Bunny Ears Yarnover

Back when I unvented* the bunny ears back decrease (I’m using the name that another unventor came up with because it seems to be somewhat standard by now), I thought about trying a variant with a yarnover in the middle, but never got around to it.

However, I finally had reason to try it out with the regular bunny ears decrease variant, for my Smile lace. I thought it would be good to write up the result in more detail in a blog post by itself, because I know myself well enough to know that I’m about to embark on playing with it to make other stitch patterns. (There are already ideas lurking in the back of my head.)

Posts in this series of stitch patterns based on Bunny Ears Yarnover

On non-perfection in craft

I’d like to stop for a moment here to make an aside about perfection because it’s something I’ve been thinking about again. (Past relevant posts: mistakes, learning & failure, experimentation.)

For some future blog posts I’ll be playing with different ways of arranging the bunny ears yarnover to see what patterns I can make with it. Some of them will probably look great to me, some of them will probably be the sort of thing I post because I think someone will like it even if I don’t (because tastes vary), and some of them won’t work out at all for structural reasons. I think I’ll probably post some of each and talk about that.

Separately, this will be my first post in a while that uses my hand-traced illustrations – they’re a mixture of tracings done from photographs and stylized drawings. They are not very much like the professional drawings in knitting books; I don’t have enough practice to be able to make illustrations like those.

But here’s the important bit: I think my illustrations are good enough for my purposes. The stitches shown aren’t perfectly even, but they show what’s needed. The lines are a bit wiggly, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Sometimes I wish I could have them be as clean-looking as the ones in books, but then I remind myself that they do what they need to, and am happy again. (Note: this is in no way a request for advice about how to do things a different way. I want to keep doing what I’m doing.)

Now back to our regularly-scheduled blog post.

Bunny Ears Yarnover

I’m calling it that because it contains both a yarnover and the elements of a bunny ears decrease, but I’m leaving “decrease” out of it because it’s not one. I had thought of calling it a “bunny yarnover”, but a commenter on Twitter pointed out that people might be tempted to abbreviate this as BYO, which already means “backward yarnover”. This maneuver takes three stitches and turns them into three stitches, but manipulates them so that it looks as if there are two decreases with a yarnover in between.

three stitches in a row on a needle

The next three stitches on the left needle are the stitches to make into a Bunny Ears Yarnover.

knit 2 together in progress

First, knit two stitches together. However…

after the knit 2 together, but with only the first stitch removed from the needle

Only remove the first stitch of those two stitches from the needle.

yarn brought forward for yarnover

Next, bring the yarn forward for a yarnover.

finished bunny ears yarnover

Finish by working a left leaning decrease with the second and third original stitches. I use ssk, but any of the options will work. The middle stitch of the original three is stretched around to hug all three new stitches.

original version of the bunny yarnover

Here’s some visual context for why I wanted to use this maneuver. I needed a yarnover above a CDD, and I wanted the decrease lines to either side to fan out directly from that CDD and not the stitches to either side, so working [k2tog, (k1, yo, k1) in one stitch, ssk] wasn’t an option.

bunny yarnover with p1b over yarnover on second row

In retrospect, I’ve come up with a slight improvement on that layout: on the following wrong side row, work a p1b (purl 1 below) in the spot where the yarnover to pick up the strand between stitches that makes an annoying horizontal line. Not everyone will care to remember to do that on a wrong side row, and that’s fine. You are in charge of your own knitting and may do what makes you happy!

*Elizabeth Zimmermann came up with the term unventing to describe the situation where you invent a new technique that you’ve never seen before, but you’re certain someone else has probably come up with it independently because it seems like the sort of thing that must exist.

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