One thing I’ve noticed over the last nine (!!!) years of learning to design lace, is that it’s easier to make lace look at least reasonably good if it has only a few right side rows, even if it’s wide. There are some other constraints, but repetition helps make things look like a pattern very quickly.
I didn’t notice this phenomenon right away, but my very first code lace ever had two right side rows, and I loved it. This was a happy accident, since it kept me going through less successful experiments.
Hug is one of my earlier successful stitch patterns; it has two right side rows.
And then there’s these examples from my experiments in making coordinating lace by extracting subsets of rows from lace. Each subset is only two or three right side rows, and I’m quite delighted by the results.
Anyway, this is the first post of two about a deliberate experiment with this. My question was this: what if I put together a list of six basic combinations of yarnovers and decreases, and then used a six-sided die to choose a couple of them? (I might then need to edit decreases slightly.)
Here is the set. Please note that they aren’t all the possibilities! They’re just the first six I thought of. I decided to go with two of them. I rolled a 3 and then a 2. For each of them I flipped a coin to decide whether to flip them horizontally before placing them on the chart. (The answer was no.)
This is how my chart might have looked if one of my coin flips had gone differently.
Here is the initial chart. I could have left it like this, but it would have biased to the left, and also I often prefer mirror symmetry.
Here’s the version with mirror symmetry. There’s a pair of decreases in the middle like this: /\. I don’t always like how that looks when repeated a lot, row after row. It tends to pull apart and make a ladder. There’s two options for dealing with that: either insert a plain knit between them, or turn the pair of decreases into a double decrease. I decided to use the double decrease.
Here’s the last draft version. I knit up a rough draft version (not shown), and realized that, when repeated, this turns out to be two fairly standard one-row lace stitch patterns, stuck together side by side. (In fact, it’s quite similar to the Pearl-barred Scallop pattern found in Barbara Walker’s first Treasury.) So I rearranged the chart a bit.
It’s a combination of two stitch patterns that already exist independently because they’re pretty obvious ideas. It does look good, I think, and doesn’t disprove my hypothesis about one-row lace. I especially like the way each vertical stripe undulates in the opposite direction from the other, which emphasizes the zig zag of the combination.
It seems to me that the first or last row of any lace pattern could be usually repeated as a simple coordinating stitch pattern where one is needed. (Cases where the number of stitches varies by row might be a little trickier.)
- This is a stitch pattern such as might be found in a stitch dictionary. This is not a pattern for a finished object. You will need to add selvedges or some other form of knitted stitches to either side.
- Rolled up is a multiple of 16 + 7 stitches and either 2 rows.
- I’ve made a stitch map for it.
- Designers, please feel free to use this in your patterns. I’d like credit but won’t be offended if people don’t give it.
- 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!
- CDD: centered double decrease: slip the next 2 stitches as if to knit 2 together, knit the next stitch, then pass the 2 slipped stitches over the third.
- k: knit.
- k2tog: knit 2 stitches together as if they were 1. (Right-leaning decrease)
- p: purl.
- ssk: slip each of the next 2 stitches as if to knit, then knit them together through the back loop. (Left-leaning decrease)
- yo: yarnover
Row 1 (RS): *k1, yo, k1, cdd, k1, yo, k1, k2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, ssk; work from *, k1, yo, k1, cdd, k1, yo, k1.
Row 2 (WS): purl.