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Knitting For Dummies Cheat Sheet

How to Knit on the Bias

Knitting on the bias may sound as if it’s some crazy new knitting technique, but it’s actually just a simple way of shaping a project so that it leans diagonally. Simply put, to knit on the bias is to knit diagonally rather than up and down or side to side. By knitting an increase and a decrease at precise points in a project, you begin to shape the fabric diagonally. Knitting on the bias is fun and relatively easy and renders a fabric that’s pleasing to the eye.

The basic instructions to knit on the bias are as follows; your fabric will lean to the left:

  1. RS: Work an increase at the beginning of the row and a corresponding decrease on the opposite end of the same row.

  2. WS: Work in pattern without shaping.

To have the bias lean to the right, just reverse the shape:

  1. RS: Work a decrease at the beginning of the row and a corresponding increase at the opposite end of the same row.

  2. WS: Work in pattern without shaping.

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These samples show bias knitting in garter and stockinette stitch, but you can work any pattern stitch on the bias. Just remember that as the stitches get increased at the edge, you’ll have more stitches than needed to complete your pattern repeat at that edge. The opposite is true for the decrease; you’ll have fewer stitches than needed to complete your pattern repeat. So when working in a pattern stitch, you have to decide how you’ll maintain the pattern as the stitches change on each edge. The easiest way to adjust the pattern is to keep the edge stitches in stockinette stitch until there are enough stitches to complete a full pattern repeat.

When changing a lace pattern, you have to accommodate the increases and decreases in the lace as well as the bias shaping.

The possibilities of bias knitting are many. Have fun with it. Play with pattern stitches, change colors, or switch up yarns for a truly whimsical look.

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