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PUFF STITCH IS CREATIVE WAY TO TAKE A RIBBING

PUFF STITCH IS CREATIVE WAY TO TAKE A RIBBING

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Most of us never think of ribbing for sweaters as anything but the traditional knit 1, purl 1 or knit 2, purl 2 types, but ribbings can be decorative as well. The puff stitch ribbing used in today's featured sweater is a beautiful example of a decorative rib.

To try it, cast on 23 stitches (or any multiple of 3 plus 2). Before going on with the pattern stitch, I'll remind you that the stitch multiple means that you cast on any number of stitches evenly divisible by the first number given, and then cast on the last number given only once.Puff rib, row 1: (A) purl 2; (B) yarnover, knit 1, yarnover, purl 2. Repeat Step B to end of the row. Notice that the stitch count increases on this row. Row 2: (A) knit 2; (B) purl 3, knit 2. Repeat Step B to end of the row. Row 3: (A) Purl 2; (B) knit 3, purl 2. Repeat Step B to end of the row. Row 4: (A) Knit 2; (B) purl 3 together, knit 2. Repeat Step B to end of the row. Stitch count decreases on this row, so you are now back to the original number of stitches. Repeat these four rows over and over for desired length.

Then there is the lacy mock cable ribbing. To try it, cast on 22 stitches or any multiple of 5 plus 2 stitches. Row 1 (right side): (A) Purl 2; (B) slip 1 stitch, knit 2; (C) pass the slipped stitch off the needle over the two knitted stitches. Repeat steps A through C across until 2 stitches remain; end with purl 2. Each time you pass the slipped stitch over, you are decreasing 1, so at the end of the row you will have one less stitch for each cable rib or - in this example - 4 less, for a total of 18 stitches on the needle.

Row 2: (A) Knit 2; (B) purl 1, yarnover, purl 1. When you work a yarnover between 2 purl stitches, your yarn will already be in front. Wrap the yarn around the right needle counterclockwise and back to the front to complete the yarnover.

Repeat Steps A and B across until 2 stitches remain; end with knit 2. Each yarnover adds a stitch, so you will be back to your original 22 stitches.

Row 3: (A) Purl 2, knit 2. Repeat Step A across, ending row with purl 2. Row 4: (A) Knit 2, purl 2. Repeat Step A across, ending row with knit 2. Repeat these four rows for desired length.

On the same swatch of 22 stitches, try the baby cable, which creates a firmer ribbing. When you are using it on a larger piece, cast on any multiple of 4 plus 2.

Row 1: (A) Knit 2; (B) purl 2, knit 2. Repeat Step B across row. Row 2: (A) Purl 2: (B) knit 2, purl 2. Repeat Step B across row. Row 3: Work same as Row 1.

Row 4: (A) Purl 2; (B) knit 2 together, but leave them on the left needle; insert the right needle between the 2 stitches just knitted together and knit the first of these 2 stitches again, this time slipping the stitches off the needle together; (C) purl 2. Repeat Steps B and C across row.

Because of the large volume of mail she receives, Pat is unable to answer your letters personally. However, she welcomes all questions and hints, and will use those of general interest in the column whenever possible.

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