Stacked Stitch Magic in Handspun Hope
by Ann Weaver
I first saw Xandy Peters’s design Hands Entwined at Vogue Knitting Live NYC, and I bought three skeins of Handspun Hope wool to accompany the skein I already had from String Theory to make it. I had to wait a few weeks while Xandy finalized the pattern, but it was worth it.
The stacked stitch construction is like magic!
If you haven’t worked stacked stitches before, don’t be intimidated! I have a few tips, some from my experience and some from Xandy herself.
Tip #1- watch the video
Xandy has a video tutorial on creating stacked increases. It’s an awkward process, but if you watch the video and then follow the pattern exactly as written, it’s not difficult.
Tip #2- Use a LONG needle
Use a long circular needle with a flexible cord. You can see how my stitches are bunching up on my needle in the photo below. This is several rows into the stacked increase section; they were far bunchier on earlier rows. I’m using a 24-inch ChiaoGoo lace needle now, but I’m changing to a 40-inch ChiaoGoo bamboo needle for the next section. I’ve found that the clear cords are the most flexible.
Tip #3- It gets easier
Be patient. The increase rows are very slow. Things get progressively easier, and suddenly you have an amazing fabric that will make your friends and family say, “What IS that?” (This is a direct quote from my mom.)
Stop by String Theory to see the finished sample and to pick up yarn for your next adventure.
Hands Entwined is a scarf pattern designed for Handspun Hope, an organization which employs marginalized women and widows in Rwanda. These women hand card, spin and dye organic merino, transforming it from raw wool into knittable yarn. The stacked stitch colorwork in this scarf reminds me of interlocked fingers. It tells the story of handmade materials turned into handknit goods. Xandy Peters