Fussy knitting question: decreasing in linen stitch
February 11, 2019 11:34 AM   Subscribe

I'm making a project in linen stitch (with cotton yarn, which is a pretty hateful combination) and it just called for a decrease. I'm not sure how things match up from the next row on.

Even number of stitches, slipping the first one at the beginning of each right- and wrong-side row. All good, pretty tedious, but then there's a decrease of one on each side. I went with SKP at the beginning of the row and K2tog at the end of the row. Looks ok so far.

But so now it seems like the two alternatives are

1) slip the first stitch to maintain a consistent looking edge, but the linen stitch will be shifted by one with knits/purls/slips lining up exactly wrong or

2) start the next row with a purl, things will line up, but I lose the nice smooth edge.

Am I missing something obvious here? It seems like this should not be this complicated.

I've just done the decrease row and nothing further so all is not lost if I've done something fundamentally wrong. (I'm remembering that pulling back in linen stitch is maybe not wholly straightfoward....I started this project a thousand years ago, though, so I may be remembering wrong.)
posted by Smearcase to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total)
Slip the stitch. ()On future rows do the decreases or increases at least one stitch in from the outside edge.

Make either a knit or a purl for the stitch after the slipped stitch, or whichever gets your pattern to be closest to in line.

YouTube probably has video of ‘decreasing in linen stitch’ that can show you what I mean.
posted by bilabial at 12:13 PM on February 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Have you checked the Ravelry notes / comments / discussions to see if this has come up for the pattern before?

Here's my understanding of the problem.

PSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPS -- slip that first stitch not necessarily because it's linen stitch, but because you start every row with a slipped stitch, and then continue in pattern.
PSPSPSPSPSPSPSPS_S -- if you slip the first stitch, then what? you're missing the stitch that, in pattern, would be the first purl stitch.

You definitely do not want to do Option 1 -- that would mess up the entire row.

You could do Option 2 -- instead of slipping the first stitch, you either knit or purl it, as appropriate, but it has the defect you mention regarding the edges.

I see two other potential options:
3) Slip the first two stitches. You're slipping the edge stitch and then immediately slipping in pattern. This might look like ass after the next row is knit, though, I'm not sure.
4) Slip the first stitch and then Purl two before continuing in pattern (ie, purl two, then slip/purl/slip purl to the end).

My feeling is that 4 will probably look the tidiest and least interrupt the overall pattern, but I'd probably do a tiny swatch of linen stitch and try each of 2, 3 and 4 a few rows apart and see which one I liked the look of best.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:28 PM on February 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ok, I tried various things and then ended up ignoring everyone and doing the decreases in the middle. It looks sort of fine.
posted by Smearcase at 4:29 PM on February 11, 2019

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