Studio Contrechoc

design & textile & technology entries

Back to knit stitch basics: Comparing stitches

On the one side we already started experiment with real data on the other hand this is still quite a lot of properties to discover about the different stitches. So we went back to basics with a very simple basic image: (Rectangular image – built from black and white squares)


We  made a test knit in different stitches, Nordic, Skip stitch, Patent stitch, lace stitch and Jacquard. The differences were quite amazing. The basic image helped to filter out many interesting characteristics.

Nordic problem case:

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The image above done in Nordic double thread technique (on one bed) becomes a mess, because the very vertical seperation of the big squares. When the image is not under tension anymore it seems to have holes in the structure.

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Adding the diagonal is a normal trick in Nordic knitting, the purpose is to reduce the long free threads at the back, and it can fix the problem of the structure falling apart. Of course this reduces the bigger shapes, there are always lines in front.

Also the other stitches are asking for a different translations of this basic image, filling in either the white or the black squares. The fill pattern of course can be varied more.


This image above is used for Jacquard stitch, also using two threads:

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The Jacquard knit is dense and feels heavy, like the Middle Ages must have felt 🙂

The patent stitch is working on one wire, with delaying wires to be bound. This can be put to an extreme, where the threads  falls over the needle, which is not done here.

The patent stitch in the square forms a nice hexagon:

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patent stitch backside: hexagons

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patent stitch front side: this is purl and knit alternated. The patent is very stretchy and feels light (compared to the Jacquard knit). Remarkable is also the deformation due to different tensions, hich can be seen in the meandering line between the squares.


used for lace and skip stitch.

The skip stitch in squares show very well that the length is reduced, because the squares are under tension and transformed in the tension of the textile at the knitter:

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2014-10-15 10.16.50 lace under tension

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without tension, there is a big difference between front and back side, whicj could be enhanced or diminished by the choice of the second – cotrast yarn, depending on color and thickness. (The idea of the lace knit is that this second yarn is very thin.)


In the end all the stitches were done in one longer piece of textile: This has the advantage that at least one of the threads – yellow here –  is kept constant for comparing. The effects are also very dependent on the choice of the yarn. But added to that the way to fill in the pattern parts (either black or white in the pixel image) will further influence the outcome. The fill’s chosen for these basics  are only showing the first step. In the fill’s you can go further in creating relief and structure but this pixels structure has to be done very specific to each stitch to avoid knitting disasters.

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