Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wheat-Ear Knit Edging from 1880 (Updated)

I thought, just for the heck of it, that I would try to knit one of the narrow edgings I found in Knitting and Crochet: An Illustrated Manual of Home Industry

Here's the original.

The first row was easy enough.

But on the second row, what am I supposed to do when I come to those double yarn overs? I could knit into the first loop and purl into the second, but that would leave me with too many stitches for the start of the 3rd row. So I just worked into the first loop and let the second drop off.

Working this way, the 3rd through 7th rows went smoothly.

But the 8th row? That's not going to work. After Row 7 I have 8 sts on the needle (if you count the double yo as only one stitch). If I work the eighth row as written, I will only use up 5 of those sts, leaving three left over. And besides, I need to reduce the stitch count to a total of five so that I will be ready to start over with the 1st row.

Obviously, I need to bind off three sts at the beginning of Row 8. Do I still start the row "Over twice and purl 2 together"? I tried it that way, passing the yo over the p2tog for the first bound off stitch, but the second loop of the yo didn't drop off easily. So in the end, I just worked the last row as "Bind off 3, knit 4". *

I must say, those double yarnovers at the edge leave awfully big loops. Maybe this would look prettier in a finer yarn. But it did occur to me to wonder if "over twice" really meant "yarn over and then bring the yarn into position to purl".

So I tried it that way as well.

To my mind, the results are much neater, and it's definitely easier to work.

This is a very basic edging with a familiar look about it, and I'm sure that with just a little searching I could find versions of it in one, or more, of the books on my shelves. But for whatever it's worth, here's my re-write.

CO 5 stitches
Row 1: k2, yo, k1, yo, p2tog: 6 sts on needle.
Row 2: yo, p2tog, k4.
Row 3: k3, yo, k1, yo, p2tog: 7 sts on needle..
Row 4: yo, p2tog, k5.
Row 5: k4, yo, k1, yo, p2tog: 8 sts on needle.
Row 6: yo, p2tog, k6.
Row 7: k6, yo, p2tog.
Row 8: yo, p2tog, pass the yo over the stitch formed by the p2tog to bind off 1, bind off 2 more sts, k4.

For Row 8, you could just: "Bind off 3, k4." I think starting with a yo makes a slightly nicer point, but that could be just my imagination.

* Update, I actually found an Errata section in the original, and it notes: Wheat-Ear Edge, Page 27, 8th row: for “purl 2 together” read “purl 5 together.”

That rather changes things. I'll get to work on knitting it this way.


Anonymous said...

Yikes, that's rather a large errata! I think the second photo is quite pretty. Hmmm. Maybe I could use that as the edging on the next chemo hat (yeah, I'm getting over-confident...)

junior_goddess said...

I like #2. Kudos to you for playing.