I’ve been home sick for a few days, and being couch or bed bound has been great for my Coraline cardigan. I’ve had to learn how to do the smocking stitch that forms the yoke. In doing so, I’ve looked around a lot for tutorials and there aren’t many. I’ve found myself trying to explain to friends how I’m doing it so I thought a picture tutorial would be a good idea.
Here’s Ysolda’s finished cardigan. I’m about three repeats into the lower part of the yoke. The smocking stitch seemed daunting at first until I realised it’s really just cabling.
Here’s how it’s done. I did see a tutorial online for a way that involves manually creating the crossed over stitches with a wool needle and yarn which looked pretty cool but I’m rather taken with the idea of knitting it.
First it’s a pattern created over a P4 K1 base. You’re simply changing the order of the stitches which, if you know how to cable, is nothing new.
Begin by picking up the first knit stitch and bringing it forward on a cable needle or spare double pointed needle.
Next, slip the next four purl stitches across to the right hand needle without knitting them.
Pick up the next knit stitch and hold it on the cable needle.
Then you will slip the four purl stitches back to where they began, on the left hand needle, ready to work them.
To create the crossover, you’ll wrap the two stitches on the cable needle together in an anti-clockwise motion. I’ve found wrapping them very firmly gives the best effect.
From there, knit the first of the two stitches onto the right hand needle, leaving the second knit stitch on the cable needle.
Purl the next four stitches as normal and when that’s done, knit the remaining stitch off the cable needle onto the right hand needle.
And now you have a very nice section of smocking.
It’s quite fun, if a little slow and fiddly. But I’m getting plenty of opportunity to speed up because the rows of this cardigan are SO long! I’ll be wearing this cardigan in a week so I hope!