MRS. DAVENPORT’S MESH – STITCH PATTERN
♥ OR QUEUE ON RAVELRY
My Mum unvented this mesh stitch the other day, and I was amazed by how easy and effective it is. Even a beginner could work it! I’m sure it exists somewhere in some form, but as I’ve never come across it before, I’m taking the liberty of naming it (taking my cue from a long tradition of stitch pattern collators), “Mrs. Davenport’s Mesh”. Here’s what it looks like:
Hmm, well admittedly not quite so attractive in its infant state, but when blocked… ta-da!
It works with any number of stitches. All you do is knit a stitch, place it back on the left-hand needle and knit it again. Then on the next row, you purl a stitch, place it back on the left-hand needle, and purl it again. When viewed from the RS, the knit rows lean left, and the purl rows lean right, forming an open zig-zag.
Like most mesh stitches, it grows a LOT when blocked, and therefore requires a very stretchy cast-on (even more so than the bind-off, I find). You can use your favourite cast-on technique, or work as follows…
Make loop or slipknot, *cast-on 1 st (using knitted cast-on method), k1, return st to left-hand needle, rep. from * as many times as necessary.
How to work the stitch pattern
CO any number of sts.
ROW 1 (RS): *K1, place resulting st back on left needle without twisting, k1, rep. from * to end.
ROW 2 (WS): *P1, place resulting st back on left needle without twisting, p1, rep. from * to end.
Rep. ROWS 1 & 2.
K1, *place resulting st back on left needle without twisting, k2, pass right-most st on right-hand needle over left-most st, rep. from * until all sts have been bound off. Cut yarn and pull through final loop.
Increasing & Decreasing
I played around a little with increasing and decreasing using the basic principle of the mesh, but there are so many possibilities that I think it would make more sense to experiment with a particular project in mind.
Methods to Increase
Yo: Worked as usual.
Kfb: K1, place resulting st back on left needle, kfb.
Methods to Decrease
Ssk: Ssk, place resulting st back on left needle, k1.
K2tog: K2tog, place resulting st back on left needle, k1.
If you knit in the western style, you will probably find that your purl rows go easier when working this stitch, because the movement you use to replace the stitch you’ve just purled back on the left-hand needle puts you in the right position to purl again. You’ll find the same thing happens when working knit rows in combined knitting. This made me wonder what a garter variation of the mesh stitch would look like, so I worked only ROW 2. I think you’ll agree that it forms a very nice textured fabric, without blocking.
I’ve saved the best till last! Mrs. Davenport’s Mesh also looks beautiful when worked in the round. It’s as easy as repeating ROW 1 (and ignoring ROW 2) every round. When you eliminate the return rows that form the zig-zag, the stitch pattern continues in one direction, resulting in a lovely, lacy spiral, without the bother of actually having to count and shift stitches (or work a single yarn-over). I see some mindless arm-/legwarmers in my future! ;)
What I Love About Mum’s Mesh
- Works with any number of stitches.
- Super easy to work. Even a beginner knitter can manage it.
- Easily modified.
- No bias.
- No curl.
- Works the same whether you’re a western or combined knitter (or anything else).
- Worked in exactly the same way in the round.
My Mum & I would love to see your projects using this stitch. Please leave a comment to urge her to keep unventing! :)