Provided by Irene York – Knitting Basket & Karen Huntoon – What a Knit!
This “Knitting Technique” will teach you how to get started knitting patchwork or modular shells. There are endless opportunities for creativity through the use of yarns in a variety of colors and textures. This is another great way to use up your yarn stash!
The best way to learn about this super fun (and easy) technique is to pull out your stash and experiment. Once you get started, you’ll want to keep on going!
There are a variety of shells that you can knit, this tutorial shows one shell pattern to get you started!
- The patchwork or modular knit shells are knit individually; however they are joined as you knit. In other words, you won’t end up with a bunch of shells that you have to sew together at the end because the shells are joined while you are knitting.
- Seed Stitch:
Seed stitch can be worked on odd numbers of stitches as follows:
Row 1: Knit 1, *purl 1, knit 1*, repeat from * to * across row.
Repeat this row.
col – color
k2tog – knit 2 together
k3tog—knit 3 together
sl1p—slip 1 purlwise
sts – stitches
tbl—through back loop
wyib – with yarn in back
wyif—with yarn in front
Let’s get started:
All rows begin and end with edge stitches. You will start each row with k tbl (knit through back loop) and you will end each row wyif sl1p (with yarn in front, slip 1 purlwise).
Basic Shell instructions: (knit 2 individual shell units)
Row 1: with col A, cast on 33 sts
Row 2: with col A, k
Row 3: with col B, k1 tbl, k, end wyif sl1p
Row 4: k1 tbl, k, end wyif sl1p
Row 5: with col A, k1 tbl, *sl1 wyib, k1*, repeat from * to * across row, end wyif sl1p
Row 6: k1 tbl, *sl1 wyif, k1*, repeat from * to * across row end wyif sl1p
Row 7: repeat Row 3
Row 8: repeat Row 4
Row 9: repeat Row 5
Row 10: repeat Row 6
Row 11: with col B, k1 tbl, k, end wyif sl1p
Row 12: k2 tog across row, end wyif sl1p
Row 13: repeat Row 5
Row 14: repeat Row 6
Row 15: with col B, k1 tbl, k, end wyif sl1p
Row 16: k2tog tbl, *k1, k2tog*, repeat from * to *, end k2, wyif sl1p
Remaining rows are worked in Seed Stitch with color B (see seed stitch pattern above)
Row 17: k2tog tbl, work in pattern, end wyif sl1p
Row 18 – 23: k1 tbl, work in pattern, end wyif sl1p
Row 24 – 32: k2tog tbl at the beginning of each row until 3 sts remain, k3tog tbl, cut yarn & pull through loop
To start joining patchwork shells, you will first knit 2 shell units and then you will pick up stitches, for the 3rd shell, along the edges of shells #1 & #2(see diagram). Always work from the right side and when you are picking up stitches, go under two threads of edge stitch.
Row 1: with col A, pick up 17 sts along the left side of shell #1 (“A” to “B”) and 16 sts along the right side of shell #2 (“B” to “C”).
Rows 2 – 32: follow Basic Shell instructions
Ready for a project?
A great project for the modular or patchwork shell is Irene York’s Shell Purse. Click on the link to check out this great pattern. Patchwork Purse Collection #2.
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