My latest shawl pattern, Ardisia, features a fancy, textured droplet stitch pattern made with knit-below a.k.a. dip stitches. The droplets really pop out from an all reverse stockinette background. They look impressive but are quite easy to do — and you only have to work them on one row of the pattern repeat.
Here's how to knit a droplet.
The droplets are worked into a a short column of knit stitches done on the previous rows. Count down 5 rows below the next stitch on the holding needle (don't count the one on the needle). Poke your needle tip into that knit stitch, grab the working yarn...
... and pull up a long loop on the working needle. You've just made the first of five loops.
Do the same with the next four stitches above the one you just worked into. If you're working from the charts in Ardisia, the numbered stitches in this photo correspond with the numbered stitches on the chart.
You should now have five extra loops on the working needle, each getting shorter and shorter the closer you get to the needle tip.
Purl the next stitch. This closes the vertical column of knit stitches.
Now comes the fun part! Start with the longest loop — the one you made first — and pass it over the rest of loops and the purled stitch. Do the same with the other four loops, always grabbing the longest one and passing it over the rest.
Here's a droplet completed! If your yarn is very grabby (like mine was) the loops can sometimes get a little jumbled up. Try to pass them over in the same order as you made them and you'll get this nice braided look.
Before continuing, give your working yarn a little tug to snug up that last stitch — it tends to get loose while working with the loops.
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