knitting [cropped]

Blackberry-stitch tea cosy: blackberry stitch

This post is the third instalment of the tale of my blackberry stitch tea cosy. Read from the beginning.

Blackberry stitch

Blackberry stitch is what I call a composite stitch, like stocking stitch. Stocking stitch is formed from alternating between a row of knit stitches and a row of purl stitches, hence it’s composed of knit and purl stitches. The picot row was formed from alternately reducing and increasing the number of stitches. The blackberry stitch is formed in the same way, but on a larger scale.

I did have to ask my mam how to do this particular decrease: knit, purl, knit (k,p,k) all into the same stitch. Once she’d shown me, I realised we’d covered it in the class at the Sheep Shop. The lady in this video shows how it’s done:

uploaded by twistcollective

Pattern problems

The book said that six rows made up one repetition of the blackberry pattern. However, I could not get it to work. I asked my mam for help, but she hadn’t heard of the blackberry stitch. We looked on the internet, where all the videos had only four rows making up the pattern. We thought these were probably right. My mam emailed Jenny Occleshaw, who confirmed our suspicions. The blackberry stitch is also known as the raspberry stitch and the trinity stitch. The lady in this video shows what it’s supposed to look like and how it’s done — note the use of the k,p,k stitch:

uploaded by Knit It Out

Knitting problems

Once I’d sorted out what I was supposed to be doing, I set to work. Every few rows, I’d count the stitches and discover I had too few or too many stitches. I supposed it was my concentration slipping. I soon learnt to unknit blackberry stitch much easier than I could knit it. It was ridiculous. Some sessions, I’d unravel more rows than I’d knitted. I almost lost the will to continue, but after a bit of a hiatus, I got on with it again, struggling all the way. Just when I thought I’d got the hang of it, I’d lose some stitches and have to go back.

I thought the second piece would be easier, but I got into such a muddle. Everyone around me had become accustomed to me bewailing that I only had so many stitches. At one point, I had just over half the number of stitches I was meant to have. I didn’t know how I was going to recover from that: even my unknitting was going wrong. With the aid of a cup of a tea and a deep breath, I focused on it and eventually found a row with the requisite 54 stitches. I was able to move on, and finish the piece with only a few more errors.

Wait for the next instalment to see how I get on with shaping the top.

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