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CONVERTING FLAT STITCH PATTERNS FOR KNITTING IN THE ROUND A TUTORIAL BY SAPPHIRES-N-PURLS

Any stitch pattern can be converted from flat to round knitting. Some stitches are easy and don¶t require much effort. Others, however, will require you to use a little more brain power. I recommend rewriting the pattern for knitting in the round, instead of just looking at the instructions for working the stitch flat and doing the conversion in your head as you go. It is easy to get confused, particularly if the stitch pattern is a complicated one. Below you will find instructions for converting stitch patterns for knitting in the round, as well as a few sample stitches to get you started. Instructions are given for both flat and round knitting so you can see how the changes are made. You can find a free hat pattern using Star Stitch on the Sapphires-n-Purls blog, along with a video on this topic. Please visit: http://www.sapphiresnpurls.blogspot.com It is much easier to convert a stitch pattern for knitting in the round than you may think. In fact, there are really only two major steps you have to take, with a few exceptions, of course! 1. First, delete any edge stitches For example, if your stitch pattern tells you to ³Cast on a multiple of 5 plus 4´, simply omit the ³plus 4´. You will only need to cast on any multiple of 5. In flat knitting, the ³plus´ stitches even out the edges of the pattern; in circular knitting you are knitting in a continuous spiral, and have no side edges. So the extra stitches are not necessary ± you need only the number of stitches required to make the pattern. This way, your pattern will flow smoothly without interruption. You typically see instructions that look like this: K/P ____*K__, P___* . Repeat from * to last ____ stitches, K/P ____ (the blanks represent any number) For round knitting, you can ignore instructions before and after the * The exception is when you have a differing number of edge stitches given in the instructions. Let¶s say in the first right side row, your pattern has a K4 before the *, and the next right side row has a K6 before the *. In the first right side row, you will be deleting 4 extra stitches, so in the next right side row, you would only need to delete the same 4 stitches. If you were to delete the two extra stitches (4 + 2 = 6), your pattern would not be correct. 2. Second, change wrong side rows to right side rows

In flat knitting, you work back and forth, and both the right and wrong sides of the fabric face you. In round knitting, the right side of the fabric is always facing you. This means that you need to work the wrong side rounds as if they were right side rounds. On wrong side rounds, knits become purls and purls become knits. Let¶s start with something easy here. Garter Stitch Flat: As you know, garter stitch has no wrong side, both the front and back look the same. But for our purposes, lets say that Row 1 is the ³right´ side and row 2 is the ³wrong´ side. Row 1: Knit all stitches (Right Side) Row 2: Knit all stitches (Wrong Side) Garter Stitch Round: Round 1: Knit all stitches (Right side, worked the same as flat) Round 2: Purl all stitches (Wrong side, so must be worked opposite of flat) Now let¶s take a look at Stocking or Stockinette Stitch. Worked Flat: Row 1: Knit all stitches (Right Side) Row 2: Purl all stitches (Wrong Side) If you want to knit stockinette stitch in the round, you will simply knit, and knit, and knit forever. No purling! A few other points to remember: In flat knitting, the right side rows are worked from right to left, and the wrong side rows are worked from left to right. If you knit from charts, you are familiar with this. In round knitting, you are always working from right to left, as the right side of the fabric is always facing. So if you choose a stitch pattern that is bisymmetrical (the right hand edge is the same as the left hand edge but in reverse) then it will be easy to do in the round. You can just read the pattern as given for the wrong side, working the knits as purls, and vice versa of course. There may be occasion, however, when you will need to work the wrong side backwards ± from end to beginning instead of beginning to end. This means if you have a stitch pattern that in some way goes off center, and is not bisymmetrical, you will need to work those wrong side rows backwards so that the pattern looks correct.

In round knitting, you typically have a stitch marker to show you where the beginning/end of the round is. If you are working on a pattern that works up on the diagonal, you are most likely going to run into a round where the stitch marker happens to be in between two stitches that need to be worked together. What to do is simple: remove the marker so you can work the stitches together. For example, if your pattern is telling you to ³K2tog, YO´, you would just slip a stitch off the needle, remove the marker, replace the stitch on the needle, work the K2tog, and put the marker back on the needle. Next, work the yarn over, and keep on knitting. Your stitch marker will be back in the correct position, no need to worry. (You will see in Star Stitch how the marker must be removed in order to make one of the µstars¶.) What if you are slipping stitches, holding the yarn in front/back of the fabric? The same rule of doing the opposite would apply to the wrong side rounds. For example, if your wrong side row for the flat pattern is telling you to slip the stitch with the yarn held at the back of the work, when working the pattern in the round you would simply hold the yarn in the front. If you are working with cables, and your wrong side row tells you to knit the knits and purl the purls, your wrong side rounds will be worked the same way. You can even convert lace patterns as well! A yarn over is still a yarn over. If you have a left slanting decrease (SSK) in the wrong side row of your flat pattern, you would simply change this to a P2tog tbl (Purl 2 together through the back loop) on the wrong side round. I know this all must sound very confusing, particularly if you are new to knitting. I am not a new knitter, and even though I have changed a number of stitch patterns from flat to round, half the time I am left scratching my head before I get it right. The best advice I can give is to just get out your yarn and needles, and go for it. Knit a flat swatch so you can get familiar with the pattern and you know what your fabric is supposed to look like. Then give it a try in the round. Pay attention to your stitches ± they will help guide you! And if you don¶t get it the first time, try again. I had to frog and start over many times while working on the Star Struck hat. Each mistake is a lesson to learn from. Don¶t get discouraged! I also recommend using a cheap yarn to practice with. That way, if you do have to rip out and start over, you aren¶t causing wear and tear on the nice yarn you plan to use for your project! Now, here are a few stitches to get you started. Instructions are given for both flat and round knitting. I like to do my round tests on DPN¶s rather than circular needles, because I don¶t have to cast on nearly as many stitches as I would have to cast on if I knit my test swatches on circular needles!

BEADED RIB: Flat: Cast on: Multiple of 5+2 1: P2 *K1,P1,K1,P2* 2: K2 *P3,K2* Round: Cast on: Multiple of 5 1: *K1,P1,K1,P2* 2: *K3,P2*

VERTICAL BARS: Flat: Cast on: Multiple of 4+2 1: P2 *K2,P2* 2: K2 *WYIB SL2 PWISE, K2* Round: Cast on: Multiple of 4 1: *K2,P2* 2: *WYIF SL2 PWISE, P2* BAMBOO STITCH: Flat: Cast on: Multiple of 14+9 1 and all odd Rows: P2 *K5,P2* 2: K9 *P5,K9* 4 and 8: K2 *P5,K2* 6: K2, P5 *K9,P5* K2

Round: Cast on: Multiple of 14 1 and all odd Rounds: *K5,P2* 2: P7,K5 *P9,K5* P2 4 and 8: *K5,P2* 6: *K5,P9*

STAR STITCH: Flat: Cast on: Multiple of 4 +1 To make the Stars, Purl 3 stitches together, leaving stitches on left needle; make a Yarn Over, and Purl the same 3 stitches together again, and then drop off left needle Row 1: Knit all stitches (Right side of fabric) Row 2: P1, *Make Star, P1* Repeat from * to end Row3: Knit all stitches Row 4: P3, Make Star, *P1, Make Star* Repeat from * to last 3 stitches, P3

Round Cast on: Multiple of 4 To make the stars in the round - Knit 3 stitches together, leaving stitches on the left needle, Yarn Over, and Knit the same 3 stitches together again and drop from the left needle

Round 1: Knit all stitches Round 2: *Make Star, K1* - continue to end of round Round 3: Knit all stitches Round 4: Knit 2 *Make star, Knit 1* - continue to end of round. (You will only be knitting two at the beginning of this round. In all other instances, you will only knit 1) You will end the round by making a star; you will see that you have two stitches before your stitch marker, and one after the stitch marker. Slip two stitches to the right needle (slip purlwise so the stitches are not twisted), remove your stitch marker, and slip the two stitches back to the left needle. Now, make your star, and then slip one stitch back to the left needle, place the marker on the right needle. The marker will be back in the same position it was before you removed it to make the star and will correctly mark the end/beginning of the round. Don¶t forget to get your free hat pattern from the blog! Happy Knitting!