Sunday, May 17, 2009

Piping the Stocking

I was mulling over ideas for a class I’m hoping to do this fall with Lincoln Land Community College. It’s taking advantage of all the experience I now have making Christmas stockings (7 in a short period of time) and aims at teaching all the principles of sock knitting by knitting a Christmas stocking.

I was thinking about the patterns I want to do for the class and what sort of things I want to incorporate. In the middle of my ponderings, as I was wandering off to sleep, I suddenly realized that you could add an i-cord piping to the stocking to mimic what you see most often in sewn or quilted stockings.

The next morning I cast on and came up with this.

It will work best knitting in the round, I believe, so I cast on 10 green stitches, 3 pink, 10 green and 3 pink and joined up the round. Now normally you can’t knit intarsia in the round. Why? Because once you’ve knit across, the working yarn is at the end of the pattern. If you’re working in the round, once you come back to that point, the yarn is on the other side of the pattern. It’s sort of like taking a boat from the shore to the island. The next person who wants to come to the island is stuck because the boat’s already on the other side.

Now, think for a minute. An i-cord is knit across, then the stitches are moved over and the row is knit across from the beginning again, right? It creates a round, continuous thing of knitting. A knitted cord, as it were. In knitterly circles, we call it an i-cord. There's a story behind the name but I'll leave that to another time and move on.

If you add that to the stitches cast on as above, when you knit across the green and get to the pink, you’re going to pull the working yard back from the other side to knit the 3 pink stitches, right? Right. Therefore, you’re doing exactly what you would do to make an i-cord but it’s incorporated into your knitting! Wha-la! Insta-piping.

You just have to make sure you wrap the green and pink working strands on every row and Bob’s your uncle (or at least a very close relative, as they say).

Have a go and see if it doesn’t work.

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