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How to: work basketweave stitch

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Let's Knit Together

  • Overview
  • Practical Guides

You can create a striking effect by alternating sets of knit and purl stitches, which earns the name of basketweave for its undulating under-and-over look, and the good news is that it’s much easier than it looks.

"There are many variations of basketweave, but a typical pattern is worked over two sets of rows. It may be referred to as a 3 x 3 or a 5 x 3, which denotes the blocks in alternating stitches. The first set, say rows 1-3, is worked to create blocks of knit and purl stitches, with repeated sections of knit and purl stitches on the same row. The second set, say rows 4-6, is worked on the same principle, but with sections of knit stitches sitting over purl and vice versa, and this stitch switch that creates the alternating bands. Each pattern will specify the repeats. TIP Within a set of basketweave rows, you may simply be able to knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches, rather than follow the pattern – just keep a track of when you need to change to the next set-up row. To set up the first block of rows, pay close attention to the pattern to create the correct number of knit and purl stitches on the same row. You’ll need to move the yarn between the needles tips (not over!) to keep it at the back for knit stitches and to the front for purl ones. Follow the pattern and you’ll see the first set of regular alternating knit and purl blocks forming. When it comes to the row where the blocks change – in effect a new set-up row – you’ll find yourself purling into knit stitches and knitting into purl ones, so again move yarn between needles tips when changing between knit or purl stitches The pattern will continue as set for a few rows, then the two blocks of rows are likely to repeat to continue the basketweave effect, and can be accompanied by shaping for garments. As this is a textured stitch, it will often benefit from blocking to help with the stitch definition, and is popular for homewares for its rustic style. [style as pattern] [subhead] Classic basketweave stitch Here is a simple pattern to create a 3 x 3 basketweave swatch in DK yarn with 4mm needles Cast on 12 stitches Rows 1-3: repeat [knit 3, purl 3] to the end. 12 sts Rows 4-6: repeat [purl 3, knit 3] to the end Repeat rows 1-6 to reach desired length Cast off in pattern


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