Saturday, March 19, 2011

A New Shorthand

This photo is a close up of the Abalone Lace Shawlette being blocked. The lace points in this shawl are made with all the old familiar stiches: ewrap knit, purl, eyelet, increase and decrease. I hope that any loom knitter with a few rows of knit and purl under their belt will be able to make this pattern. The challenge for me was how to write it. There is not a shorthand for loom knitting lace. Needle knit terminolgy does not work, because loom knitting has several variations to each needle knit term, and there is also not always a consistency in the definitions for the loom.

In my past patterns, I have worked through these difficulties by writing a step-by-step movement of the yarn. For example: "Move loop on peg 3 to peg 4; knit peg 4." As the detail of the patterns has increased, this has become more difficult. With the Abalone Lace, there is a 22 row repeat that needed a shorthand to be reasonable for all loomers to follow.

Here is what I have done, and what you will be seeing in the pattern. I am already writing a second pattern using this shorthand, and hope to go back to revise some of my older lace patterns as well.

K-> : knit and move the loop forward to the next peg
K<- : knit and move the loop backward to the previous peg
<-P : move the loop back one peg and purl
K/K : used where a peg has two loops - knit the peg, then wrap and knit again ( a "knit/knit")

All may be done as knits or purls, but I wanted you to get the idea. Because loom knit lace can have several steps on the same peg within the same row, I thought the use of directional arrows would simplify writing the moving of our loops. The other change I am making is to the end peg (slip) stitch. This name seems to confuse needle knitters who have switched to loom knitting in particular. I will call it an "Half Stitch" and follow it (in most cases) by a slipped (skipped) stitch at the start of the next row. I am still not sure this is the best way, but we will try it out and see. The Half Stitch will be combined with increases and decreases to look like this:

M1/Hs1 : wrap a new peg once and make a half stitch on the new peg to add a stitch at the end of a row
D1/Hs1 : decrease one stitch and make a half stitch on the new end peg

The pattern will have a detailed key to the shorthand, and I promise once you have worked 2 repeats, you will find the lace comes easily.
Look for the Abalone Lace Shawlette tomorrow!
Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved. Personal Use Only.


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