An Education in Lace Grafting: Practice Swatch 2

In Practice Swatch 1, we created knit and purl stitches when we grafted the upper and lower pieces of a stockinette stitch swatch together. We also created an ssk decrease on the lower piece (which corresponds to the lower row of two chart rows) by drawing the tapestry needle through two stitches so that the first stitch crossed to the left over the second stitch. We created yarnovers on the upper piece (which corresponds to the upper row of two chart rows) when the working yarn stitches were picked up and knit in a waste-yarn chain (or knit from waste yarn stitches on the needle) on the provisional cast-on row. In Practice Swatch 2, we’ll create decreases and yarnovers on both the upper and lower pieces.

Decreases

As we saw in the first lesson, an ssk decrease on the lower piece (which corresponds to the lower row of two chart rows) is created when the grafting yarn is drawn purlwise through the second stitch and then the first stitch, and then knitwise through the same two stitches. A k2tog on the lower piece is also created by drawing the tapestry needle through two stitches at the same time, but the tapestry needle is inserted purlwise into the two stitches by going through the first stitch, and then the second stitch, and then going back through both stitches knitwise (through the second stitch and then the first stitch) so the second stitch slants to the right over the first stitch.

To work k2tog and ssk decreases on the upper piece (which corresponds to a decrease symbol on the upper row of two chart rows) by first working a Sequence A (or C), then working a second sequence on top of the first, retracing the path of the grafting yarn on the upper piece so that two stitches on the lower piece become one stitch on the upper piece. For a k2tog decrease on the upper piece, the second grafted stitch is worked on top of the first grafted stitch so it slants to the right over the first grafted stitch; and for an ssk decrease, the second grafted stitch is worked under the first grafted stitch so the first stitch slants to the left over the second grafted stitch.

Yarnovers

In Practice Swatch 1, we created yarnovers above the grafted row by working them on the provisional cast-on row. To create a yarnover on the grafted row itself, only the two steps on the upper piece are worked and the steps on the lower piece are skipped.

Grafting Sequences

In this lesson, we’ll be practicing grafting Sequences E–K (as well as Sequences A–D from the first lesson).

 

 

On the grafting chart, the decrease symbols on the lower row look just like the decrease symbols on a standard stitch chart. However, the decreases on the upper row are represented by the arrows that denote the path of the grafting yarn through the live stitches. This is because the decreases must be “engineered” by overlapping the grafted stitches and the arrows make it clear which stitch should overlap the other.

In the instructions below, I’ve included an illustration of each sequence so that you can see what it will look like on the needles after grafting. The grafted row is shown in blue with arrows that show the path of the grafting yarn (and correspond to the arrows in the grafting charts). I’ve also included the chart symbol for each sequence and a brief description of the type of stitch that will be created on each piece, as well as written instructions for each sequence. In the charts, “UP” stands for “Upper Piece,” and “LP” stands for “Lower Piece.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice Swatch 2

What You’ll Need:

·      Working yarn in main color and contrasting color (for grafting and for cast-on if working a few rows in stockinette stitch)

·      Knitting needles (straight or circular) in an appropriate size for the working yarn

·      Smooth, cotton waste yarn in a contrasting color for the crochet provisional cast-on and to use as a stitch holder for the live stitches on the lower piece

·      Crochet hook (if using a crochet chain cast-on)

·      Tapestry needle

Provisional Cast-On

Crochet Chain Method

1.     With crochet hook and cotton waste yarn, chain about 25 stitches. Break yarn and pull tail through last stitch.

2.     Turn chain over so bumps in the back of the chain are visible. With knitting needle and main-color working yarn, beginning in third stitch from last stitch of chain, pick up and knit 2 stitches in chain, yarnover, skip a chain, pick up and knit 3 stitches in chain, yarnover, skip a chain, [pick up and knit 4 stitches in chain, yarnover, skip a chain] 2 times, pick up and knit 3 stitches in chain—20 stitches (including the yarnovers).

3.     Beginning with a right-side knit row, work in stockinette stitch for about 3″, then bind off all stitches.

4.     Make another swatch: cast on (not provisionally) 20 stitches. Work in stockinette stitch for 3″, ending with a right-side row. Break yarn and place stitches on a strand of waste yarn. Block the swatches.

Alternate Crochet Chain Method

1.     With crochet hook and cotton waste yarn, work 20 chain stitches onto a knitting needle.

2.     With knitting needle and main-color working yarn, knit 2 stitches, yarnover, drop a chain stitch from needle, knit 3 stitches, yarnover, drop a chain stitch from needle, [knit 4 stitches, yarnover, drop a chain stitch from needle] 2 times, knit 3 stitches—20 stitches (including the yarnovers).

3.     Complete swatches as for first method.

Waste Yarn Method

1.     With contrasting working yarn, cast on 16 stitches (not provisionally). Work in stockinette stitch for about 1″, ending with a right-side row. Break yarn.

2.     With WS facing and main-color working yarn, knit 2 stitches, yarnover, knit 3 stitches, yarnover, [knit 4 stitches, yarnover] 2 times, knit 3 stitches—20 stitches.

3.     Complete swatches as for first method.

Create an Extra Loop on Provisional Cast-On Row

Thread the cast-on tail from the provisional cast-on row onto a tapestry needle and create an extra loop by inserting the needle into a stitch at the edge from right-side to wrong-side. This extra loop must be created for every swatch so that all the steps of the last sequence can be worked.

 

lace grafting

Create an extra loop on provisional cast-on row using cast-on tail.

Follow the Grafting Chart

 

 

Thread contrasting-color working yarn onto a tapestry needle and work the grafting chart.

Work Sequence C two times:

lace grafting

Two Sequence C’s completed.

Work Sequence H once:

Work Steps 1–4 of Sequence H as for Sequence A.

Begin Sequence H by working Steps 1–4 of Sequence A.

Work Step 5 of Sequence H into next stitch on lower piece.

lace grafting

Step 5 of Sequence H: Insert tapestry needle purlwise into next stitch on lower piece.

Work Step 6 of Sequence H over same two stitches on upper piece as first sequence.

Step 6 of Sequence H: Insert tapestry needle purlwise and knitwise into same two stitches on upper piece as first sequence.

Work Step 7 of Sequence H.

Completed Sequence H. Two grafted stitches are decreased to one stitch.

Work Sequence G on other side of first yarnover on upper piece:

Work Step 1 of Sequence G on other side of yarnover.

lace grafting

Work Step 1 of Sequence G after first yarnover on provisional cast-on row: Insert tapestry needle knitwise into stitch on upper piece.

Work Step 2 of Sequence G.

lace grafting

Step 2 of Sequence G: Insert tapestry needle purlwise into next stitch on upper piece.

Work Sequence E once:

Work Step 1 of Sequence E, skipping the first stitch on the lower piece and working into the second stitch.

Step 1 of Sequence E: Insert tapestry needle purlwise into second stitch on lower piece.

Work Step 2 of Sequence E, working into the first stitch on the lower piece.

Step 2 of Sequence E: Insert tapestry needle purlwise into first stitch on lower piece.

Work Step 3 of Sequence E.

lace grafting

Step 3 of Sequence E: Insert tapestry needle knitwise into stitch on upper piece.

Work Step 4 of Sequence E.

Step 4 of Sequence E: Insert tapestry needle purlwise into next stitch on upper piece.

Work Step 5 of Sequence E.

Step 5 of Sequence E: Insert tapestry needle knitwise through both stitches on lower piece.

Work Sequence B once:

Completed Sequence B.

Work Sequence F once:

Work Step 1 of Sequence F.

Step 1 of Sequence F: Insert tapestry needle purlwise into stitch on upper piece.

Work Step 2 of Sequence F.

Step 2 of Sequence F: Insert tapestry needle knitwise into next stitch on upper piece.

Work Sequence A on other side of second yarnover on upper piece:

Completed Sequence A after second yarnover on provisional cast-on row.

Work Sequence J once:

Work Step 1 of Sequence J, skipping the first stitch on the lower piece and working into the second stitch.

Step 1 of Sequence J: Insert tapestry needle purlwise into second stitch on lower piece.

Work Step 2 of Sequence J, working into the first stitch on the lower piece.

Step 2 of Sequence J: Insert tapestry needle purlwise into first stitch on lower piece.

Work Step 3 of Sequence J.

Step 3 of Sequence J: Insert tapestry needle purlwise into stitch on upper piece.

Work Step 4 of Sequence J.

Step 4 of Sequence J: Insert tapestry needle knitwise into next stitch on upper piece.

Work Step 5 of Sequence J.

Step 5 of Sequence J: Insert tapestry needle knitwise through both stitches on lower piece.

Work Step 6 of Sequence J.

Step 6 of Sequence J: Insert tapestry needle purlwise into next stitch on lower piece.

Work Step 7 of Sequence J.

Step 7 of Sequence J: Bring tapestry needle from left to right behind first sequence…

 

…then insert tapestry needle purlwise and knitwise into same two stitches on upper piece as first sequence.

Work Step 8 of Sequence J.

Step 8 of Sequence J: Insert tapestry needle knitwise into stitch on lower piece.

Work Sequence I once:

Work Steps 1–4 of Sequence I as for Sequence A.

Begin Sequence I by working Steps 1–4 of Sequence A.

Work Step 5 of Sequence I.

Step 5 of Sequence I: Insert tapestry needle purlwise into next two stitches on lower piece.

Work Step 6 of Sequence I.

Step 6 of Sequence I: Insert tapestry needle purlwise and knitwise into same two stitches on upper piece as first sequence.

Work Step 7 of Sequence I.

Step 7 of Sequence I: Insert tapestry needle knitwise into both stitches on lower piece (following the path of the grafting yarn back through both stitches).

Work Sequence A once, ending just before third yarnover on provisional cast-on row:

Sequence A before third yarnover on provisional cast-on row.

Work Sequence F on other side of yarnover:

Sequence F after third yarnover on provisional cast-on row.

Work Sequence A once:

Sequence A.

Work Sequence K once:

Work Steps 1–4 of Sequence K as for Sequence C.

Begin Sequence K by working Steps 1–4 of Sequence C.

Work Step 5 of Sequence K into next stitch on lower piece.

Step 5 of Sequence K: Insert tapestry needle purlwise into next stitch on lower piece.

Work Step 6 of Sequence K over same two stitches on upper piece as first sequence.

Step 6 of Sequence K: Insert tapestry needle knitwise and purlwise into same two stitches on upper piece as first sequence.

Work Step 7 of Sequence K.

Step 7 of Sequence K: Insert tapestry needle knitwise into stitch on lower piece.

Work last two Sequence C’s:

Last two Sequence C’s.

Remove the waste yarn from the upper and lower pieces:

Remove waste yarn from upper and lower pieces.

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