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Counting Issues! July 22, 2010

Filed under: Knitting tips and hints — happystitches @ 00:09

We all get frustrated when working a pattern when the stitch count doesn’t work out. Here is are a couple of examples of how these things can arise.

When making Left or Right slanting increases (also known as raised increases, definitions below) be very careful with the stitch count.
Unlike a ‘knit into the front and back’ or ‘knit and purl into a stitch’ type of increase, which uses up a stitch from the previous row and makes it into two stitches, raised increases simply create a stitch without necessarily using one up.

For example on a row with 5 stitches, the increase row could be written as either (K2, kf&b, k2) OR (K2, RSI, k3). Both are correct would end up with 6 sts!

It may be necessary to reread the definition of the increase carefully to determine the designer’s intentions. These would be my definitions:

RSI Right-slanting increase. Using your RHN pick up, and knit into the stitch below the next one waiting to be knitted on the LHN. Allow the new stitch a little extra yarn as it emanates from the row below. After the increase has been made the next stitch may be worked as usual but this counts as a regular stitch in the pattern.

LSI Left-slanting increase. Using the LHN pick up, and knit into the side of the stitch below the one that has just been knitted. Allow the new stitch a little extra yarn as it emanates from the row below.

Be careful too with the term ‘increase 1’ (inc 1). It could go either way. Inc 1 usually leaves it to the discretion of the knitter what kind of increase to use. Let’s consider directions that read (K8, inc 1) repeat. If you use the two-stitches-into-one method you may end up having to [K8, kf&b, (k7, k&b) repeat] to make the stitch count work.

If you chose to use an RSI instead, you would work [(K8, RSI) repeat] but you’d come come unstuck at the end of the row because you cannot make a RSI if there are no more stitches on the left-hand needle. I would either move the increase a little sooner, finish with a LSI instead or more likely I would write the row as follows [(K4, inc1, k4) repeat] to avoid the issue arising!

Isn’t knitting fun?

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5 Responses to “Counting Issues!”

  1. Abby Says:

    Thanks for sharing that tip, Lucy. Not something I would have thought of and not something I’ve come up against yet so you’ve saved me from future stitch count anguish.

  2. Mirra Says:

    Emanates 🙂

  3. Luise Says:

    I read: “(K2, kf&b, k2) OR (K2, RSI, k3). Both are correct would end up with 6 sts!” Is this really correct? I thought kf&b would add only 1 stitch. I guess I’m confused. (Sorry.)

    • Susan Says:

      Hi Luise, It is correct. In each case you are starting with 5 stitches on the needles. In the first case you’ll knit the first 2 stitches, then knit into the front and back of the next knit stitch and finally knit the last two stitches thus adding 1 stitch to your needles. In the second case you’ll knit 2 then make a stitch between the two stitches on your needles and finally knit 3 again just adding one stitch to your count. I hope that helps to clarify. This is why it is so difficult to write patterns and charts and compare the two, we all see and interpret words differently. 🙂

    • Abby Says:

      Luise, the kf&b uses one stitch in the current row to create 2 stitches but the RS1 doesn’t use any stitches from the current row but creates one from the yarn in the row below. Does that help?


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