When someone talks about the meditative aspect of knitting, or compares it to yoga, I immediately recall the varied torturous stitches that I’ve forced from one needle to the next and the many-erased and smeared charts I’ve squinted and scribbled over. But I know what those comparers mean. I, too, have had momentswhen working stockinette stitchwhen my hands take over the knittinginserting, wrapping, slipping, and adjusting the loops as they move peacefully from the left to right needle without my paying attention.
Cecily Glowik’s seamless Duchess Raglan is the kind of project most likely to induce a Zen Experience. From cast on edge to bind off, it’s worked in soothing stockinette stitchevery round is knitted, with the single exception of the arresting 3-stitch motif that follows the raglan shaping. (What is it about raglan ‘seams’ that lends them to all manner of embellishment?)
The waist is shaped along the sides; the decreases and increases sit right next to each other, no ‘seam’ stitch to separate them. The sleeves are worked to the armhole, then the body and sleeves are joined on a single circular needle and worked around to the neckline. The 3-stitch panel along the raglan ‘seam’ is made by working a single slipped stitch flanked by two purl stitches. The yarn is carried in front as the stitch is slipped (purlwise) from the left hand needle to the rightto make a small horizontal line across the slipped stitch.
This is the kind of sweater that I crave to make and love to wear. It’s quick, comfortable, prettyand satisfying.
Duchess 40% Merino, 28% Viscose, 10% Cashmere, 7% Angora, 15% Nylon
Duchess is the big sister to CEY Princess. It’s a mix of merino, viscose, cashmere, angora, and nylon. Each fiber contributes its voice to the chorusmerino for body and warmth, viscose for drape, cashmere for soft hand (you knew that), angora for a halo, and nylon for strength. But it isn’t just the fiber content of Duchess that makes it such a lovely yarn to work with. It’s multi-ply structure (10 plies to be specific) makes round, plump stitches that brilliantly show off textures and cables, but equally important, it makes straightforward stockinette a stitch to die for.
Where to buy Duchess.
Stockinette stitch is worked in two different ways depending on whether you’re working with one needle or two. For two-needle, back-and-forth knitting, stockinette is made by working knit stitches when the right side is facing and purl stitches when the wrong side is facing. For one-needle, in the round, stockinette stitch is made by knitting every round.
Certain things can interfere with the evenness of the stitch. It’s worth playing around with how you hold your needles, how close you scoot your stitches/knitting to the tips of the needles, how you hold and tension the yarn, etc. I often find that when I come back to stockinette stitch, I purl more loosely than I knit. When I pay attention, I can correct this and pretty soon, I’m doing it automatically.