Working double YOs on the next row, redux

A while back I wrote about some ways of working double YOs on the next row. I still mostly use the standard method, working (k1, p1) in the double YO. Then Denise Plourde wrote on the Stitch Maps Ravelry group about a new method she’d come up with. Here is a description that doesn’t require a login. I find it quite beautiful. Apparently it got me thinking, because a few days after reading about that, I came up with a different way entirely.

All of these methods are ways to cope with one problem: it is impossible to knit (or purl) the two consecutive loops in a double yarnover; the structure of the stitch does not allow it. Try it: the result is a single knit stitch with two wraps around the needle, what’s called an elongated stitch.

I will probably continue using the (k1, p1) method in my swatches and charts as it is straightforward, people are used to it, and I don’t mind how it looks.

Follow this link for eight double YOs, each worked differently.

Gather together: permutations of a knitting stitch

Gather together: permutations of a knitting stitch.

There’s a knitting stitch combination that I’ve seen called a gather, and I’ve mostly seen it in Estonian stitch patterns, though I’m guessing they get used elsewhere too. Essentially, they are a combination of a double decrease (or more) and a double increase (or more) happening at the same time.

It sounds more complicated than it is. Take the 3/3 gather. When making a k3tog decrease, the basic principle is to insert the needle through all three stitches as if they were one stitch, and then knit one stitch in that clump of stitches. The gather expands upon that: knit those three stitches together without removing them from the needle, then yarnover, then knit the three stitches together again. This is the same as working a KYOK at the same time as a k3tog. Start with three stitches, end with three stitches, but they’re gathered together.

But thinking of it as a decrease/increase started making my brain fizz.

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Three 2-to-3 increases

Three 2-to-3 increases

Christine Guest has been posting an interesting set of round ups about double increases, and in it she made a challenge to create a corresponding increase to the 3-to-2 decrease that’s also known as Bunny Ears Back.

A side note – the Stitch Maps system now has that decrease as an option. This blog post shows two stitch patterns using that technique – I really like the Little Hearts stitch pattern in particular.

Anyway! So my mind immediately started turning over the question of a symmetrical 2-to-3 increase. In some sense, the obvious thing is just two stitches with an increase in between: lifted increases, a YO, or the kind of m1 that involves lifting a bar. But if you don’t want a hole, you have to twist the increase. I am generally happy enough with the invisibility of lifted increases and don’t worry about their asymmetricality.

Still, I’m always up for challenges like this. Even if I don’t succeed, I often find interesting things along the way. I tried out three different methods that I think could genuinely be called 2-to-3 increases.

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Stitch markers and a line of KYOKs

marked stitch for KYOK with locking marker.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how to read a line of KYOKs in knitting without stitch markers. (KYOK is an abbreviation for [k1, yo, k1] in a single stitch – it’s a double increase.)

There are times when stitch markers come in handy. Sometimes they can be useful to simplify pattern writing. Sometimes when I’m knitting something that’s primarily stockinette, I don’t look at my knitting, and so then I might forget to work increases or decreases. Stitch markers help my hands feel when I need to actually look at what’s happening. Other knitters will want the markers there anyway as an extra guide to help them read the pattern. There are many ways to knit, and there are only two rules about the right way: first, you’re not hurting yourself, and second, you’re getting the results you want.

Placing stitch markers with double increases is a little tricky – without care, the marker will move progressively away from the center stitch that should be marked. If this happens, the next double increase will be in the wrong stitch. One way or another, moving markers is required when they’re in use with double increases. I’m going to write about using regular stitch markers and also about using locking stitch markers.

So, with that in mind, here are three ways to use stitch markers with a line of KYOKs.

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Reading a line of KYOK increases

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

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.

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Linkety-link, part 18: Equinox Edition

Equinox encoded as lace (free stitch pattern)

Happy Spring, everyone! It seems like a good moment to link to the Equinox stitch pattern I designed a while ago.

And here are some other links:

The physical size of multiple YOs

Playing with yarnover size

A question came up elsewhere online about how to make double and triple yarnovers smaller.

I’ve actually thought about this before, but haven’t used my ideas in my stitch patterns – my secret code method when applied to lace means that I need to chart the lace with a yarnover in every encoded square.

But there’s no reason why someone couldn’t knit my stitch patterns with the methods I’m going to describe below. I do have two caveats:

  1. The stitch count will vary from row to row, and the more times the pattern repeats across the row, the more it will vary. I’m not sure whether this might cause blocking issues or if it would just have the effect of making the row vertically shorter because the stitches would be stretched horizontally.
  2. It requires more thought on the return rows, which makes them less restful.

Even so, it’s a handy way to think about it. (Also, this can be a useful method for coping with having made a single YO instead of a double or triple.)

The important thing to realize is that when there’s a double or triple yarnover on the right side row, it doesn’t actually increase the knitting by that many stitches. It just makes a single large new stitch. It’s the number of stitches worked into the double (or triple) yarnover on the return row that makes for more than the single increase. Having multiple loops makes for an  reminder of the location for multiple stitches but there’s no inherent reason to have them.

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The marriage of inlay and k1long

Making a decorative pattern on the surface of your knitting that looks like embroidery but is knit in as you go.

Sometimes I discover that my brain has been thinking up things while I wasn’t looking, as it were. I love the way it does that. (Except when I’m overwhelmed by ideas.) This time, the back of my brain  decided to combine a technique I’ve been playing with in swatches–k1long with inlay‘s ability to add a contrast color in a vertical colorwork design. This isn’t actually inlay, but merely borrows the idea of carrying a contrast color vertically up the wrong side of the knitting when it’s not in use.

I’ve only written instructions that show how to work this from the front, but I hope that it will be evident how to reverse the process from the wrong side. Please let me know if I’m mistaken and I’ll write this up. As it stands, it should be easy enough to work in the round regardless.

The first step is to consider whether the contrast color loop is leaning from bottom left to top right or from bottom right to top left. If the former, I’ve used a k2tog (right leaning) to secure the loop, and if the latter, I’ve used SSK (left leaning).

The instructions below are for the right-leaning version; the left-leaning version doesn’t require the slipped stitch to be worked first (if working in the round, anyway).

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