Friday, June 06, 2008

Passing the bar

I've been deconstructing the humble bar increase lately. I'm talking about the one where you knit the front leg of a stitch without removing it from the left needle, then knit the back leg. The stitch you're working into gets a half twist, forming a little bump to the left.

In this earlier post I described how to work a less-prominent variation on the bar increase. Here's the structural difference between Kf&b and the variant: in the purple figure above, look closely at the twist. The horizontal-ish part lies on top. In the variant, the vertical-ish part ends up on top, as in the green figure. That's why the horizontal bump lies to the back of the fabric.

Once upon a time, I was working on a pair of gloves with bar increases for the thumb gusset, and it bothered me that the increases weren't symmetrical. Yes, I know that if you Choose Wisely which stitches to work Kf&b in, you can make the placement of the bumps symmetrical; but still, they aren't perfect mirror images because there's a bit of distortion to the right of each bump. What I wanted was an increase that is a structural mirror image of Kf&b, with the bump lying to the right, as in the blue figure. So I unvented one.

Here's how to work the blue increase: remount the stitch left leg nearside. Knit the front leg and remove the stitch from the right needle (so far, you've merely made a twisted knit stitch). With the tip of the left needle, pick up the strand that runs from lower left to upper right of the stitch just removed (it's the top strand of the twist), and knit the back of it.

It's also possible to work the mirror image of the variant (peach figure), but it's a little more awkward. Knit the back leg and remove the stitch from the right needle (a traditional twisted knit). With the tip of the left needle, pick up the back strand of the twist, and knit the front of it.

It took me about three days to draw those figures, and I'm all tuckered out, so I'll have to tell you about Pf&b and its friends another day.


Jennifer said...

Hi. I clicked your ravatar on Ravelry cause I want to know : What is that cat doing? You have certainly persevered though some fiddly knitting. I'm always impressed when someone can insert drawings into their blog.

dmaxi said...
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dmaxi said...

Well done on figuring this out and thanks for sharing. I'm delighted to realise I'm not the only one bothered by kfb!