# Étude no. 6: vertical symmetry in lace. A free stitch pattern.

I’ve been wanting to work on my ability to make lace appear vertically symmetrical as well as horizontally for a while now. It turns out that it’s trickier than you might think.

Thank you for all your kind suggestions (on my blog, on Ravelry, on G+) about an abbreviation for the unusual double decrease. For this post at least, I’m going to use LRC, from this fantastic and comprehensive discussion of decreases. (LRC stands for Left-Right-Center, and describes the order of the three stitches in the decrease, from front to back.) I am therefore going to use RLC for sl 1 — k2tog — psso.

This is the motif I’ve turned into lace. I don’t remember where I got it, but it’s not secret code.

Abbreviations:

k: knit
k2tog: knit 2 stitches together as if they were 1 stitch. (Right-leaning decrease.)
LRC: ssk, slip decreased stitch back to left needle, pass next stitch over, slip finished stitch to right needle.
p: purl
RLC: slip 1 knitwise, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over.
yo: yarn over
ssk: slip 1 knitwise, slip another knitwise, k2tog through back loop.. (Left-leaning decrease.)

The obvious place to start was by pretending that decreases can be mirrored vertically, just to see what happened. I’ve put two stitches on either side as a frame, but columns 1, 2, 11, and 12 aren’t part of the motif.

Étude no. 6: version 1
Row 1 (RS): k3, ssk, yo, k2, yo, k2tog, k3. (12 sts)
Row 2 (WS): purl.
Row 3: k2, k2tog, yo, k4, yo, ssk, k2.
Row 4: purl.
Row 5: k2, ssk, yo, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, yo, k2tog, k2.
Row 6: p6, k1, p5.
Row 7: k3, k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk, k3.
Row 8: purl.
Row 9: Repeat row 1.
Row 10: purl.
Row 11: k2, k2tog, yo, ssk, yo x 2, k2tog, yo, ssk, k2.
Row 12: p6, k1, p5.
Row 13: k2, ssk, yo, k4, yo, k2tog, k2.
Row 14: purl.
Row 15: Repeat row 1.
Row 16: purl.

This is an attractive result, but the decrease line on either side of the double YO on row 11 isn’t heavy enough.

Étude no. 6: version 2
Row 1 (RS): k3, ssk, yo, k2, yo, k2tog, k3. (12 sts)
Row 2 (WS): purl.
Row 3: k2, k2tog, yo, k4, yo, ssk, k2.
Row 4: purl.
Row 5: k2, ssk, yo, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, yo, k2tog, k2.
Row 6: p6, k1, p5.
Row 7: k3, k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk, k3.
Row 8: purl.
Row 9: Repeat row 1.
Row 10: purl.
Row 11: k3, yo, RLC, yo x 2, LRC, yo, k3.
Row 12: p6, k1, p5.
Row 13: k2, ssk, yo, k4, yo, k2tog, k2.
Row 14: purl.
Row 15: Repeat row 1.
Row 16: purl.

This is getting closer, but the space in the middle on rows 13 and 15 isn’t quite right yet. The double decrease on row 5 popped up between two stitches, so I need to make the double decrease on row 11 disappear into two stitches on row 13.

Étude no. 6: version 3
Row 1 (RS): k3, ssk, yo, k2, yo, k2tog, k3. (12 sts)
Row 2 (WS): purl.
Row 3: k2, k2tog, yo, k4, yo, ssk, k2.
Row 4: purl.
Row 5: k2, ssk, yo, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, yo, k2tog, k2.
Row 6: purl.
Row 7: k3, k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk, k3.
Row 8: purl.
Row 9: Repeat row 1.
Row 10: purl.
Row 11: k3, yo, RLC, yo x 2, LRC, yo, k3.
Row 12: p6, k1, p5.
Row 13: k3, yo, k1, ssk, k2tog, k1, yo, k3.
Row 14: purl.
Row 15: k4, yo, k2tog, ssk, yo, k4.
Row 16: purl.

There we go. The YOs on row 13 need to be larger, but otherwise, I think this is close as I can get. (I could have blocked this better, I think.)