Today I am going try to show you how to do a stitch that has been referred to as the 5 gathered stitches. A member of one of my favorite Yahoo groups, MMarioKKnits (yeah, I know, I have never mentioned Mmario before ;) ) asked how to do this stitch. He is planning on knitting the gorgeous Queen Silvia shawl. Here is a free version of part of the pattern. I am in fact using part of that chart. The instructions for the 5 gathered stitches can seem a bit daunting if you are not a person who easily visualizes things. So I am going to try to show this stitch, step by step, with pictures. It really is a pretty cute stitch, you use 5 stitches, and you make 5 new ones, all in one stitch.
Alright, I have started a swatch, which includes a cat’s paw pattern as well as the gathered stitch. I know, my bottom cat’s paw does not look very neat, but it is only a swatch. I needed something to fill up the space! I have practiced the 5 gathered stitches, to make sure I could do it. Now, I am getting ready to start the row that will include the gathered stitch. I am using some laceweight cotton (10/2 I believe), and US 3 (3.25mm) needles. I am assuming we are knitting from left to right, or the regular right handed way. If you knit truly left handed, and need help converting this, just let me know. Here is the swatch at the beginning of the needle:
I knit 3 stitches to get away from the edge. Then the first step of the 5 gathered stitches is to do a knit 5 stitches together (or k5tog). First you insert your right hand needle through all 5 stitches, from left to right:
Then you pull your yarn through, just like doing a knit stitch, but then through all 5 at the same time. (It might be easier to actually do this with a crochet hook, but I did not need one. If you want to see how that would work, let me know either by e-mail or in the comments.) See how there are now 4 loops on my right hand needle? Very important, do not let the 5 stitches slide off of your left hand needle.
Then, while you still have those 5 stitches on your left hand needle, make a yarn over. You do this by wrapping your yarn over your right hand needle. You can see the yarn goes over the needle 5 times now:
Then we are going to be doing another k5tog with the same set of five stitches on the left hand needle we used earlier. First you insert your right hand needle again, left to right:
Then wrap the yarn like you would for a knit stitch, and pull through all 5 stitches, leaving 6 stitches on the right hand needle. Make sure you still don’t let go of those stitches on the left hand needle, we will need them one more time.
Another yarn over, leaving us with 7 stitches:
And the last k5 together, using the same set of five stitches as the previous two times we did the k5tog. Insert your needle, again, from left to right:
And pull the yarn through, which will give you 8 stitches on your right hand needle:
And this time you can let the 5 stitches from the left needle finally slip off:
Congratulations, you have finished the 5 gathered stitches stitch. This is what it will look like when you have finished purling back:
Your yarn might not be showing quite as clearly. I used cotton, because it shows great stitch definition. The little hole in the center will pretty much disappear when you block the shawl. The 5 stitches will kind of fan out. I really like how it looks. If you have any questions, please let me know!