Reading a line of KYOK increases

I’m very fond of being able to read my knitting – that is, to look at the stitches hanging off my needles and see what I did with them, and therefore where I am in a pattern and what I need to do next. I’ve also been working on some designs that include an increase line that is interesting, a little tricky to read, and not easy to mark by placing stitch markers (because the logical place to put them keeps moving).

There’s a very traditional way of making a line of two increases down the middle of a shawl or in some chevron stitch patterns: yarnover, knit 1, yarnover . It makes a very attractive pattern, but isn’t the right look for every circumstance. It is very easy to read – the center stitch is straightforward to keep track of. Though the yarnovers aren’t directly part of the center stitch, I still think of it as a double increase: three stitches made where one was before. This is because this pattern can be replaced by a column of what are more clearly double increases: (k1, yo, k1) in one stitch — also known as KYOK; (k1, p1, k1) in next stitch; right lifted increase, k1, left lifted increase; or knit in front loop, knit in back loop, knit in front loop. All of these are generally followed by working the resulting stitches with knits or purls on the next row. These are all the double increases I can think of off the top of my head.

This blog post is only concerned with the first of those: KYOK, more traditionally known as (k1, yo, k1) in next stitch.

I enjoy the way this makes a little column of single yarnovers in the fabric, but I had a lot of trouble at first with seeing where to place the KYOK in following rows. They meandered a lot. (This has its own possibilities, of course.)  I thought it might be worth sharing what I’ve worked out for myself.

In the design I’m working on, the KYOKs climb up the middle of the fabric in a straight line, so the key is to place each one in the stitch formed from the YO of the previous one.

Reading a column of KYOKs: two stitches away from new KYOK

As I work toward the previous KYOK (this photo shows me one stitch away from it) I see a clump of three stitches with a hole underneath. The stitches under the needle look a littler shorter than the others, somehow.

Reading a column of KYOKs: about to work the first stitch of the previous KYOK.

Here I am about to work the first stitch of the previous KYOK. The yarnover in the previous row retreats to the back, while the two knit stitches sit in front.

Working a column of KYOKs: the first stitch of the previous KYOK has been worked.

When I work the first knit stitch of the previous KYOK, I can fan the whole thing out to look like this. I’m making a chevron in this swatch, so the knit lines are all angled.  The most important thing here is what the stitches look like at the points of my needles. After all, if there were corresponding decreases right next to the KYOK, it wouldn’t be angled.

This is the point where I am going to work the next KYOK. I’ve knit the first stitch of the previous one and the next stitch is the one knit in the YO of the KYOK.

Reading a column of KYOKs: the moment of working the new KYOK

And now comes the moment where it is most obvious. The column of KYOKs directly underneath the current stitch is formed of holes with two horizontal bars between each one, with the top horizontal bar in back. When I put my needle in the center stitch of the previous KYOK, those same horizontal bars are formed. (There were those horizontal bars on the previous stitch, too, but they angled to the side rather than being centered above.)

Here is the moment to knit 1 without slipping the yarn from the needle, yarnover, then knit 1 again, leading up to this:

Reading a column of KYOKs: working the next KYOK.

That’s it. I hope this is a help!

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