The unsung heroes of knitting…
We visit two of knitting’s cleverest characters today, both of which are crucial to this project. Behold the Kitchener stitch and the i-cord.
Sock knitters–especially the top-down variety, have probably made friends with the Kitchener stitch by now. I was first introduced to it by the esteemed Elizabeth Zimmermann, who needs no more introduction than the initials EZ in most yarn circles. In the cheeky tone for which she was famous, EZ called it “the dreaded Kitchener stitch.” I suppose that forced me to approach it with the reverence it is due–for it is a dandy little trick–but it also wasn’t anywhere near as dreadful as EZ made it sound. A bit counter-intuitive perhaps, but when explained well, it’s not too bad. One of my favorite explanations came in our Crafty Hands Fingering Weight Socks pattern (from Bowling Green KY and known for introducing us to the tiny Hiya-Hiya circs). It’s particular virtue is that if done correctly, it disappears into a seamless join of two pieces of knitting. In short, it’s how our little bag gets its bottom. I’m still in search of a rhyme or poem that can help me remember the four-part sequence without having to look it up all the time.
I-cord is a wonderful thing. I’m convinced that had I time to whip all the left-over yarn in my stash into i-cord, I’d never need to buy another yard of ribbon. Essentially three stitches knit into a column by two dpn’s, i-cord can be trim, drawstring (as it is in this case), edging, and there’s even a trick for using it to bind two pieces of knitting together if you’d like your seam to stand out instead of disappear.
Ha! Did you see that? I made our two subjects relate to each other. Us authors can do clever idea-wrangling like that.
We’re close to the finish line on this one. Remember to leave a comment so you can win!