Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

05 January 2008

Brioche Stitch Knitted on a Double Rake

or Why I Consider Brioche a Form of Double Knitting

The first time I ever tried brioche stitch was as Pattern 23 in Sampler M. At the time, I remember thinking, "This feels like something you could knit on a double rake."

Well, it's winter, and not much to do outside besides rake the roof and shovel snow. So after Christmas, I pulled out some scrap yarn and my homemade double rake and played around until I figured out how to knit the brioche stitch on my homemade double-rake knitting board.

Specifications: the two rows of wire brads are currently spaced using washers 13/16ths of an inch apart (about 21 mm) from center to center. On each board, they are 1/4 inch apart from center to center, but since I'm using every other one, 1/2 inch apart.

Cast on, then use the following wrapping pattern:

Wrap with color A. Knit off (lift over) only one side or rake.

*Wrap with color B. (Now one side has three loops and the other side has two.) Knit off the bottom two loops on the side with three loops. Leave the side with two loops alone.

Wrap with color A, and lift over the bottom two loops on the side with three loops.*

Repeat from * to *. (Yes, you can use just one color.)
Just for fun, and because I hadn't tried two colors on needles, I tried using cream yarn and a variegated yarn in my swatch. That's even more fun than a single color, since you get knit-stitch stripes of one color on one side, and knit-stitch stripes of the other on the other side. Cool!

Looking down on the boards, on the left, I have just wrapped and lifted over the variegated yarn. On the right, I've just wrapped but not lifted over the cream yarn. Notice that I have three layers of yarn, cream/variegated/cream. I'll be knitting off the bottom two layers on this side.

This is how the other side of the board looks. On the left, you can see that I only have two layers of yarn, with the variegated on the bottom. This side will not get knitted off during this pass.

The right photo shows how the white side looks after I knit those bottom two loops off: cream stitches on the peg, with a cream loop and a variegated one around their necks.

Now for a variegated wrap. On the variegated side, the loops are variegated/cream/variegated on each peg.

On the cream side [right photo], only two loops: the cream one I just made on the bottom, and the new variegated wrap on the top. This time this side gets left alone.

And here we are, almost back where I started, with a variegated layer knit off except for the last two stitches. (I'm right handed, but Left Hand is holding the crochet hook in place while Right Hand takes its picture. Smile, Left Hand!)

If you would like to see how this works on needles, FuchsiaLucia is using brioche rib (two color brioche) to knit a scarf.

It's a little more complicated to knit the two color brioche rib on needles, since instead of the YO, slip 1, k2tog of regular one-color brioche, you end up having to YO, slip and purl 2 together. But it's pretty easy (and very striking!) on a double rake.

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Blogger Lucia said...

Hey, thanks for the linky goodness back atcha! I'll have to try that rake stuff sometime, but I think I'll stick to needles for now :).

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey- glad you posted this. you had answered my question about it in the yahoo loom group. for some reason, i am thinking this will make a really cool baby blanket. thanks, heather

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi my name is peyla and you have helped me before. but im crazy to know where to get one. found out i have osteo arthritis very badly in my hands and think i might manage it. I already have the plastic ones at joanns fabrics and hobby lobby.then bought a wooden rake from somewhere on the net. but this is wonderful double knitting on the one you bought.thanks peylaharley@columbus.rr.com

3:35 PM  
Blogger Alwen said...

The double rake shown in the pictures is one I designed and lassoed my dad into helping me make.

I bought and marked the wood -- he has a drill press and drilled pilot holes for the wire brads I used. I carefully tapped them all in, using a piece of wood as a stop to help make them all the same height.

A drill press gave him straight holes, and equal-depth holes. I tried hand-drilling some on scrap wood, and they staggered all over like a line of electric poles after a tornado!

2:38 PM  

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