Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot


While working with Elise Duvekot on Knit One Below, I was inspired by the technique. When we worked on the 2 Koigu Kersti sweaters, a patterning of the colors occurred for both of us at a specific stitch count. I wondered if it worked with Kersti, would it work with KPPPM?

So began my quest for what I named the sweetspot – where the right number of stitches and the k1b technique combine to create a very pleasing striping and shifting of the colors in the yarn. It separates the colors while allowing them to dance and play together. It gives an insight into the yarn designer's vision of the colorway and pays homage to that vision.

The k1b technique is also wonderfully reversible – on the WS, you don’t see the vertical striping so the patterning in some of the more complex colorways comes through. This makes not only for an excellent afghan but also a scarf [see below].

spacer model: Amanda, Denny McMillan spacer photos: Wannietta Prescod, Lise Beauchesne, Amy Singer



Version 1: 52.5 inches wide x 60 inches long
Version 2: 60 inches square



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Note: The yarn quantities given below indicate the approximate quantity needed to make afghans of the size shown. However, the pieces shown were made from leftovers and partial skeins, so more colourways of each yarn were used than can be accounted for by the yarn quantities given. This project is a great way to use stash yarn and leftovers!

For Version 2, each strip is made of one type of yarn.

Version 1 [shown at top;
color #P90330
shown at right]:

spacer Koigu PPPM [100% merino wool; 175yd/160m per 50g skein]; various colors; approx. 30 skeins

Version 2:
spacer Tempted Yarns Good Grrl [100% superwash merino wool; 400yd/366m per 100g skein]; various colors; approx. 3 skeins 
spacer Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock [80% superwash wool, 20% nylon; 215yd/197m per 50g skein]; various colors; approx. 6 skeins
spacer Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock [80% superwash merino wool, 20% nylon; 430yd/393m per 100g skein]; various colors; approx. 3 skeins
spacer Dashing Dachs Fingering Superwash Merino [100% merino wool; 560yd/512m per 113g skein]; various colors; approx. 3 skeins
spacer Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock That Rock Lightweight [100% merino wool; 360yd/329m per 128g skein]; various colors; approx. 4 skeins

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 pair 3mm needles
Note: 3mm needles are between US #2 and US #3 in size.

spacer 1 crochet hook, approx. size US D/3 / 3.25mm
spacer Yarn needle


Note: Gauge for each yarn given in stockinette st.

Version 1
Koigu KPPPM: 28 sts = 4 inches

Verson 2
Tempted Yarns Good Grrl: 28 sts = 4 inches
Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock: 30 sts = 4 inches
Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock: 28 sts = 4 inches
Dashing Dachs Fingering Superwash: 29 sts = 4 inches
Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock That Rock Lightweight: 28 sts = 4 inches


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

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Yarn shown at right:
Dashing Dachs Eugene Rooster

Instructions for the Backward Loop cast on can be found here.

Directions for working a Russian Join can be found here andhere

Directions for Elizabeth Zimmermann's Sewn Bind Off can be found here.

A photo tutorial for the joining technique used in this pattern can be found here.

K1b: Knit 1 below
Instead of knitting into the stitch on the left needle, knit into the stitch in the row below it, allowing the stitch on the left needle to drop.

P1b: Purl 1 below
Instead of purling into the stitch on the left needle, purl into the stitch in the row below it, allowing the stitch on the left needle to drop.
Two rows must be worked to form one full row of stitches.


Note: An even gauge is critical. When you start working the pattern rows, you should see stacking and shifting of the colors within the first 6-8 rows, though it may take 12-14 rows to really see the pattern emerge. If the yarn is not patterning in a satisfactory way, try adjusting your needle size, or start again using 2 sts more or fewer.

Using backward loop method, CO the number of sts given for the yarn you are using:

• Koigu KPPPM: 58 sts
• Tempted Yarns Good Grrl: 54 sts
• Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock: 66 sts
• Three Irish Girls Adorn: 68 sts
• Dashing Dachs Fingering Superwash Merino: 68 sts
• Blue Moon Socks That Rock Lightweight: 62 sts

P 2 rows.

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Version 2 shown at right

Begin Pattern:

Row 1 [RS]: Sl 1 purlwise with yarn held to back of work, [k1b, k1] to last st, k1.

Row 2 [WS]: Sl 1 purlwise with yarn held to front of work, [p1b, p1] to last st, p1.

Repeat these 2 rows, changing colors as desired.

To change colors, join new yarn using Russian join (see Pattern Notes). Color changes will not be noticeable in the finished piece.

Continue in pattern until piece measures 60 inches or desired length, ending with a WS row.

Loosely BO all sts; your BO edge should be as stretchy as the fabric itself. To achieve a loose enough BO edge, try using the sewn bind off (see Pattern Notes), or the new Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

If making an afghan of the same size as those shown, work 4 more strips in the same way.

spacerblank .

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Yarn shown at right
[all Three Irish Girls]:
[top] Nora
[middle] Aiden
[bottom] Meave

Block strips to the same length. Strip widths may vary depending on yarn(s) used.

Join Strips: See Pattern Notes for link to a photo tutorial for the technique described below

Attach long edges of strips as follows:

Hold two strips with wrong sides together, so that long edges meet. The strip closest to you will be referred to as the front strip, the strip furthest from you will be the back strip.

Insert crochet hook through first edge st on front strip, then first edge st on back strip; draw st from back strip through st from front strip.

*Insert hook through next edge st on front strip, draw through st on hook. Insert hook through next st on back strip, draw through st on hook.

Repeat from * until all sts have been joined.

Use a yarn tail to secure the last st.

Sew in ends.


designernamespacer For Wannietta, knitting is more of a sport than a hobby. At Knit Out ’08, she came 3rd in the International Champions Speed Knitting competition and is a member of the Toronto Spiders who are 2-time World Champions in the International Back to Back Wool Challenge.

As a dedicated athlete she works out with the needles every day, and knitting for The Needle Emporium, designers and Amanda affords her plenty of opportunities to hone her skills. Too bad that knitting wasn’t more aerobic. She blogs when training permits.