As I mentioned yesterday, one of the ways in which helical stripes differ from traditional stripes is that they make the fabric slant. The more rounds you have in your stripe pattern, and the smaller the circumference of your knitting, the more the stripes appear to slant in the fabric. I absolutely love the effect this gives when you push it as far as you can, and I struggle to see how else you would achieve this look in your knitting.
In my Andrade cowl I decided to see how many rounds of stripes I could have going at once, and still have it be a manageable experience. I was surprised at the results. In the past I’ve generally said that once you have more than about 4 rounds on the go it gets daft to manage, but I now officially retract that statement! Andrade has 14 balls of yarn creating 14 helices of stitches, and thanks to the grey “normal knitting” that frames the helical section you can really see how this works! And what’s more, it was so straightforward to knit, that I worked on it whilst walking round the local agricultural show!
The Andrade cowl is of course the design that is shown on the cover of Something New to Learn About Helical Knitting, as I was working on it on the day of the main photoshoot for this collection. We’d been struggling with how to convey helical knitting on the cover – unlike with cables and lace, the technique isn’t always evident in the finished product. They just look like stripes! Happily, this in progress shot does a great job of making people wonder what it’s all about, and thus it’s perfect for the cover.
As long as you have sufficient stitches in your round that you can actually knit a few before you do your next helical yarn change, you can work with as many helices as you like. The yarns don’t tangle as you work, they just twist together, so each time you pass the start of the round marker if you turn your work through 360° they happily untwist. And it is SO. MUCH. FUN!
If you fancy trying your hand at full-on helical fun, then grab an Andrade cowl kit from our online shop (£65.00) and a copy of the Something New to Learn About Helical Knitting ebook (£13.99). If you ask me nicely, I might even share the totally daft video I have of myself wearing this whilst sliding on a helical slide…
All images in this post are © Jesse Wild, our awesome photographer.