“Into the Unknown” (2022 theme) strongly features slipped stitch cable designs. As my 40th birthday release is quickly approaching, I thought you would all like a peek behind the curtain to see the process and the development of this super fun technique.
“Guide to Slipped Stitch Cables” is a mini-series for the next couple of blogs, beginning with “Slipping Behind the Curtain”.
With the release of Shadowlands last year, I needed to come up with some new charting and glossary terms. The technique is a bit like brioche and a bit like mosaic and so the challenge was how to effectively chart designs where you had a two-color garter stitch background and two color slipped motif foreground. I headed to my designers and my TEs asked around their circles and this is what we came up with… well, almost.
The Garter Background
MC Rows are white and knit
CC Rows are colored and purled
The Garter background is the base for all the motifs to float upon, or in another sense, the base fabric.
The Motif Stitches
Motif stitches are those stitches that are worked on top of the Garter background. Using the slipped stitch method that is so common in socks and shawls, alike, but with a bit of a twist.
Both colors, MC and CC, create their own motifs! These motifs may intersect, like in Shadowlands, or bounce between completely separate and intersecting, like in the bottom border of Love Letters Cowl, run parallel, like in Vertical Hiker, or be completely separate like the mountains and sun in Optimistic Elevations.
Both MC & CC motif stitches are always either knit or slipped to keep them in the foreground of the design. (Note: with CC when the motif disappears, like on the curve of the heart, then that stitch “loses” it’s “motif status” and returns to following the Garter rules.)
One designer had a great deal of influence in how I chose to graphically represent the motif stitches – a huge thanks to Barbara Benson and her strong mosaic background!
The philosophy here is the colors track with the motifs over the background base fabric. So, if you see a green box on a white MC row, you know that stitch is a slipped motif stitch in CC color. If you see a white box on a green CC row, you know that stitch is a slipped motif stitch in MC color. The whole motif design will be traceable stitch by stitch over the top of the garter stitch background.
Stay tuned for the next blog in the series where we get into expanding the technique by adding more stitches to the cable designs and the hiccups it caused!