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Milano Stitch

by Brenda Dayne on December 2, 2007

That’s what I’m calling that stitch pattern, because that is where I learned it. If it has another name, I’m not aware of it, and I don’t want to know. You don’t have to call it Milano stitch, if you don’t want to. However, I have wonderful memories of that day in Milan, and if I found out the stitch pattern was really called Eye of the Toad, or Pennsylvania Logroller’s Dream, it would totally ruin it for me. So don’t tell me, okay?

There isn’t really a pattern, per se, for the scarf I knit, but the stitch pattern is so easy, I swear you can make up your own pattern. Milano stitch is great for adding texture and works nicely to dress up what would otherwise be dull, flat solidly-coloured rectangles. Best of all, I have tried the stitch with variegated yarns, and was delighted with the results, as those little PSSO’s break up any tendency towards color pooling. That, alone, makes this stitch a keeper.

That being said, those very same PSSO’s work to form quite a dense fabric. I cast on about 30 stitches, and there were a couple of false starts on my Milano scarf, as I found I needed to increase needle size more than once in order to get the drape I wanted in the fabric. The oddball yarn was mostly DK weight, and in the end I think I used a 6.5mm (US 10.5/UK 3). Thank goodness Chris had brought her Knitpicks Options, (although I had to lurk in the hotel hallway that last morning, trying to remember which door was hers, in order to return them!)

I still haven’t found a way to solve the uneven-tension-in-the-edge-stitches problem. Yesterday morning I swatched a little, to see if a garter stitch edge worked for me, and it didn’t. Then I wondered if the stitch could be worked in the round. (No edges, no problem.) It can.


That’s about 3 inches of Trekking XXL leftover from Brother Amos. It’s too dense for a sock (I used my standard 2.25mm sock needles, and 3.5 or 4mm would have been better) and there is not enough yarn anyway, but it does look just about the right size for a sweater for Velvet. Pam still has her childhood Velvet doll, for which I occasionally knit fabulous sweaters from leftover sock yarn. Evidence of our great love for Velvet is writ large over her wardrobe.

So here’s that stitch pattern, in writing this time. Over an even number of stitches, work pattern as follows:

Row 1 – *S1, K1, yo, psso both. Repeat from * to end.
Row 2 – P all to end.
Row 3 – K1 *Sl1, K1, yo, psso both. Repeat from *to last stitch, end K1.
Row 4 – As for row 2.

For a scarf, this is one of those instances where a swatch is probably a waste of time. Use two needle sizes bigger than you would normally use for the yarn, and just cast on, and go for it.

As for the the uneven-tension-in-the-edge-stitches thing, well, you might be a better knitter than me, and not have that problem. If you do, there’s the single crochet up the sides option, or you could decide it just doesn’t matter. Or it could be a feature. A drapey stole with one edge longer than the other might make it sit better on your shoulders.

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