My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Trinity Stitch: It’s Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

Lorna commented:

Trinity stitch: I’ve always fought shy of that particular option as I’d heard that it was hell to work.

I presume I’ve been misinformed, or are you just a bit of a masochist?

Well . . . all things are relative, ya know?

Trinity stitch is worked thusly, on multiples of 4 stitches:

Row 1(right side): p across
Row 2: [(k1, p1, k1) in 1 stitch, p3 tog] across
Row 3: p across
Row 4: [p3tog, (k1, p1, k1) in 1 stitch] across

So, if you have issues doing a k1, p1, k1 in one stitch, you’ll find Trinity stitch annoying. It’s a tad fiddly, but doesn’t really bother me.

A bit more irksome is purling 3 stitches together. That can be a bit tough on the hands, particularly using aran weight wool that’s not extremely soft . . . like the Rown Scottish Tweed Aran, for example.

I finished the back of the cardi yesterday after a fair amount of non-stop knitting, and I did have a couple of red spots on my left hand from the wool rubbing the skin in spots. However, this morning I had no residual soreness.

I’m currently working on the left side front of the cardi.


Arans in the Round?

Last week someone left a question in the comments asking if one could knit an aran in the round.

Well, yeah, you could . . . but why would you? There are several compelling reasons why I prefer to knit an aran in pieces.

1. Knitting a pullover in aran weight wool in the round would make for a very heavy piece of work to haul around.

2. What do you do about armholes? Steeking aran weight wool would result in a very bulky sleeve seam.

3. Many arans have patterning on the right side only. Knitting back and forth makes it extremely easy to keep track of your patterning.

4. Seams. They are a good thing for a heavier sweater, adding structure and stability.

Lucy Sez:




  1. Number 3 is the reason I like knitting textured work back and forth. I thought that stitch was bramble. Is bramble and trinity one and the same? (infer whatever trinity analogies one likes)

  2. Lucy, you are such a princess! It’s always a delight to see your sweet little face (and to hear your mom blab about knitting too, ‘a course!)

  3. Oh, the Trinity stitch is so pretty, but I don’t know if I could face the prospect of k1 p1 k1 in one stitch. I’m such a tight knitter I’d likely break something (needles, fingers, brain…pick one.)

  4. I love the look of Trinity Stitch…but man, do I hate that purl-3-together business! Many times have I tried to overcome my distaste for P3tog, but to no avail (yet). Your Dungarvan is beautiful!

  5. I’ve never tried this Trinity Stitch business, but it seems straightforward enough. Maybe one day I’ll make an aran sweater and have a need for it. You’re cruisin’ along on this sweater. I can’t wait to see it.

  6. Trinity stitch is also (according to handy stitch patterns by Mon Tricot) called astrakan…….blackberry seems to ba a variation …..isn’t this all fun: so many stitches………

    looks divine……Lucy is a stitch herself!

  7. Ooh, I had thought that was the bramble stitch–glad to be corrected! I do find that it lends a very nice -look- to aran work–I’m rather fond of the stitch. Though I personally have found I need sharp points on my needles for the p3tog (I knit tightly, alas). Looks fantastic!

  8. Raye in NYC says:

    Wendy, I love the cable. It has the look and feel of my favorite “Saxon Braid”, which I know it is not. I agree with you about seams giving stability for aran sweaters. I have one that I made about “n” yrs. ago and it’s held up perfectly. Besides, if you knit round to the armholes and then go back and forth, the gauge might change in the middle of a pattern.

  9. I love the way trinity stitch looks, but in order for me to enjoy P3tog, a piece of chocolate would have to fall from the sky every time I did it!
    Looks great though!

  10. I thought I saw it in whichever Barbara Walker it’s in as having bramble as an alternate name.

    Is there any compelling reason to knit it from the right side, rather than having row 1 (WS) knit across, row 2 (RS) [k3tog, (p1,k1,p1) in same st], etc.? I generally reverse any st pattern that’s all K and P and has plain purl rows in it, as my knits are more even, and changing this would put the patterning on the right side, in sync with any cabling that’s going on. It’d be one row offset from how it’d normally be, but that doesn’t seem like it’d be a huge difference visually in this context.

  11. Trinity stitch is downright painful in some yarns, but you can use a clove stitch instead for almost the same look, but no p3 tog.

  12. It looks beautiful. So does Lucy, as always.

  13. You should have photoshopped a fly on the end of Lucy’s nose cause that’s exactly what it looks like, that she’s looking down her nose at a fly! Such a cute pic!

    Trinity stitch is one of my favorites and I often sub it in exististing aran patterns when I can as I’ve yet to design one myself.

    This one is a real beauty and a perfect “coat” for the spring!

  14. Thanks for the clarification. Looks like I need to investigate “clove stitch” as an alternative, ‘cos p3tog, while not awful, is not fun either.

  15. I think that Trinity Stitch has many names. I made an Aran cardigan from an old Yarns Brunswick pattern that calls it “make blackberry.” I found that after doing several repeats of it, you start to get into a flow and the purl three doesn’t seem so bad after awhile. As for knitting Arans in the round, I can’t really see the point in it either. Like Wendy, I would hate to have all that bulk on my needles, and I, too, love to be able to easily keep track of my rows by having the wrong side row without much if anything of which to keep track during knitting.

  16. Secret message to Lucy: Meooowwww…puurrrrrr….meewwwww 😉

  17. I made Alice Starmore’s Erisort Coat sweater. The entire thing (and it is a big sweater) is a form of the Trinity stitch. By the end I could not move my arms anymore! The back and forth of the k1,p1,k1 caused major knitter’s elbow! I was working with a deadline so I couldn’t take a break.

    I, too, like to knit arans back and forth to keep better track of the cabling.

  18. Wendy, Your new design is absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful color. Looks like it would make a very warm “jacket”. As much as I dislike seaming, I agree with you that something this heavy needs the stability of seams.

  19. My first true Aran sweater I knit in the round. I converted the flat pattern. I did so for one major reason, I was really lousy at seaming. Since them I’ve learned a bit more and now am more confident, but the sweater still turned out decent.

    I knit it in the round to the armholes. Then I knit it flat for the front and back. When I got to the shoulders, I seamed the shoulders. Then I picked up the stitches for the arms in the round and knit the pattern backwards from top to bottom. I did some math, figured out where to put the decreases, and it worked really well. Granted this was a dropped shoulder aran.

    However I can see your point about stability,in this case it worked, but it wouldn’t in every case.