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ABBREVIATIONS USED IN WORKING INSTRUCTIONS
The abbreviations adopted in the working instructions of the designs are such as are most generally used in knitting patterns and will be familiar to any knitter.
K. = Knit.
K.1 = Knit 1 stitch.
P. = Purl.
P.1 = Purl 1 stitch.
K.1B. = Knit 1 stitch through the back.
Sl.1 = Slip 1 stitch from the left needle to the right-hand needle without knitting it.
Psso. = Pass the slip stitch over.
Yo. = Yarn over, i.e. bring the yarn forward between the needles and take it back over the right-hand needle ready for the next stitch. (In wool patterns this action is usually described as 'wool forward'.)
Yo.2 = Yarn over twice.
KM.1B. same as (K.1-M.1B.) = Knit twice into one stitch, this is into front and then into back, before slipping it off the needle.
(K.1 o.1) = Knit 1 stitch over the second, i.e. take the needle behind the first stitch and insert knitwise into the second stitch. Knit this second stitch and leave it on the left needle, and then knit the first stitch. Now slip both stitches off the needle. The final effect is that the first stitch crosses over the second.
K.2 tog. = Knit 2 stitches together.
Sl.1, K.1, psso. = Slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch and pass the slipped stitch over.
Sl.1, K.2 tog., psso. = Slip 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches together pass slipped stitch over.
K.3 tog. = Knit 3 stitches together.
P.3 tog. = Purl 3 stitches together.
Sl.2, K.1, p2sso. = Slip 2 stitches, knit 1 stitch, pass 2 slipped stitches over.
Sl.1, K.2, psso.2 = Slip 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches, pass the slipped stitch over both stitches.
Sl.2, K.2 tog., p2sso. = Slip 2 stitches, knit 2 stitches together, pass 2 slipped stitches over.
Sl.2, K.3 tog., p2sso. = Slip 2 stitches, knit 3 stitches together and pass the 2 slipped stitches over.
C.3R. = Cable 3 stitches, to the right, i.e. take 2 stitches on to a spare needle and keep them at the back of the work. Knit third stitch, and then knit the two stitches from the spare needle.
C.3L. = Cable 3 stitches, to the left, i.e. take 1 stitch on to a spare needle. Keeping this stitch in front, knit 2 stitches and then knit the stitch from the spare needle, so that it lies in front of the two stitches.
M.2 = Make 2 stitches into next stitch, i.e. knit 1 stitch and purl 1 stitch into the same stitch before slipping it off the needle.
M.3 = Make 3 stitches into next stitch, i.e. knit 1, purl 1, knit 1 into the front of the same stitch before slipping it off the needle.
M.4 = Make 4 stitches into next stitch, i.e. (knit 1, purl 1), twice, into same stitch before slipping it off the needle.
M.5 = Make 5 stitches into yarn over of previous round, i.e. knit 1 (purl 1, knit 1), twice into yarn over of previous round before slipping it off the needle.
M.6 = Make 6 stitches into double yarn over of previous round, i.e. (knit 1, purl 1), 3 times into yarn over 2 of previous round before slipping it off the needle.
M.8 = Make 8 stitches into double yarn over of previous round, i.e. (knit 1, purl 1), 4 times into yarn over 2 of previous round before slipping it off the needle.
M.9 = Make 9 stitches into next stitch, i.e. knit 1 (yarn over, knit 1), 4 times into front of the same stitch before slipping it off the needle.
st. = Stitch. d.c. = Double crochet.
sts. = Stitches. rep. = Repeat.
ch. = Chain. incl. = Inclusive.
X = This sign in front of a round means: knit first stitch of round from first needle on to the third needle. Slip first stitch from second needle on to first needle, and then slip first stitch from third needle on to the second needle. Now proceed to knit the marked pattern round.
When using a circular pin knit the first stitch of round plain, adding it to the previous round, and then start to knit the marked pattern round.
XX = Do as explained above with two stitches.
L = This sign in front of a chart line means: do not knit last stitch of previous round but slip it on to first needle, using the stitch as first stitch for this round. Also slip last stitch from first needle on to second needle, and last stitch from second needle on to third needle. If using a circular knitting needle use last stitch of plain round as first stitch for marked pattern round.
LL = Do as explained above with two stitches.
* = Asterisk: Repeat the instructions between the asterisks as many times as stated.
( ) = Brackets: Knit the instructions inside the brackets as many times as specified after closing bracket.
LINEN THREAD—CROCHET COTTON—WOOL
It is important to choose yarns of first-class quality for lace knitting, since most of the designs are worked in very open lace stitches, and are more liable to wear and tear than a closely knitted fabric.
The designs photographed throughout the book were worked either in white or light ecru crochet cotton or in white or naturally coloured linen thread. For the few articles knitted in wool a 1-ply or fine 2-ply wool of best quality was used. It is not in the lace-making tradition to use silks, rayon, or any other yarn of highly polished surface or very conspicuous colour.
For a beginner in lace knitting, it may be advisable to take a slightly thicker thread than stated in the working instructions of the chosen design.
KNITTING NEEDLES—CIRCULAR PINS—CROCHET HOOKS
Knitting pins and knitting needles required for lace knitting are the usual kind, available in every needlework shop. The size of knitting pins or needles is always given in the working instructions of the design concerned, and are usually either No. 12, No. 13 or No. 14 for articles worked in cotton or linen thread and No. 9 or No. 10 for lace pieces worked in wool.
For patterns worked on two needles, which require a large number of cast-on stitches, use the ordinary knitting pins with knob-ends, to prevent the stitches from slipping off the ends.
For knitting round, square, oval or oblong designs which are worked in the round, four double pointed knitting needles (sock needles) are needed for the start, and small designs are also completed on four needles. When knitting a lace piece of medium or large size it is absolutely essential to continue and finish the work with a circular knitting pin.
The most usual kind on the market is the nylon circular pin, an ideal tool for round knitting. Circular knitting needles are available in various lengths and in all sizes needed for our purpose. The length of the circular pin selected depends on the size of the design to be worked, and it is stated in the working instructions of each individual pattern which pin will serve to finish the particular article.
It is of great importance that the thickness of the circular pin is the same as that of the double pointed needles used for the commencement of the same article, for a different size of circular pin would alter the gauge of the stitches.
Crochet hooks needed for the crocheting-off are the kind of steel hooks obtainable in all needlework stores. No. 4, 4½, or 5 will serve for the finishing of any pattern worked in linen thread or cotton, and No. 2 or 3 are required when working with wool.
FOR AMERICAN KNITTERS
Needle gauge British size No. 12 is equivalent to the American size 11 in double pointed steel needles, and size 2 in American circular knitting needles.
British size No. 13 is equivalent to U.S.A. size 12 in double pointed needles, and size 1 in circular needles.
KNITTING ON TWO PINS
Designs worked on two pins require a certain amount of stitches for the start. These stitches can be obtained either by CASTING-ON or by KNITTING-ON and it is of no importance which method is used since it will not influence the appearance of the designs. If for some reason it is preferable to adopt one of the methods then it is specially emphasised in the working instructions of the design concerned.
When a great number of stitches is required for knitting an article, as for instance the Altar Lace, and the two knitting pins prove to be too short, it is possible to use instead one long circular pin of 36 or 42 in. length. Cast on all stitches on to this one circular pin and then knit to and fro, turning the work after each row, using the two points of the circular pin like two knitting pins.
When an article is being worked on two pins, the front and the back of the fabric alternately faces the knitter. The front of the lace fabric is composed of pattern rows which are given in the written working instructions (as well as on the charts) and are marked with numbers. All rows of which the numbers are missing are back rows and knitted purl, thus making up the wrong side of the fabric.
Pay special attention if, in a pattern row, a 'yarn over' occurs twice in succession since in the following purl row the first corresponding stitch must be purled and the second stitch knitted. Knitters with slack tension should work only one 'yarn over' where this 'double yarn over' is given in the pattern, but great care must be taken that in the following purl row, two stitches are worked into its place, as explained above.
KNITTING ON FOUR NEEDLES OR ON A CIRCULAR KNITTING PIN
The following directions apply to the working of round, square, oval and oblong designs.
COMMENCEMENT OF ROUND AND SQUARE DESIGNS
Commence from the centre of the cloth by casting-on the number of stitches stated in the working instructions of the chosen design. Divide the stitches on to three needles as suggested and arrange them to form a circle as when working a sock. Then always knit one round into the back of the stitches (to tighten the cast-on stitches) before following further instructions of the design concerned.
The easy-to-start method, using a crochet hook, presents an alternative means of starting a round or square design and is an ideal way for beginners in the technique of round knitting, to overcome the difficulty of holding so few stitches on the needles.
The photo-diagrams Fig. 1 to Fig. 7 show the commencement of a design which requires 12 stitches for the start, but the same method can be applied to any round or square design using the number of stitches required for the particular pattern.
Fig. 1. Commence from the centre by making 12 chain.
Fig. 2. Join to a ring with a slip stitch through the first chain. This is the first stitch.
Fig. 3. Draw 3 more slip stitches through the following 3 chain, which gives altogether 4 stitches.
Fig. 4. Slip those 4 stitches from the crochet hook on to the first knitting needle.
Fig. 5. Make 4 more slip stitches with the crochet hook through the following 4 chain.
Fig. 6. Transfer them on to the second knitting needle.
Fig. 7. Do the same with the remaining 4 stitches, and slip them on to the third needle.
Whether a design is started by casting-on or by help of the easy-to-start method, it is advisable to push little pieces of cork on to the points of the needles to prevent them from slipping out of the work. The knitter will find through experience that these pieces of cork, although so useful for the very beginning, can be dispensed with after a few rounds of knitting.
The little hole left in the centre should be drawn together afterwards when the cloth is finished. Thread the long cast-on or chain-end into a sewing needle and make one overcasting stitch into each cast-on stitch or chain, all round the little hole, thus drawing it together, and securing the thread at the same time.
COMMENCEMENT OF OVAL AND OBLONG DESIGNS
Commence from the centre of the cloth by KNITTING-ON the number of stitches given in the working instructions of the particular design. Divide the stitches on to three needles as suggested in the pattern concerned, and arrange the needles to form a circle exactly as when working a sock.
Then knit one round of plain before following the instructions of the pattern. This first round of plain must be worked through the front of the stitches (not the back, as this would tighten the stitches) since a loose, loopy selvedge is desired (see Fig. 8). Also casting-on by thumb method is not suitable when working oval and oblong designs, since this would also give an inflexible tight selvedge edge.
When commencing a large Cloth or Runner with more than about 150 stitches to begin with, it is recommended to knit-on the stitches on to a circular knitting pin of 16 in. length (see Fig. 9).
Even when working a smaller mat and commencing with double pointed needles as described in the first paragraph, it is possible to transfer all stitches on to a 16 in. circular knitting pin after about 10 rounds of knitting (see Fig. 10).
When the article is completed and taken off the needles the large hole in the centre will appear as a slit and can be stitched together with overcasting stitches. Care should be taken to join the opposite side sections of the pattern, sewing together the corresponding stitches from each side. Thus a pleasing look can be achieved and the join will not disturb the general appearance of the design (see Fig. 11).
When an article is being worked on four needles or on a circular pin the front of the fabric always faces the knitter. Never turn your work when knitting round.
Only pattern rounds are given in the written instructions (as well as on the charts), and they are marked with numbers. Every round of which the number is missing is knitted plain. In general you will observe that every alternate round is usually a plain round, and if not, special attention is drawn to this fact in the working instructions of the pattern. Nevertheless, the knitter should carefully watch the numbers of the rounds and not adopt the habit, so easily acquired by good knitters, of knitting on, automatically, one pattern and one plain round.
Special attention should be paid if, in a pattern round, a 'yarn over' occurs twice in succession, since in the following plain round, the first corresponding stitch must be knitted, and the second stitch purled or vice versa. Knitters with a slack tension may work only one 'yarn over' in place of the 'double yarn over' stated in the pattern, but great care must be taken that in the following plain round, two stitches are worked into its place as explained above.
TRANSFER OF STITCHES
When working a square or round design it is unavoidable to start with double pointed knitting needles. Only after a certain amount of rounds can the stitches be transferred on to a circular needle. The scale below may be a useful guide.
From about round 30 — 16 in. length circular pin.
From about round 45 — 24 in. length circular pin.
From about round 75 — 30 in. or 36 in. circular pin.
From about round 95 — 42 in. length circular pin.
When working oblong or oval designs one may be able to begin with a circular needle right from the start as explained in the COMMENCEMENT. If, however, the oval or oblong cloth had to be started on double pointed needles the stitches can be transferred on to a circular needle at an earlier stage as when knitting a square or round design, since there are a much larger number of stitches to start (see the scale below).
From about round 10 — 16 in. circular pin.
From about round 30 — 24 in. circular pin.
From about round 60 — 30 in. or 36 in. circular pin.
From about round 75 — 42 in. circular pin.
It is better to transfer the stitches on to a circular needle when knitting a plain round, and, of course, it is stated in the working instructions of each individual design which pin will serve to finish the particular article.
MARKING OF THE ROUND
In circular knitting, it is most essential that the beginning of the round is marked very clearly. When knitting with four double pointed knitting needles, draw in a coloured thread between the first and the last needle when the round is completed. When working with a circular pin mark your round again with a coloured loop, slipping it over the right-hand point of the needle before knitting the first stitch (see Fig. 10). This coloured thread will quite automatically move, with the stitches, all round the circular needle, since it keeps its position all the time between the last and first stitch. As the knitter finishes the round, the loop only needs to be lifted from the left-hand needle-point to the right-hand point before the first stitch of the next round is knitted.
It may be also very useful to mark the finish of each pattern unit with a coloured thread when working a round cloth, and it is especially recommended to mark the corner stitches when knitting a square or oblong design. (Also shown in Fig. 10.)
A knitter used to wool knitting will find that a slight adjustment of tension is needed when taking up lace knitting. Fine threads usually require a tightening of tension but not to such an extent that the stitches will not move upon the needle. Neither should the needles be able to slip out of the work on their own.
Excerpted from SECOND BOOK OF MODERN LACE KNITTING by MARIANNE KINZEL. Copyright © 1972 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
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