Increases and decreases

As promised last week, we’ll dive a bit deeper in the different possibilities of increases and decreases. This will be a bit more technical than last week, but that’s because it’s actually real content.

First we’ll talk about where to place increases and decreases. Then we’ll list the different types of increases and the different types of decreases. We won’t explain them, that ‘s been done many times, but we’ll refer you to some very clear videos. Next week we’ll try to match the right type of increase with the right type of decrease.

Oh, just for the sake of clarity, we’re only talking about stockinette stitch.

Where do I place my increases and decreases on a ball?

I tried two possibilities: an even distribution of one single type of increase/decrease and a distribution of mirrored increases and decreases along 4 meridians. I did not try to randomly place the increases and decreases, but I’m not saying it’s not a valid option!

Distributing evenly, all leaning the same way

I evenly distributed 8 increases over the round and I got something that looks like this:

Knitting Balls Schema Even Distribution

The ball has 8 identical segments, all somewhat half-moon shaped. It’s also possible to work this way:

Knitting Balls Schema Even Distribution Asymmetrical

It’s not a must to have 8 segments: there could be 5, or 9.

Mirroring left and right leaning increases and decreases

I focused most on a mirrored distribution of left and right leaning increases and decreases along 4 of the meridians of the ball. That makes for something like this:

Knitting Balls Schema 4 Axes

There’s no obligation to aim for 4 segments. There could be 3, or 5, maybe even more. That will require a larger distance between the increases or the ball ends up being more like a disk.

Types of increases

Knit front and back

Knit through the front and back loop of the stitch

As abbreviation I’ve found inc and kfb. This increase doesn’t have a direction, there’s no left or right version of it, so it’s not a good match with a mirrored distribution around 4 axes. When knitting balls you can use it only when you want all increases and decreases to lean in the same direction. The pattern description would look something like:

Cast on 8 stitches.
Round 1: *knit 2, place marker*; repeat from * to *.
Round 2: knit all stitches front and back. You have 16 stitches.
Round 3: knit all stitches.
Round 4: *knit 1, knit 1 front and back*; repeat from * to *. You have 24 stitches.
Round 5: knit all stitches.
Round 6: *knit 2, knit 1 front and back*; repeat from * to *. You have 32 stitches.
Round 7: knit all stitches.
Round 8: *knit 3, knit 1 front and back*; repeat from * to *. You have 40 stitches.
Round 9: knit all stitches.

I didn’t try this. Ons Breiboek, the local knitting bible, doesn’t even mention this increase. There’s a Drops instruction video that shows you how to work the increase.

This type of increase is not suited for a pattern that groups the increases around 4 axes.

Make one or raised increase

The make one or raised increase comes in a left and a right leaning variant. They’re abbreviated as m1l and m1r, for make 1 left and make 1 right. You create a new stitch from the strand of yarn between the two stitches you’re working. Look at this Drops video to learn how to work this increase.

I’ve tried a few combinations with varying results:

Lifted increase

The lifted increase or loop under also comes in a left and a right leaning variant. They’re abbreviated as lli and rli for left lifted increase and right lifted increase. You create a new stitch by picking up the loop of the stitch on the row below. Look at this Drops video to see how it’s done.

I’ve tried a few more combinations with this one:

Types of decreases

There isn’t any type of decrease that comes with a left and a right variant, but it’s possible to pair decreases to create a similar effect as with paired increases. Similar, not the same. But that’s for later.

Let’s look at a classic duo: knit two together and slip slip knit.

Knit two together

To decrease the number of stitches by 1, knit 2 stitches together. This decrease slants to the right and is mirrored by slip slip knit. Abbreviated as k2tog. This Drops video shows you how to do it.

Slip, slip, knit

Slip one stitch as if to knit, slip a second stitch as if to knit, knit both slipped stitches together. This decrease slants to the left and is mirrored by knit two together.  There is of course a Drops video to show you how to do it.

Again I’ve tried a few combinations:

Then there’s a type of decreases that reduces 3 stitches into 1 in one go.

Slip two together, knit one, pass slipped stitches over

This is a double decrease. There are quite a few different abbreviations for this decrease. You might find s2kpo, s2togkpo or even longer. It’s actually somewhat like knitting 3 stitches together, but the order of doing things makes the middle stitch end up on top, which gives a nice symetrical look. It’s also very explicit. This Drops video shows how to do it.

s2kpo

Slip one, knit two together, pass slipped stitch over

Another double decrease, where the middle stitch ends up in the back. It’s abbreviated as sk2po. This Drops video shows how to do it.

sk2p

Next week we’ll try to match the right type of increase with a similar decrease.

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2 thoughts on “Increases and decreases

  1. Pingback: 10 different ways to knit a ball | Greener Wool

  2. Pingback: I can’t align the increases with the decreases! | Greener Wool

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