Disrupt by Jolie Elder


May 2017
Bulky (7 wpi) ?
9.25 stitches and 15 rows = 4 inches
in K1P1 ribbing, unblocked
US 13 - 9.0 mm
400 yards (366 m)
One Size
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It isn’t often we encounter a new fundamental type of knit fabric. When we do, a whole new world of design possibilities can open. For the past year, I have been exploring reversible lace. The groundwork was laid from the classes I took. I studied “ribbles” with Lily Chin, reversible fabrics with Gwen Bortner, double-knit lace with Alasdair Post-Quinn, and I made some three-dimensional scarves from Lynne Barr’s book Knitting New Scarves. These experiences put the building blocks of reversible lace in my head. I merely needed to see that they could be assembled.

Stockinette has a right side and a wrong side. Stockinette-based laces, therefore, also have a right side and a wrong side. Russian knitters got around this quality by working their laces in Garter stitch, which is reversible. Garter stitch is also bumpy. Russian lace knitters minimize this by working at such a fine gauge that the bumpiness hardly shows. There is another type of fabric that is inherently reversible – 1×1 ribbing. Lily Chin discovered that working cables in ribbing makes reversible cables. It turns out that working lace in 1×1 ribbing makes reversible lace!

This fabric retains the basic properties of ribbing – it is reversible and it is stretchy – while adding the new property of lace patterning. It is worked with only one yarn, not two. Not every pattern can be converted, as purl stitches can be a problem. But lace patterns that are based on stockinette can be worked straight from the charts simply by changing the stitch key.

Imagine being able to make lace scarves, mobius cowls, blankets, cuffs, collars, waterfall cardigans, circle jackets, and circle shawls where the wrong side could show freely! The pattern that follows will give you a taste of this disruptive new world.

Video support on the designer’s YouTube channel Jolie knits.