Monday, January 27, 2014

Condensed Decreases in "Old Shale"

One of the first things I wanted to try was to reduce the number of decrease stitches. Of course, to keep the swatches from growing to gigantic proportions, I still had to eliminate the same number of stitches as I had yarn overs. Enter double decreases.

Instead of making six single decreases, I charted my pattern to have three double decreases. I used sl2-k1-p2sso as the central stitch, since it is straight up and down. In one of my samples, I had the other two double decreases slant towards the central stitch, ie. sssk,  sl2-k1-p2sso, k3tog. I reversed that for my second sample, so the outer decreases slant away from the central stitch. It is a very subtle difference, nothing a non-knitter would notice. I'm wondering if it would be more noticeable or decorative if I had kept the decrease stitches as stockinette all the way up; something else to add to my list to try!

Of course, there are any number of ways to eliminate six stitches. I could have done all three decreases as sl2-k1-p2sso or I could have tried k7tog or ... Knitting a multiple number of stitches together can be difficult though. With the k3togs, sometimes it was, sometimes it wasn't, even with the same yarn and needles. When it was a struggle, I did k2tog, move the new stitch to the LN, pass the second stitch over the new stitch on the LN, return the stitch to the right needle. A little fiddly, but it works.

These are the charts for the two swatches shown, along with the key to the symbols. The vertical lines indicate the 14 stitch repeat. As shown, you will need a minimum of 29 stitches; for a single repeat, such as for an insertion, cast on 15 stitches and replace the last two stitches of the repeat with the appropriate single decrease.

Until next time.

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