Knitting stitches – Blue bell

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve started a new project. It really started when I pulled a well-loved book out of the bookcase. I was given this book 27 years ago and I find it a brilliant reference. It covers sewing and knitting as well as crocheting, embroidering, macrame, tatting and rug making.

It lists 166 different knitting stitiches. That is about 160 more than I ever use, which got me thinking.  How can I try out these stitches? If I used some of these stitches to knit a jumper, then it would be too bulky to wear. Well, for me to wear. Maybe the children. Also, I’m not sure if I’d want to commit making a jumper using one of these stitches. I’d end up frogging it after a few rows once I realised that life is too short to knit that stitch.

Then I had an idea. I could knit a patchwork blanket. I used to have a knitted blanket when I was little, knitted by an ancient relation and I loved it. Now I could use a different stitch for each square. It would use up my stash of odd bits of wool, it would be a functional piece and give me the opportunity to try out new stitches.

These stitches take concentration. The wooden train track keeps the book open and marks my place on the page. It also provides the perfect ridge for my row counter. I need all the help I can get.

I’m aiming to knit 49 squares. It is going to be a long term project, but I’m patient. I’m going to stick to DK (8ply) wool. Casting on 40 stitches and using size 4.5mm needles. By the end, I hope to find at least one stitch that I could use for  a jumper. I’ll post each square up as I complete them, with the knitting notes and whether I ever want to knit it again.

Here’s the first square. It is called the bell pattern and it reminds me of blue bells. I liked knitting this one and it was medium easy to knit, but it really falls into the too bulky for a jumper category.

It is one that I would like to find another project to knit it eventually. Any ideas?

Blue Bell square

Cast on 41 stitches.

Abbreviation: P (purl), K (Knit), Yo ( yarn over), K2tog (knit 2 stitches together), psso (pass slipped stitch over the knitted stitch), s1s (slip one stitch)

repeat the stitches between the pair of *s until the end of the row or the last few stitches.

Row 1: P2, *K1, P5,* K1, P2

Row 2: K2, *P1, K5,* P1, K2

Row 3: P5, *Yo, K1, Yo, P5*

Row 4: K5, *P3, K5*

Row 5: p5, *K3, P5*

Row 6: repeat row 4

Row 7: repeat row 5

Row 8: repeat row 4

Row 9: P5, *s1s,  K2tog,  psso,  P5*

Row 10: K5, * P1, K5*

Row 11: P5, *K1, P5*

Row 12: repeat row 10

Row 13: P2 * Yo, K1, Yo, P5,* Yo, K1, Yo, P2

Row 14: K2, *P3, K5,* P3, K2

Row 15: P2, *K3, P5,* K3, P2

Row 16: repeat row 14

Row 17: repeat row 15

Row 18: repeat row 14

Row 19: P2, *s1s,  K2tog,  psso, P5* s1s, K2tog,  psso, P2

Row 20: repeat row 2

I repeated these twenty rows two and a half times to make the square.

Joining in with Natural Surburbia’s Creative Friday. Pop over and have a look at the long list of creative ideas.

12 thoughts on “Knitting stitches – Blue bell

  • Saturday 5 February, 2011 at 6:28 am

    What a great idea to try out all those knitting patterns and if one is really tricky, at least you know you haven’t got a whole garment to make. It’s also a great way to use up your odds and ends of wool as you say.
    I’m looking forward to seeing each square as it is completed. It will be an awesome blanket when it’s finished.
    Have a great weekend,
    Anne xx

    • Saturday 5 February, 2011 at 11:47 am

      With so many different stitches, I’m hoping it will be eye-catching at the end. I think it may be quite heavy, so nearer the time I might have to reduce the number of squares. Maybe making a smaller blanket as well. I’m bound to learn something on the way!

      Enjoy your weekend.

  • Saturday 5 February, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Oh, I LOVE it!!! I’ve been dreaming about knitting a blanket myself. I started one with long rectangular strips, but it got a “bit” overwhelming and unenjoyable. Then I thought “squares!!!”, just the thing to keep my albeit short attention span, and a great way to learn some new knitting patterns!
    Keep it up! I can’t wait to see your finished project!
    xo maureen

    • Monday 7 February, 2011 at 12:37 am

      It is the perfect project to pick up whenever I have a spare moment. Also, before, there was little opportunity for me to try some of these stitches. Now I think they would add interest to sleeves or the bottom of garments. So many interesting patterns. I may have problems limiting myself to 49.

  • Sunday 6 February, 2011 at 12:23 am

    I wish I could get my head around knitting – I’ve tried more than once, but seeing as I am ‘cack-handed’ I have accepted (relatively) gracefully that I can’t do it and stick to crochet!!

    • Monday 7 February, 2011 at 12:40 am

      I can just about crochet now, but I prefer to knit. I started a granny square blanket last year. It wouldn’t cover my knees. Maybe I will feel more enthusiastic after I’ve finished the knitted version. Hope you get a chance to retry knitting.

  • Sunday 6 February, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Ahhh, this whole post and the colors remind me of spring.

    • Monday 7 February, 2011 at 12:47 am

      Its just round the corner. I can almost smell it! I’m just grabbing the first dk wool out of my mountain of odd wool, so no theme intended. Have to wait to see if the end product has any discernible theme! 🙂

  • Tuesday 6 December, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Hi Cheryl, I’ve been wanting to improve my knitting skills for some time now and decided, like you, that a blanket would be the perfect way to learn new stitches without getting bored. I was really happy when I came across your blog as I couldn’t find many complete patterns and lots of patterns I found for individual squares seems to use different numbers of stitches or different thickness of wool (I’m not very experienced so wasn’t sure if these could be converted etc?). I’ve bought a copy of the book you refer to but could only find a few posts on your blog referring to the squares that you made (maybe I’m not looking properly?). Could you let me know the names of some of the stitches that you found worked well as squares so that I can look them up in the book? Thanks.
    I love your blog by the way – you seem to be a complete domestic godess! I don’t know how you have time for it all! Rachel

    • Wednesday 7 December, 2011 at 11:31 am

      Hi rachel, My knitted square blanket is still a wip. I’ll be adding more after Christmas. I have completed 15 of them, although checking back through my postings, I see I have not posted all of them. If you click on the knitted blanket tag at the bottom of one of the knitted squares posts, you should find the ones I have posted. My book is out with a friend at the moment, but when its back I’ll check the names for you.

      I’m glad you have found something helpful on my blog. Wish I had more time to make and bake. Believe me, I have to squeeze in some making every day, but it has to fit around everything else!

  • Friday 2 May, 2014 at 7:17 am

    I love this! Not good with blogs so thought I’d rather ask than try to search your blog:
    Is your blanket done? And what size is each square?

    Best wishes,


    • Friday 2 May, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Check out the post to see the finished blanket. It is now in use and is very popular with all the family. I’ve just taken the ruler and measured. The blanket has been washed several times and is in constant use, so it may have stretched a bit, but the squares are about 8″ or 20cm in size.

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