Étude no 6: an exercise in designing vertical symmetry in lace. Free stitch patterns.

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.

(Obsolete: 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.)

Important note: in more recent years, I’ve switched to using DSD instead of LRC, because there are other lace designers who already use DSD and I prefer to be consistent. I think it makes life easier for everyone

motif

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

Notes:

  • I have (k1, p1) in all double yarnovers on the wrong side rows; the charts are incorrect at the moment.
  • These are stitch patterns such as might be found in a stitch dictionary. They are not patterns for a finished object. You will need to add selvedges or some other form of knitted stitches to either side.
  • The repeats in the charts and the text aren’t in the same places. (The double YOs complicate writing the repeats logically in the text.)
  • This is a is a multiple of NUMBER stitches and NUMBER rows.
  • I’ve made stitch maps for version 1 and version 2.
  • My blog posts and free stitch patterns are supported by subscriptions on Patreon or donations to my Paypal tip jar in the sidebar. If you appreciate my work, please consider helping out. Thanks!
  • Knitting stitch pattern: Étude no. 6 by Naomi Parkhurst is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Creative Commons License

Abbreviations:

  • DSD or LRC: double slip decrease: ssk, slip the resulting stitch back to the left needle, pass the next stitch over, then slip the result. Substitute knit 3 together if desired; they are similar but don’t look quite the same. (Right-leaning double decrease.)
  • k: knit.
  • k2tog: knit 2 stitches together as if they were 1. (Right-leaning decrease)
  • p: purl.
  • sk2p or RLC: slip 1, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over. (Left-leaning double decrease.)
  • ssk: slip each of the next 2 stitches as if to knit, then knit them together through the back loop. (Or substitute your favorite left-leaning decrease)
  • yo: yarnover. Bring the yarn forward between the needles so that it will make a loop over the needle when the next stitch is worked. When there are two in a row, bring the yarn forward, wrap it once around the needle, and leave the yarn in front so it makes a second loop.

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.

Etude no 6 - first attempt at vertical symmetry in lace. Attractive, but not successful.

Étude no. 6: version 1

Row 1 (RS): k3, ssk, yo, k2, yo, k2tog, k3.

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: k3, ssk, yo, k2, yo, k2tog, k3.

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: k3, ssk, yo, k2, yo, k2tog, k3.

Row 16: purl.

Étude no 6: version 1. Free stitch pattern.

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

Etude no 6 - second attempt at vertical symmetry in lace. Closer, but not there yet.

Étude no. 6: version 2

Row 1 (RS): k3, ssk, yo, k2, yo, k2tog, k3.

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: k3, ssk, yo, k2, yo, k2tog, k3.

Row 10: purl.

Row 11: k3, yo, sk2p, yo x 2, DSD, yo, k3.

Row 12: p6, k1, p5.

Row 13: k2, ssk, yo, k4, yo, k2tog, k2.

Row 14: purl.

Row 15: k3, ssk, yo, k2, yo, k2tog, k3.

Row 16: purl.

Étude no 6: version 2. Free stitch pattern.

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.

Etude no 6 - first attempt at vertical symmetry in lace. Attractive, but not successful.

Étude no. 6: version 3

Row 1 (RS): k3, ssk, yo, k2, yo, k2tog, k3.

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: k3, ssk, yo, k2, yo, k2tog, k3.

Row 10: purl.

Row 11: k3, yo, sk2p, yo x 2, DSD, yo, k3.

Row 12: p1, (k1, p1) in double yo, 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.

Étude no 6: version 3. Free stitch pattern.

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.

4 thoughts on “Étude no. 6: vertical symmetry in lace. A free stitch pattern.”

  1. Just came across this old post on Pinterest today and was absolutely fascinated. I have knit lace only once, and recently, and have found that I love knitting lace! This post couldn’t have come in a more timely fashion to this new lace knitter and the pattern you wrote will definitely find it’s way into a project soon! Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

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