Thursday, March 3, 2016

Lotus Pond

Meet my latest design: Lotus Pond

My fascination with knitted lace and depicting flora and fauna continues in this top down shawl. Motifs include moths (or are they flies!) pansies, lotus flowers and a decorative edging depicting a trefoil. Yes, there are a nupps - but just a few, and to be honest, if you're not inclined nupp-wise, they can easily be swapped out with beads. I think beads would be quite fitting - like water droplets on a lotus flower.
In this pattern I use a Japanese stitch pattern called the Three Stitch Lift, which I have modified to suit my purposes. While the pattern notes describe how this stitch works I thought it might help to talk about it and show you what's going on. So here goes ...

I originally found this stitch in the book, "Knitted Socks East and West", Basically what you do when you work this stitch is work some loops through the middle of your knitting by knitting through the centre of the stitch 3 rows down from the next stitch on you LH needle. I think it takes a little bit of mind bending for some people to get this idea - you actually poke your RH needle right through the knitted fabric - through the centre of the stitch 3 rows down from the next st on the LH needle. You then draw through a loop of working yarn, work a yarn over, and draw another loop through the same place in the knitting once more. You have effectively made 3 new stitches. You then drop the very next stitch on the LH needle. (the one in the column directly above where you have knitted through the fabric. It will only ladder down to the anchor point you have just made with your 3 new stitches. These laddered stitches form pleasing horizontal lines. Try not to make the 3 loops too tight, or the loops they make will not be elongated. In the book I found, these extra stitches (actually only 2 in total, because you drop a stitch) are removed by a centered double decrease on the next RS row, but because I wanted to use this stitch as a way of making increases most of the time, I only included the decreasing row of the stitch pattern in Chart A.

This is what it looks like when you are working the stitch. (note: I have not included the yarn overs and decreases as they appear in the first chart)
(click on the photos if you wish to make them larger)

Through the centre of the stitch - draw through a loop. 1 stitch made

view from above

Below: One loop pulled through

Below: Having already made one loop, work a yarn over, and work step one again. Three loops made. Then drop the next stitch on the needle (already dropped in the photo). You now have only two extra loops/stitches.

Row finished. You will see those three laddered horizontal loops are captured by the stitches you have just made.

 I purled back so you an see what it looks like

If you make a mistake and need to undo a row just leave those three loops on your left needle as you tink, and then make the 3 loops as described when you get to them. (see last photo)

In the pattern I include a variation of this stitch called the 5 Stitch Lift, which results in 5 loops (but 4 extra increases when completed). This is achieved simply by working an additional yarn over and pulling a third loop through the knitting (so 2 yarn overs and 3 loops pulled through the knitting) before letting the next stitch on the LH needle ladder down.

Please note that The 3 and 5 Stitch Lift, are not in any way related to the Lifted Increase used in the stocking stitch section of the shawl even though they share the word "lift". When working a lifted increase you simply lift the right leg of the next stitch onto the needle and knit it (to make a stitch). With the 3 and 5 Stitch Lift you actually knit through the fabric of your knitting.

If you'd like to watch a video of someone working this stitch, click on this link.
It's not in English, but it doesn't matter in the slightest - it demonstrates very well what is going on when working this stitch, and is especially clear on the garter stitch background. Note, she finishes the stitch pattern off with the centred double decrease on a following row.

Try it - it's fun!

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