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How to Knit on the Bias

So it got cold, colder even and I'm flitting through the interweb looking for a fast knit to keep me amused and eventually to keep me warm. Then I got side tracked by all the pretty scarves until I came across a mobius scarf with bias knitting. Fabulous, a simple knit with stunning results!

The pattern in question is the Diagonal Striped Garter Stitch Loop by Churchmouse Yarns & Teas. If interested you can see my progress on this scarf in my stories on facebook.

So while I'm not showing you how to knit the scarf, you can easily go get your own pattern for that, I will show you how the bias structure works and how simple knitting on the bias can be.

It takes a few rows for the shape to become clear and then the results are just amazing!

Why knit on the bias?

As you can see from the photo the stripes/rows are diagonal to the main direction of the make. Bias means diagonal which gives the finished fabric, yes knitters do create fabric, is much stretchier than a standard across, back and forth, knit fabric.

Besides the new fabric texture the stitches are an easy way to add interest to an otherwise familiar item. Simple flat items, rather than shaped items are clothing suit bias knitting the best. Although a sweater with a flash of bias knitting would be pretty amazing.

As a beginner I would consider making a:

  • baby blanket

  • scarf

  • shawl

  • cowl

  • wrap

  • really simple make would be a dish cloth or pot stand.

If making a pot stand don't do it with acrylic yarn, not down to being a yarn snob I'm totally down with making acrylic items, but due to science. The pot stand will melt and you'll have a nasty smelly mess to clean up, no one wants that!

Bias Patterns for you to try out

The samples I make in the video are also available as real downloadable patterns for you, they're hanging out in the shop waiting to head on into your basket.

So How do I actually knit on the bias?

The technique comes down to increases and decreases strategically paired together at either end of the same row to create the shape you want to make. By increase you could opt for a kfb, yo or m1 and for decrease you could choose ssk (left lean) or k2tog (right lean).

For a scarf, wrap and some types of shawl you can create a simple parallelagram (a rectangle that looks like its been pushed over) by casting on then alternating a straight row with and increase/decrease (for a right lean), or a decrease/increase (for a left lean).

For a blanket shaped as a rhombus (or diamond standing on its point) you increase/increase until reaching maximum width where you then begin to decrease/decrease.

You can add a finishing border to create some stability or leave the stitches to speak for themselves.

I've created two free patterns to show the two main shapes and how to create them from scratch for that simple wash cloth I was talking about earlier and a placement.

I've been inspired to create some fast simple bias projects for you all. It's amazing what a little turning around can do to wake up a garter or stockinette based project. What do you say to some colourwork coming up soon?

Stay Safe,


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