Thursday, January 28, 2010

Charting Marianne Kinzel's "Ladybird" pattern

The "Ladybird Stitch" from Marianne Kinzel's lace knitting books has long interested me. Scroll down to Figure 6 in this embedded excerpt from The First Book of Modern Lace Knitting to see a picture of the fabric:
I have found it useful in graphing my own patterns to sometimes represent groups of stitches that usually are shown as several symbols as one symbol. This has helped me, for example, to un­der­stand better the stitch structure of the “Ladybird” pat­tern. If you replace the “yo, k1-b, yo” group with a single symbol, it makes for a more compact chart that more clearly shows the proportions of the knitted piece. Here’s a graph of the ladybird mesh to show what I mean (edge stitches aren’t graphed correctly):

A full repeat of the ladybird pattern (shown on the graph inside the heavy lines) when knitted really is approxi­mately square. And using the  “yo, k1-b, yo” symbol means that the placement of the yarnover symbols in the chart more accurately represents what is going on in the knitted piece. The “yo, k1-b, yo” group is approximately equal in size to the single yarnovers since the latter are strained horizontally by the sudden decrease in stitches on the rows in which they appear.

Here’s the same pattern when graphed as Kinzel does it in her Modern Lace Knitting books:

Done this way, there’s no way to tell from the graph that the yarn overs form 45˚ diagonals in the knitted piece, or that the proportions of the pattern when knitted are square, roughly the same as garter stitch (one stitch = two rows), though much less dense a fabric! The graph may be a little easier to read, but that is a matter of taste, I think. And on patterns like this one, where the stitch count changes from row to row, one square in the graph can’t equal one stitch. Mrs. Kinzel uses blank squares to address the imbalance.

More of my idiosyncratic charting style here:

Lace  knitting chartImage by fuzzyjay via Flickr
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