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Off the Axis

When I was 5 my mother taught me how to knit, 60 years later I overheard her say to some friends as they admired my work in a Chester River Artworks Fiber Show “I don’t know how she knows all that I only taught her to knit and purl”. Well guess what Mom, there are only two stitches, knit and purl, it is how you combine those two stitches that creates the finished product.

Each of these garments contains the following techniques: knit, purl, cast on, bind off, decreasing by knitting two stitches together, decreasing by slipping two stitches and then knitting them together so they slant the other way, HAVE I LOST YOU YET?
Increasing stitches by many different methods. SHALL I GO ON?

Each of these items has something else to bring to the table. The first series (1,2,3) is diagonal knitting that I first learned from Katharine Cobey at Haystack Mountain Craft School on Deer Isle in Maine.

1. Starting with 3 stitches and employing increases, a triangle is formed that when combined with two other triangles becomes the basis for a vest. The garment is continued employing increases and decreases to develop the structure while still knitting on the diagonal. This is Garter Stitch and it is knit of wool, mohair and cashmere. $125

2. Here I took the basic concept of the diagonal vest but added cables which are knit on the axis while the rest of the vest is knit on the diagonal. Please note that the cable around the neck edge has a facing also knit on the axis so it could be used to cover up the backside of the cable which I didn’t think would make a very attractive edge. This is also Garter Stitch with Stockinette Stitch used for the cables and the facing. This garment is knit of wool. NFS

3. Now let’s expand our thinking to include sleeves, still maintaining the concept of knitting the garment as one piece but then adding stitches one row at a time in order to create a sleeve as you knit up the ‘vest’. This evening coat is knit of 100% cashmere in Garter Stitch. $900

4. Stockinette stitch knit with hand dyed 100% raw silk. As you knit hand dyed yarn you can alternate yarns so the look is modulated or you can do what I do with hand dyed yarns and let them talk to you. Another lace at the raglan of the sleeves and the hemline. $150

The second series of garments (5,6,7) is another approach to diagonal knitting employing six triangles as the basis for the structure instead of three.

5. This is an example of how poorly an item shows if you don’t use good yarn and great color, but I wanted to show you the basic vest which starts with six triangles.

6. This vest is also started with six triangles but it employs purling every fourth row to give the design effect which visually defines the diagonal knitting more. This yarn was brought to me from Scotland by a dear friend. NFS

7. This top is also dark but it has the added interest of two colors in Shadow Knitting. Note that one panel looks teal while the other looks charcoal. The entire garment is knit with two rows of one color and then two rows of the other, but the use of knit rows versus purl rows changes how the colors appear. The shine you notice is created by the silk which has been mixed with wool to make this wonderful soft yarn. $150

8. Stockinette stitch, provisional cast on, short rows and dropped stitches, the lacey side bottoms are created by doing just that , dropping stitches and letting them unravel, being careful that the garment was created in such a fashion that the stitches only unravel so far. Cotton and Silk, hand dyed. $225

9. Another Shadow Knitting Diagonal top, this time because the colors are not so subtle it is easier to see both the Shadow Knitting and the Diagonal Knitting. The yarn is cotton, viscose and linen. $150

The next three items are designed by Hanne Falkenberg, all knit of 100% wool in Garter Stitch

10. Knit on the diagonal with applied I-cord. $350

11. Knit on the vertical with applied I-cord and a myriad of short rows. $500

12. Knit on the vertical with applied I-cord and even more short rows. $500

The next garments show how the use of decreases and increases can create lace patterns, four of which are shown here (8,9,10,11).

13. Wool, silk and cashmere combined feels to good next to your skin. This yarn is hand dyed, notice the slight variations in color. Lace is created by decreasing and then adding that stitch or stitches back by putting the yarn over the needle so when you knit it on the next row you have lace. $225

14. Stockinette Stitch, lace panels, cotton yarn brought back from a trip to Portugal. $125

Two more terms you need to know: Mobius and Fibonacci series:

A Mobius is a rectangular strip with a 180 degree twist before it is connected in the round. I knit mine in the round to start with so I have to be careful to put the twist in on the first round. I knit a Mobius from the center out so you can notice one half has one side of the pattern and the other half has the backside of the pattern.

A Fibonacci series is 1+1=2, 2+1=3, 3+2=5, 5+3=8, etc. This can go on infinitely, however when knitting, I work the series until I’ve used half my yarn and then I work back.

15. This scarf is both, it was knit as a Mobius in Fibonacci series. It is silk and wool, hand dyed on Kauai, Hawaii. $56

16. This scarf is a Mobius knit in a Mesh pattern, which I think is as beautiful on one side as the other. Wool with a little nylon in it, hand dyed in Portland , Oregon. $56

17. This one is knit of the remaining yarn after I finished #11, it makes a wonderful neck piece for #11. $40

18. I threw this one in at the last minute, just to show that once in a while I knit with something other than blue, green or purple. Cotton and linen, knit as a mobius. $35

Sue Wright
410 708 4373
Facebook: Sue Wright Hand Knitting
Cottage Studio
25729 Pearce Way
Chestertown, MD 21620