Our Greenwood Shawl KAL has been going strong for a week and a half, and there’s been a lot of great progress on everyone’s shawls. In the process of knitting the first leaf section, I had a question about working the yarnover before the purl stitch.
If you’re an English-style knitter (or “thrower”) like me—meaning you knit with the yarn held in your right hand—working a yarnover before a purl stitch may not be the most intuitive thing to do. I’ve done a video showing two ways to work a yarnover before a purl stitch; written instructions follow the video.
(If you knit Continental style, or with your left hand, and want some help with this, let me know! There was much discussion in the office about this when we discovered that the purpose for this video didn’t make sense to the Continental knitters in the room.)
Method 1: Work in pattern to the beginning of the leaf stitch. Yarnover and knit the next stitch (I take a shortcut and just knit into the next stitch while the yarn is still in front of the work).
Bring the yarn to the front of the work, wrap it around the right needle tip, and then back to the front of the work. Purl the next stitch.
On the wrong side, you’ll simple work to the yarnover, purl that stitch and the next two, and then continue working down the row.
Method 2: Work in pattern to the beginning of the leaf stitch. Yarnover and knit the next stitch.
Bring the yarn to the front of the work, do not wrap the yarn around the needle, purl the next stitch.
On the wrong side, work to the center leaf stitch (it will be a purl stitch after 6 knit stitches). Lift up the bar between the stitch you just worked (the one that’s now on the right needle) and the first stitch on the left needle. Place it on the left needle, and purl that stitch.
Each method has pros and cons—Method 1 works the yarnover as you go, so you don’t have to remember to pick it up on the wrong side. But it also, in my experience, leaves a yarnover that’s much larger than the first one we worked, because there’s more yarn wrapping around the needle in the process of making the yarnover.
Method 2 results in same size eyelets on either side of the knit stitch, but you have to pay a little more attention to the knitting on the wrong side to make sure you remember to pick up that bar and make the eyelet.
I’m curious to hear if either of these methods help you, or if you have another trick to working eyelets before a purl stitch.
Another thing that’s come up in our Ravelry group discussion is the number of stitches after the decrease rows. In the first pass of the pattern rows, you don’t start decreasing until Row 27, but you’re decreasing every 4th row after that—including decreasing in the leaf pattern section, where you are also doing some slight increases. To help people stay on track, I wrote out the number of stitches you should have at the end of every RS row.
Rows 1–26, first pass: 138 stitches (3 stitches at the edge, 132 main body stitches, 3 stitches at the other edge)
Row 27, first pass: 137 stitches
Row 31 — 136
Row 35 — 135
Row 39 — 134
Row 43 — 133
Row 47 — 132
Row 51 — 131
Row 55 — 130
Row 59 — 129
Row 63 — 128
Row 67 — 127
Row 71 — 126
Row 75 — 125 total stitches, or 119 stitches between the edge stitches.
Row 9, second time, you increase 32 stitches (all yarnovers), for a total of 157 stitches
Row 11, second time, you increase another 32 stitches (all yarnovers) but decrease one stitch at the edge, so you’ll have a total of 188 stitches.
Row 13, second time, you increase another 32 stitches, for a total of 220 stitches.
Row 15, second time, you increase another 32 stitches but decrease one stitch at the edge; total 251 stitches.
Row 17, second time, you decrease 32 stitches; 219 stitches
Row 19, second time, decrease 32 stitches and also decrease one stitch at the edge; 186 stitches.
Row 21, second time, decrease 32 stitches; 154 stitches
Row 23, second time, decrease 32 stitches and also decrease one stitch at the edge; 121 total stitches.
Row 27, decrease 1 stitch; 120 sts.
Row 31 — 119
Row 35 — 118
Row 39 — 117
Row 43 — 116
Row 47 — 115
Row 51 — 114
Row 55 — 113
Row 59 — 112
Row 63 — 111
Row 67 — 110
Row 71 — 109
Row 75 — 108 total stitches, or 102 stitches between the edge stitches.
You’ll keep working in this pattern of decreasing every 4th row until you have the end number of stitches.
And here’s my progress update, after working through Row 26! I’m having a fun time with this pattern. Be sure to share photos of your in-progress Greenwood Shawl and either share a link in the comments below, or use the hashtag #GreenwoodKAL on social media.