by Carol Sunday, originally posted to her blog at Sunday Knits.
I just love creating new stitch patterns. It's my favorite knitting-related thing to do. (And there's nothing knitting-related that I don't love to do!)
Poplar and Elm started with just "Poplar" — a closed lace stitch pattern made to look like leaves branching off of a central vine. The leaves were pretty easy, with the edge of a new leaf overlapping the shape of the one before it, and increases sprouting out from the leaf's center. The branching vine was a little trickier. It took several attempts to get the vine to branch out at just the right moment, and to join the leaf at just the right spot. Finally, just right . . . in worsted weight with a 15-st 12-row pattern repeat.
I liked it so much I decided to make an open lace version by changing the pick-up style increases to yarnovers. I thought I might use these two patterns together in a sweater with, say, a closed lace body and open lace sleeves ... maybe a cropped cardi with three-quarter length sleeves, or maybe a ballet-style wrap, close fitting with a wide neck and long narrow sleeves. I submitted both ideas for Twist's Spring/Summer issue using a lighter sport weight yarn. Kate liked the wrap (yay!) and I started knitting.
In sport weight, the pattern was smaller than in worsted, of course. It looked dainty and detailed, but I had envisioned something, well, smoother, more stockinette, bolder even, something with more ... scale.
It's amazing how much difference a little change in scale can make in a stitch pattern. I added 2 stitches and 2 rows - 17 sts and 14 rows per repeat. Now that was more like it!
So if more is good, even more, ie. 19 sts and 16 rows per repeat, might be even better. Well, hmmm, not necessarily. Plus, a larger stitch pattern would mean a larger spread between sizes. I preferred the mid-scale version, and so did Kate.
I'm thrilled with the way Poplar and Elm turned out. The pattern scale is just right. And the other two versions of the stitch pattern will be perfect for other projects. Anyway, it was so much fun playing with the scale on this stitch pattern. It makes me think of all the other stitch patterns that would lend themselves to just such adaptations ...
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