Last week I showed you Knitting Backwards. This week I have decreases that you may want to work while knitting backwards. These would be a p2tog and ssp on the WS of the work when purling, but when knitting backwards, these are the “backwards” k2tog and ssk.
Next week I’ll show you purling backwards! It’s not as commonly needed, but can be handy to know how to do.
Today I have a tutorial video showing you how to knit backwards.
What is mirror knitting? If you’re working in the Western style, where the stitches are removed from the right side of the left needle — then mirror knitting is working the stitches off the left side of the right needle.
And what is knitting backwards? It’s working a purl row with the RS of stockinette facing you, and working from left to right off of the RH needle.
Confused? Hopefully the video will make it more clear.
Why would you want to do this? Think entrelac. Any time you are working a small number of stitches – knitting backwards (or mirror knitting) eliminates having to turn the work so frequently.
Next week I’ll show you knitting backwards decreases – these would be a p2tog and ssp when worked on the WS, but we’ll be working them with the RS facing while knitting backwards.
This week I’ll talk about Swiss Darning. This darning method is most like knitting. It is essentially duplicate stitch, but with no base fabric to work on. It is quite fiddly, and time consuming to work. But it looks the absolute best in knitted fabric, so would be a very good option for a repair that is in a noticeable spot.
It’s so fiddly that I ended up filming this tutorial about three times. lol. It still ended up very long (even speeding up some sections) so I apologize for that. Hopefully maybe it’s still helpful, even if it’s insanely long.
In the tutorial video below, I show you one way to work this, using a tapestry needle to make the loops using a support structure of sewing threads. Another way you could work this is to use a dpn or crochet hook to pull up loops in each row of the repair. When using this method, I use a new strand on each row, and thread it straight across (spanning the gap), leaving very long tails on either side. Then I pull up the new stitches with a crochet hook in a column (like when you repair a dropped stitch) up until the next to last repair row. I place this stitch on a dpn and do the next column. When I have all stitches on the dpn, I work the last row as a kitchener stitch to join the repair to the live stitches at top. This method works well for very large repairs, but you end up with lots of tails to weave in later. A benefit is that it is fairly easy to adjust the tension across each repair row, as long as you do that before weaving in the tails. (I may film a video showing you this method as well at some point.)
One drawback to the method I show you below is that it is hard to adjust the tension of the repair stitches after the repair is complete. Make sure you have each stitch at the right size as you go. I use this method when the repair section is fairly small.
Scotch darning is a darning method that is essentially weaving. It can be used to repair just about any type of fabric, but we’ll be looking specifically at knitted fabric here (of course.)
The hole or damage can be an irregular hole, and not much prep needs done before the repair happens. You can clean up any frayed yarn if you want, but you wouldn’t need to.
Use the same project yarn (if you want the repair to blend in) – but be aware that this will cause some bulk. To reduce bulk, use a yarn that is in a thinner weight than the project yarn. Find a similar color to try to blend in, or go for full-on decorative and use contrasting colors!
I like to anchor the repair by working the repair in stable fabric surrounding the hole. I begin below the hole (and since I’m right-handed, on the right hand side). I work the horizontal lines first – at least one per row of stitches, preferably more. Then I work the vertical lines, weaving them into the horizontal lines. Again, I work at least one column per column of stitches, preferably more. The fineness of the original gauge kind of determines what number of rows and columns are needed in the repair.
Some items of note:
This repair is not stretchy, and will not match the give that the original knitting had
This repair will also not match the knitting, and may be obvious
It’s a very sturdy repair form, though, and is a good option for high wear spots such as sock heels
Here is a video tutorial:
I hope this was helpful! I will have a post and video on Swiss Darning as an alternative mending technique next week.
This will be the last in this series for the time being. This week, I look at Japanese short rows.
This method looks really nice in stockinette stitch. In part because of the slipped stitch, and in part because of the minimal yarn used in the “wrap”. Marking the thread but not wrapping keeps that loop really small. It’s fiddly to work, though- and you’ll need removeable stitch markers or bobby pins (or scrap yarn) to mark the working yarn at the turning locations.