The Many Faces of Seed Stitch

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Notre Dame de Grace by Véronik Avery from Best of 2010: Top Ten Patterns for Knitted Pullovers

Interweave has had so many incredible pullover sweater patterns over the years. We decided to gather the bestsellers of 2010 into one, convenient PDF download: Best of 2010—Top Ten Patterns for Knitted Pullovers!

I was looking through the top ten and I discovered one that I hadn't seen before, Notre Dame de Grace by Véronik Avery. How could I have missed it?!? I just love the casual style of this pullover; it's the perfect weekend sweater, great with jeans or cords. And it's a good layering piece, too.

What first caught my eye about this sweater was the collar-shoulder-button combo. At first I thought that the sweater had saddle shoulders, which I've never knit before. When I looked closer, however, I saw that the stitch pattern changed at the shoulders, sort of mimicking a saddle shoulder. The collar is a really nice combo of the shoulder rib pattern and some short-row work, which is what gives it it's stand-up shape.

When I started looking at this sweater, I thought the main pattern stitch was moss stitch, but it turns out it's double seed stitch. This got me thinking about seed stitch and its many "offspring" (or should I say "cousins"?).

  
The original seed stitch, which I found labeled "dot stitch."

I started Googling seed stitch, and I came up with pretty much what I expected, that here in the U.S. what we call "seed stitch" Europeans call "moss stitch." Véronik Avery lives in Montreal, so I think Canadians subscribe to the same seed stitch conventions as the Europeans do. (I think seed stitch is kind of like the metric system!)

Once I opened this Pandora's box, I really fell into it! I started looking up seed stitch/moss stitch in all of my stitch dictionaries, and what I found really muddied the waters.

I learned that the original English version of seed stitch is a sort of decorative use of purls to dot a background of stockinette stitch; sort of a scattering of "seeds." US moss stitch is usually called "double moss stitch" across the pond and in Canada. And I found Véronik's double moss stitch under the name of "box stitch."

See what I mean? Muddy. To unmuddy just a bit, I knit up a swatch and labeled it with the names most commonly used for the seed and moss stitch family  in the US.

     
All in the family: Double seed stitch, moss stitch, and seed stitch

It's so fun to do this sort of research! I came across tons of beautiful stitch patterns, too. Try it, I think you'll have a fun evening!

And get our 2010 best-selling pulloversBest of 2010: Top Ten Patterns for Knitted Pullovers—you'll find a favorite to wear in 2011!

Cheers,

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