types of plastic used made this sample was very springy and curl inwards.
I also tried knitting with hemp rope. Rope, by nature, has a lot of friction in order to carry weights and maintain tension. It was very difficult to knit it because after 3 rows, the rope would be too stiff to manipulate.
I tried it once more, this time separating the rope into three strands and knitting using just one.
After this experimentation with knitting, I realise it’s an extremely versatile skill which can be applied to many different materials. It is not limited to wearables and clothing and can even be used as an interactive or smart fabric. I enjoy the calming, rhythmic movement of knitting and look forward to knitting a scarf for my loved ones this summer! 🙂