Knits and Purls Can Be More Than Ribbing

Without the knit stitch, we wouldn’t have the purl stitch (did you know the purl is simply a knit worked backward?)… and without both, we wouldn’t have the plethora of lace, cables, and texture we get to play with. Knits and purls are the foundational stitches of all knitting. Even though they are where everything else comes from, I find we often relegate them to playing the side character: the border Garter stitch, edging of Seed stitch, or hems and cuffs in ribbing.

Stitch Diaries - Season Three orange, green, and yellow sock blank

Stitch Diaries: Season Three

In this release of Stitch Diaries: Season Three, I decided it would be fun to see how knits and purls hold their own as the main pattern. And it turns out, those knits and purls, though often subtle in their effects, offer a beautiful texture that showcases the yarn perfectly. Swatching with a custom-dyed sock blank by Kathy Thai and a dark contrast colour of Tough Love Sock showed me just how much depth and delight these simple stitches create.

Kathy Thai’s Colour Story about Hillside Splendor: Inspired by vast fields, open skies, crisp morning air, and landscapes flooded with light, I aimed to recreate the natural shades of green and gold that I’ve encountered on long walks. I’ve also long been fascinated by the way artists render light in traditional mediums and referred to an art movement called ‘Luminism’ when developing this sock blank colourway. While the ends of the blank are more saturated, I kept the centre soft and blended in a painterly fashion to mimic a lustrous glow. I paired it with Cayenne, a red-orange that reminds me of flowers that pop up in spring. I hope this colourway conjures radiant, dew-sprinkled memories and a strong sense of calm as you work with it.

Knit and Purls + Colour = Inspired

Kathy’s landscape inspiration hits home. The way the light just kisses the top of the flower petal and long grasses adds just enough dimension to a horizon that would be stark without out. Our knit and purl patterning feels the same way. Subtle. Soft. And yet, a texture that is alluringly expansive.

With the exclusive Hillside Splendor colourway and a unique scarf pattern, we’ll experiment with these subtle patterns. How can we combine them to add more depth? What happens when the pattern goes in a different direction? Will the patterning be stronger or softer in different hues? And I encourage you to take those questions beyond the scarf recipe. How will they behave in a lace-weight yarn? Or in a multi-coloured yarn? Uncovering the answers to those questions is the best part about swatching for the stitch diaries. It’s about discovery; finding just how far the stitch and colour can go to bring cozy delight and fibre wonder.

Pattern A Sample

In the booklet included with the kit, you’ll find written and charted versions of six different stitch patterns, in both flat and circular instructions, so you can take them beyond these pages into new projects. You’ll also receive a beautiful Camden Fields Scarf Recipe where you can take any of those stitch diary patterns and drop them in as you desire.

Here’s an example of one of the stitch patterns you’ll find: Pattern A

flat (mult of 10 sts)

Row 1 (RS): *P7, k3; rep from * to end.
Row 2 (WS): *P3, k7; rep from * to end.
Row 3: Rep Row 1.
Row 4: Knit.
Row 5: *P2, k3, p5; rep from * to end.
Row 6: *K5, p3, k2; rep from * to end.
Row 7: Rep Row 5.
Row 8: Rep Row 4.
Rep Rows 1-8 for patt.

Round (mult of 10 sts)

Rnds 1-3: *P7, k3; rep from * to end.
Rnd 4: Purl.
Rnds 5-7: *P2, k3, p5; rep from * to end.
Rnd 8: Purl.
Rep Rows 1-8 for patt.

These Stitch Diaries are a blast because you get custom colorways paired with a sampling of patterns to test. It’s like having 20 different scarves to make!

knits and purls camden fields scarf recipe

Be sure to share your swatches and scarf (and other projects) knit with Hillside Splendor by tagging us at #sweetgeorgiayarns or in the School of SweetGeorgia Forums. Happy stitch play, my friends!


About Tabetha Hedrick

Tabetha Hedrick, Design Director for SweetGeorgia Yarns, lives by the belief that joy comes when fully participating in the present moment. And that joy is ever so easy to find when immersed in the world of fibre! When not knitting, writing, editing, or researching, she fills the time raising two girls, two dogs, and one husband in Tennessee.

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