I’ve been working on getting a pattern ready for publishing. One of the sad things I’ve discovered is that I think of my knitting one way, using one set of motions to create stitches, but actually perform them in an order slightly different from the way I imagine. This is coming to light through the efforts of some talented test knitters who are doing exactly what I write in my directions – and I’m learning to write what I do. I apologize for the frustration I’ve caused others, and offer this up as an object lesson.
I’m writing this in part for the test knitters. In part because it more accurately reflects what I actually do, since I had to take photos and think about what they showed. But also in part for people who want to learn more about knitting but are just getting started. To that last end I’ve explained some things that I’m sure my test knitters already know – what a slipped stitch means, for example. Here is how the Centered Eyelet should go. I discovered this in a pattern created by Amy Detjen and I’ve written to her for permission to use the stitch. She said yes.
Sometimes in lace knitting there are two YO (holes) separated by a knit stitch. I want to put another YO (hole) just above the knit stitch, but the regular ways of doing that look a bit lop-sided. There appears to be a leaning to the right or left of stitch just preceding or just after the hole. Those are illustrated in Photo 1. You’ll see that the stitch next to arrow 1 (YO, K2 together thru back of loop) slopes to the left. The one next to arrow 2 (K2 together, YO) slopes to the right. This is what I want for most things. But sometimes I’m looking for one that is balanced like the hole next to arrow 3. How to do that is what this picture essay is all about.
This is the setup for performing the centered eyelet. It will go just above the stitch between holes 1 and 2. To do this I’ll use the stitches above each of the holes plus the center one. From here on I’ll refer to the arrow just by number (#1; #2 etc.)
#5 = slipped stitch (not knit) to be used in a minute.
#6 = a knit stitch. Unlike other knit stitches I’ve left the original stitch, the one I knit into, on the left needle. I’m calling this the suspended stitch.
#7 = The suspended stitch. It will stay on the left needle as I do a couple of other things.
The first thing I do is pass the slipped stitch (#5) over the knit stitch (#6). #5 goes over the point of the right needle and nestles there at the base of #6. You’ll see that #7 stays put on the left needle.
Next comes the yarn over. The working yarn comes to the front of the right needle (#8) and will go over the needle and end up behind the needle to make the next stitch. #8 will become the YO / eyelet / hole – similar to #3 in the first picture. You can see the slipped stitch (#5) where it has looped over stitch #6. #7 is still suspended on the left needle. #9 is the last stitch in the three stitch group to make the centered eyelet.
The next step is to knit #7 and #9 together through the back of the loop. This twists the stitches a bit and tightens them, making (I think) better definition of the eyelet. #8 is brought over to the back of the needle to make the YO and the next stitch. You can see #6 just sitting there. (If I were Bob Ross, and painting, I would say “contentedly” or “a happy little stitch”).
This is the state after I have finished the “knitting two together through the back of the loops.” It is denoted in most patterns as SSK (slip slip knit through the back of the loop) but I’m suggesting it without the slipping since I want the stitches to be somewhat twisted. #7+#9 shows that. #10 is the new stitch I have made. #8 is the YO or eyelet. #11 indicates the part of the stitch that will be important in the next step once I have finished the current row and started back purling on the wrong side of the piece.
I’ve reached the end of the pattern row, turned my work, and started purling back on the wrong side. I’ve come to the YO – or eyelet, stitch #8. Underneath you can see the bar #11 from the previous picture. I am going to put the tip of the right needle under #11 when I purl, through the gap indicated by blue arrow #12.
This is still on the wrong side of the knitting, showing the working yarn coming through the gap created by #8 and #11. This firms up the eyelet and finishes the stitch. This last picture shows the finished product from the right side of the knitting.
I hope this has been helpful. It was certainly interesting to see what I actually do compared to the how I think about knitting. Let me know if you have any questions.