25 July 2016

Reversible Centered Double Decreases

As I continue to explore reversible lace, there are more and more techniques to develop. I've already posted how to work left-leaning and right-leaning decreases. The obvious corollary is how to work double decreases.

I need to explain there are different types of reversibility.
For example, if the obverse is this: /O/O
The reverse could be this: O\O\
or this: /O/O
The first example is mirrored reversibility, but the second example is identical reversibility.

In a centered double-decrease, there are also two possible configurations.
The stitches start out on the needle as left - center - right.
The final stacks could be either:
center                    center
right           or         left
 left                        right
which I will write as
center ∙ right ∙ left     or     center ∙ left ∙ right

The center ∙ right ∙ left version is the result of a typical knit-side centered double decrease:
  • slip the center and right stitches together knit-wise,
  • knit the left stitch,
  • pass the 2 slipped stitches over.

The purl-wise version of this is:
  • slip the right stitch knit-wise,
  • slip the center and left stitches together knit-wise,
  • slip all 3 back to the left needle,
  • purl all 3 stitches together up through the back of the loop.

The center ∙ left ∙ right version normally requires a lot of slipping stitches back and forth. However, when used in a reversible decrease, there is a shortcut.

When slipping knit stitches on to the cable needle, be sure the left and center stitches have eastern/right facings, then:
  • slip the right stitch purl-wise,
  • rotate cable needle 180° clockwise,
  • slip the stitch back to the cable needle,
  • knit all 3 together.

The purl-wise version is:
  • slip the right stitch knit-wise,
  • slip the center stitch knit-wise,
  • slip both stitches back to the left needle through the back of the loop,
  • purl all 3 together.


The purl-wise centered double decreases can mimic either stack. As I worked them in the video, they created identical reversibility with their knit-wise mates. If I had matched them up the other way, they would have created mirrored reversibility. The reality is this detail is so subtle it probably doesn't matter. I suggest figuring out which knit-wise version you like, which purl-wise version you like, and then work those unless you have a really good reason to do differently.

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