Basic knitted fabrics


Basic knitted fabrics

A few types of knitted fabric are so fundamental, that they have been adopted as part of the language of knitting, similar to techniques such as yarn over or decrease. Examples include stockinette stitch, reverse stockinette stitch, garter stitch, seed stitch, faggoting, and tricot. In some cases, these fabrics appear differently on the right side (i.e., as seen when making the stitch) than on the wrong side (i.e., as seen from the other side, when the work is turned).

tockinette stitch and reverse stockinette stitch

Stockinette stitch (in the UK, Stocking Stitch) is the most basic knitted fabric; every stitch (as seen from the right side) is a knit stitch. In the round, stockinette stitch is produced by knitting every stitch; by contrast, in the flat, stockinette stitch is produced by knitting and purling alternate rows.

Stockinette-stitch fabric is very smooth and each column ("wale") resembles a stacked set of "V"'s. It has a strong tendency to curl horizontally and vertically because of the asymmetry of its faces.

Reverse stockinette stitch is produced in the same way as stockinette, except that the purl stitches are done on the right side and the knit stitches on the wrong side. In the round, reverse stockinette stitch is produced by purling every stitch.

Garter stitch

Garter stitch is the most basic form of welting (as seen from the right side). In the round, garter stitch is produced by knitting and purling alternate rows. By contrast, in the flat, garter stitch is produced by knitting every stitch (or purling every stitch, though this is much less common).

In garter-stitch fabrics, the "purl" rows stand out from the "knit" rows, which provides the basis for shadow knitting. Garter-stitch fabric has significant lengthwise elasticity and little tendency to curl, due to the symmetry of its faces.

eed stitch

Seed stitch is the most basic form of a basketweave pattern; knit and purl stitches alternate in every column ("wale") "and" every row ("course"). In other words, every knit stitch is flanked on all four sides (left and right, top and bottom) by purl stitches, and vice versa. Seed stitch is also known as Moss Stitch.

Seed-stitch fabrics lie flat; the symmetry of their two faces prevents them from curling to one side or the other. Hence, it makes an excellent choice for edging, e.g., the central edges of a cardigan. However, seed stitch is "nubbly", not nearly as smooth as stockinette.

Faggoting

Faggoting is a variation of lace knitting, in which every stitch is a yarn over or a decrease. There are several types of faggoting, but all are an extremely open lace similar to netting. Like most lace fabrics, faggoting has little structural strength and deforms easily, so it has little tendency to curl despite being asymmetrical. Faggoting is stretchy and open, and most faggoting stitches look the same on both sides, making them ideal for garments like lacy scarves or stockings. Knit faggoting is also named after a bundle of sticks or "faggot."

Tricot knitting

Tricot is a special case of warp knitting, in which the yarn zigzags vertically, following a single "column" ("wale") of knitting, rather than a single "row" ("course"), as is customary. Tricot and its relatives are very resistant to runs, and are commonly used in lingerie.

Other basic fabrics

Other classes of basic knitted fabrics include ribbing, welting and cables.

References

* June Hemmons Hiatt (1988) "The Principles of Knitting", Simon and Schuster, pp. 18-20. ISBN 0-671-55233-3
* cite book
last = Walker
first = Barbara G.
authorlink = Barbara G. Walker
coauthors =
title = A Treasury of Knitting Patterns
publisher = Schoolhouse Press
date = 1998
location = Pittsville, WI
pages = 184-187
url =
doi =
id = ISBN 0942018168


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