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14 february, 2007

Yesterday's swatch conjured a keen curiosity in the double decrease.  I'm well versed in the single decrease, which can either slant to the right when you work a k2tog or to the left when you work one of the plethora of left slanting decreases.  But the double decrease is a sly beast -- it can slant to the right, the left, or line up vertically.

The Clementine Shawlette's lace pattern uses a vertical double decrease to create a strong vertical line up the center of a stockinette stitch patch.  In yesterday's swatch I attempted to foolishly substitute a left slanting decrease to disastrous results.  You see, my ergonomic readers, the vertical double decrease the pattern called for was difficult -- hard on the hands -- to work in my stiff linen yarn.  Hence a quest for an alternative.  After perusing a variety of how to books, I did find one variation on the theme. 

Today's swatch compares two vertical double decreases (details below).  To see the 2 decreases in detail, click here.  Although I think the decrease on the right looks better, the decrease on the left will be easier to work in the linen yarn.  Since I'll have to knit so many double decreases, I'm opting for hand-ease over eye-ease -- Knitter's Choice.

Yarn: Tahki's Cotton Classic   
Needles: US 6
Gauge: 17 stitches = 2.75 inches
Stitch: A simple lace pattern incorporating two vertical double decreases.  The two decreases are worked differently to compare the results. 

The decrease on the right seems to be the "standard" vertical double decrease and is the one used in the Clementine Shawlette stitch pattern:

Slip 2 stitches together knit wise
Knit 1
Pass the 2 slipped stitches over the knit stitch

The decrease on the left is the only alternative vertical double decrease I could find in my knitting books:

Slip 1 stitch onto a cable needle and hold in back **
Slip 1 stitch knitwise
Return 1st stitch from cable needle to left needle
Pass the slipped stitch over

** Instead of using a cable needle, I simply slipped the stitch off and let it hang in mid-air -- similar to cabling without a cable needle.

Source: Both of these vertical double decrease can be found in Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook, page 120

February 14, 2007 | Permalink


I think you are making a good "knitter's choice." The easier decrease is still good looking (especially up close), and won't have the other next to it for comparison. You don't want to have your Clementine Shawl remind you of how much your hands hurt to knit it every time you choose to wear it.

Posted by: Brenda | Feb 15, 2007 7:46:46 AM

Definitely protect your hands -- I am on forced knitting hiatus due to injuring my right hand mousing. At least I can still peruse blogs! Both of those decreases look lovely and you are making a good choice.

Posted by: AuntieAnn | Feb 15, 2007 8:09:00 AM

I think the alternative looks great. You keep proving every day why swatching is important!

Posted by: Brandy | Feb 15, 2007 10:38:01 AM

Hello Nona, Lace for me is a whole new continent. So first, I'll need to renew my passport, purchase my ticket and then fly out there and explore. Wish me luck, lol.

Posted by: angel | Feb 15, 2007 11:29:45 AM

Brilliant blog! I just found you via Typepad and I must say, that I can't believe someone didn't think of this sooner. I'm so glad you did. Happy knitting - and swatching.

Posted by: Jennifer | Feb 15, 2007 11:59:49 AM

Beautiful swatches! I've found that if I tie up a skien of the Louet linen and toss it in the washer before I knit with it, the yarn softens up quite a bit and is much nicer to knit with. Might make those decreases easier. Love your site!

Posted by: Laura | Feb 16, 2007 11:41:39 AM

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