Techniques Every Knitter Should Know

In This Chapter

^ Manipulating stitches: Slipping, doing yarn overs, and twisting ^ Making increases and decreases

#ยป^laying around with knit and purl patterns introduced in Chapter 5 can keep you busy for a long time, but you can do a lot more with knitted stitches. Cables, lace, and color work all lie ahead โ€” literally (they're covered in the next part) and figuratively. As you begin to explore different stitch patterns and follow patterns for projects and garments, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the different stitch maneuvers that crop up in instructions for more demanding knitted fabrics.

For projects that give you the opportunity to practice the maneuvers that we cover in this chapter, head to Chapter 9.

Slipping Stitches

If your directions tell you to slip a stitch (abbreviated sl st), they mean for you to move a stitch from the left-hand (LH) needle to the right-hand (RH) needle without knitting or purling it and without changing its orientation (that is, without twisting it).

To slip a stitch, insert the RH needle purlwise (as if you were going to purl) into the first stitch on the LH needle and slip it off the LH needle onto the RH needle. Unless your instructions specifically tell you to slip a stitch knitwise, always slip a stitch as if you were going to purl it. Figure 6-1 shows stitches being slipped both purlwise and knitwise.

Figure 6-1:

Slipping stitches purlwise (a) and knitwise (b).

Slipped stitches are used in different ways. You frequently run across them in methods for decreasing stitches โ€” when you want to reduce the number of stitches you have on your needle. They also form the basis of a family of stitch patterns. Like garter stitch, slip-stitch patterns are stable and lie flat โ€” and they're a breeze to knit.

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