Beautiful Slip-Stitch Knitting

There are so many ways to work color into our knitting. Fair Isle, intarsia, stripes, color blocking, duplicate stitch, and so on. There's also slip-stitch knitting. Check out the Santorini Cowl by Faina Goberstein, below; all that glorious colorwork is done with slip-stitch knitting!

Gorgeous colors and slip stitches make this cowl reminiscent of colors and architecture of Santorini Island in Greece. This cowl is tall and striking and worked in the round. It can be worn in many different ways. The neck opening has a smaller circumference, so the cowl stays closer to the neck in cold weather.

Here's designer Faina Goberstein to tell you a little bit about slip-stitch knitting:

Slip-Stitch Patterns

Slip-stitch patterns are deceptively easy to work—simply slip certain stitches (purlwise) from the left needle onto the right needle without knitting or purling them. The working yarn is typically help in the back (wrong side) of the work when a stitch is slipped, creating a horizontal "float." Stitches can be slipped over several rows for deep three-dimensional effects. The draw-in caused by a slipped stitch can affect the gauge, both horizontally (stitches/inch) and vertically (rows or rounds/inch). Knit a generous swatch and measure it in several places both widthwise and vertically to get an accurate reading.

The top of the photo shows a simple slip-stitch pattern worked on a sock heel.

When the floats occur on the back of the work, the slipped stitches appear elongated and raised in comparison to the background stitches. Vertical ridges form when slipped stitches are stacked every other row (or round), as for the traditional heel stitch pattern used to reinforce sock heels, shown at right. By varying the number of slipped stitches and the distance between them, you can produce all sorts of pattern variations. If you hold the yarn in the front of the work (i.e., along the right side) as stitches are slipped, you'll produce a fabric with a woven appearance. By varying the lengths of these floats and positioning them in a deliberate order, you can produce a variety of interesting patterns.

When working slip-stitch patterns, be careful not to carry the floats too tightly—they should be just long enough to cover the distance between the adjacent worked stitches. It is easiest to maintain uniform tension if the pattern is worked in rounds when there is no need to switch between right- and wrong-side rows.

When worked with two or more colors, slip-stitch patterns can have the appearance of complicated Fair Isle designs, such as in the Santorini Cowl. Typically, colors are changed every two rows or rounds, but some patterns involve changing colors every row/round. This type of colorwork pattern is best worked in rounds so that the right side always faces you and all of the colors are available at the beginning of every round.

—Faina Goberstein

There's so much more to learn about the slip-stitch pattern. Faina has a new video workshop, Slip-Stitch Knitting. Here's a preview:

Get Slip-Stitch Knitting video workshop now; it comes with the Santorini Cowl pattern! Let Faina help you become an expert on the slip-stitch knitting technique.


P.S. Have you used the slip-stitch method? Leave a comment and share your experience!

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