DSD and other people’s designs

I came up with the DSD double decrease several years ago. It’s a double decrease that is visually an exact mirror of sk2p: work ssk (or any of the other left-leaning single decreases), slip it back to the left needle and pass the next stitch over it, then slip it to the right needle again.
It took me a while to find a name for it. I knew I couldn’t have been the first person to invent it, and I wanted to use the same name as other designers. When I asked on Ravelry, I got a kind answer from Annie Maloney (Ravelry patterns, stitch dictionaries), who also designs lace. She told me that she calls this decrease a double slip decrease because that is what Barbara Abbey called it in her book about lace design. Annie Maloney abbreviates it as DSD, so I do likewise.

I didn’t know if I’d ever come across it again in anyone else’s work, but amazingly, in the last couple of months I’ve come across examples in two books I’ve had for a very long time: my Mon Tricot stitch dictionary and Susanna Lewis’s Knitting Lace, which provides charts for a 19th century stitch sampler and talks about lace design.

(the middle stitch sits in back for both stitches; what’s different is which one sits in front. Sk2p appears to lean left; DSD appears to lean right.)

I hadn’t really noticed it in these books for two different reasons.

For the Mon Tricot stitch pattern, it’s explained in the stitch pattern (which didn’t visibly need a mirror to a left-leaning double decrease; I’m still mystified about why the stitch pattern designer chose it) rather than in the main glossary. And Susanna Lewis puts it in her double decrease section as “Knitted, slants to right”, so I hadn’t really looked very closely. The anonymous knitter who made the sampler actually used it as a mirror of sk2p.
Anyway, I find this very exciting, as it indicates that there are probably even more stitch pattern designers who have used this double decrease.

If you’re curious, these are the stitch patterns in question:

  • For the Mon Tricot, it’s Vandyke stitch vi (the swatch photo has 399 in the corner), p. 72.
  • For Knitting Lace, the glossary (see page 198) says it is used in “Patterns 22, 48, 49, 50, 51, 61; Edging 1, p. 157; Edging 3, p. 159; Medallion, p. 161; Pattern 63, mirrored, p. 145.”

A note about the Mon Tricot stitch dictionaries. These were printed by Mon Tricot (a French knitting magazine) in the 70s. I inherited my grandmother’s Mon Tricot 900 Stitches Patterns, which contains a nice mixture of knitting and crochet stitch patterns, many of which I’ve never seen elsewhere. I’d seen listings online for Mon Tricot 1030 Stitches Patterns, and was never quite sure if it was 1030 new stitch patterns, or if it contained all of the 900 plus 130 more. I finally ordered a copy, and discovered that it’s the 900 plus 130 more tacked onto the end. It’s the original 900 stitch patterns, knitting followed by crochet, with new crochet and then new knitting, in that order.

I’m quite pleased, because my older copy was getting quite worn out, and there’s some interesting stitches in it I hadn’t seen before. If you’re going to buy a Mon Tricot stitch dictionary, I’d recommend the one with 1030 stitches if you have a choice.