03 July 2017

Initial Experiments with the Y Increase

A couple months back, I posted a video showing how to work the k-yo-k increase in reversible lace. I mentioned that one of the interesting things about reversible lace is you can knit into the same stitch twice. Each "stitch" is actually a knit-purl pair. You can knit, purl, then back up and knit again, then purl again.

I've tentatively named this a Y increase because it is one stitch that splits into two stitches. When I sketch it out as a stitch chart or stitch map, it looks like a Y.

I've begun experimenting with this increase.

One of my plans for reversible lace is to turn circular shawls into swirl jackets. Circular shawls are fabulous lace projects. But how do you wear them? For so many people, the first thing you do is fold the shawl in half. When worked reversibly, you could insert sleeves and have a swirl jacket instead. I decided to test the idea with a teddy bear jacket.

It turns out that an 8-section polygon was a little hyperbolic. The 7-section design worked better. I suspect 6-sections will also work. In fact, I might need to make some swatches in 5, 6, 7, and 8 sections to see clearly what happens. For this project, I increased every-other round. The increases alternated between double yarn-overs and Y increases. For an even number of pairs on a section edge, I used the double yarn-overs because even numbers have a center gap. For an odd number of pairs on a section edge, I used the Y increase because odd numbers have a central pair.

Christmas in July is coming up on Sunday 23 July at The Whole Nine Yarns. As typical, I am contributing a pattern.

If you crochet, you may recognize this as a basic crochet hyperbolic plane. Stitches are doubled every-other round by working a Y increase into every stitch. The one on the left is five rounds tall and worked with the sample of Cedar Hill Farm Journey I received in my goodie bag at the Yarn film showing. The one on the right is seven rounds tall and worked from a Madelinetosh Unicorn Tail.

Those of you who follow knitting minutiae may notice they don't have the same bind-off. On the left I've simply bound off in pattern. On the right, I've worked Japanese three-needle bind-off (flat three-needle bind-off). A plain in-pattern bind-off is easier and faster and also a little more ruffled. The three-needle bind-off is cleaner and more structured. Both work.

If you have admired the crocheted coral reef projects but don't crochet, now you can knit your coral reef instead if you work in 1×1 ribbing and use the Y increase. As per my usual practice, I'll hold the pattern back for a couple months before posting it on Ravelry. If you want it sooner, you'll need to attend Christmas in July. This would also make a fine shower poof if worked in dishcloth cotton.

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