Friday, March 7, 2008

The Double Decrease: Buffing Your Lace Technique

Several days ago, my friend JT asked if I had ever done a post on double decreases for lace knitting. Why no, I had not...but what a great idea! So here it is, JT. I believe her question was an extension of a discussion on the "EZasPi" list on Yahoo. Liz Lovick has designed what looks to be a delicious shawl, called The Orkney Pi, especially for this group. Liz suggested a particular double decrease, in keeping with the Orkney knitting tradition and her design, and an interesting discussion has followed. I collected four common double decreases and knit a swatch using all four. Starting from the right:
1) The Left-leaning double decrease
2) The double vertical decrease
3) A double decrease (non-directional)
4) The Right-leaning double decrease

I have a basic way that I suggest you try each double decrease, but there are several ways to do each one, and because we all knit differently, the way I suggest is...well...a suggestion only.

Here is a swatch of a lace design I am working on that will use all four of these double decreases, plus left and right leaning single decreases. I think you can see the subtle difference the choice of decrease might lend to a pattern with strong lines
You can try all four of these double decreases using my chart and directions for each one. You can also see some excellent illustrations of three of the double decreases here. The illustrations are not identical to the way I do each of these decreases, but again, they are another way to achieve the same result.

The pattern I showed above is a swatch of an exercise/scarf for a workshop I am planning. I will share the results with you in a few days. Until then, I will keep knitting in a desperate attempt to actually finish something!


  1. A lovely mini-tutorial--thanks so much for posting it. I am so lazy-=I do these decreases by knitting through and around stitches so I don't have to slip anything. Slipped stitches invariable slip off my needles. Bah!

  2. great post, very helpful to have all the info as well as illustrations in one place - thanks for sharing with us!

  3. This is a really helpful post! I get the direction wrong with the decreases all the time but seeing them all in one place so I can compare is great. Thank you!