Étude no. 28: deleting columns from charted designs

In Combining Vertical Bands, I shared some ways that vertical pattern bands can be put together to make different effects or to fit in different numbers of stitches. (Of course these methods would also work for horizontal bands.) One of the methods was to add extra blank columns to stretch a stitch pattern from side to side.

This got me thinking: what if I were to make new charted designs by deleting columns instead? I decided to make a design exercise out of it. I call these études, after the musical exercises I used to play for my violin teacher: those often involve repeating variations of the same thing over and over.

Note: I’m not providing proper charts or any written instructions for any of the designs below. It would have taken too much time and space and would have been confusing. If you would like me to turn any of them into a proper chart, please let me know in comments and refer to the figure number so I know which you mean.

How Quirky excerpt 1 might look as stranded knitting: ornate vertical bands with wavy geometric floral patterns alternate with narrow vertical lines with little blips sticking out periodically.
Figure 1 a: Quirky excerpt 1
click image to go to the blog post about it

This is Quirky, excerpt 1, which I will use as a starting point for this étude.

A chart showing the smallest repeat from the stitch pattern shown in figure 1a, using dark and light squares. The nine central columns are labeled E, D, C, B, A, B, C, D, E.
Figure 1b: basic chart for Quirky excerpt 1, with an extra stitch to each side
click chart to enlarge

I’ve labeled this chart for Quirky, excerpt 1, a bit differently from usual. The central column is stitch A, and then the columns to each side are labeled B through E, going in both directions. If I want to remove column B, I will be removing both columns with that label, because of mirror symmetry.

However, if I remove column A, making B the center column, I will merge the two column Bs together, because I think that looks better for these particular designs.

Figure 1b from above has been copied, but column A has been deleted, and the two B columns have been merged. The labels underneath now show E, D, C, B, C, D, E
Figure 2a: column A deleted

And in fact, that’s what I did for my first example. Figure 2a shows a chart where I’ve deleted column A and merged the B columns together. The central stitch pattern is now seven stitches instead of nine, plus the border columns on either side.

The deleted column means that instead a square with attached arms, the most central motif is shaped like a plus sign or square cross. There are marked squares making an undulating frame around it so that the vertical band looks like a fancy chain.
Figure 2b: sample illustration showing how the pattern looks with column A removed

The central motif in each repeat is now a plus sign with an undulating frame around it. I like this effect a lot, and might seriously consider using it if I needed a charted design with this many stitches and rows in the repeat.

Here I’ve removed the B columns from the chart in figure 1b.
Figure 2a: column B removed

Removing column B instead makes a surprisingly similar effect to removing column A, except that there’s a dark bar across the top and bottom of the frame, and the central square of the plus sign has been removed, making something like a four-petaled flower. It makes a column that is seven stitches wide, excluding the border design.

The chains from figure 2 are still visible in this image, but with slight variations described already.
Figure 3b: column B removed

I don’t care for the effect in figure 3 as much as the one in figure 2. I have learned from it, though — sometimes the result of removing one column can be pretty similar to another. I leave it, however, since it is part of the exercises I did, and since you might find it of interest. You might even like it better! People’s tastes vary, and that’s a good thing.

The chart from figure 1, but with column C removed
Figure 4a: column C removed

This looks rather different, and I look forward to seeing what happens. It also makes a column that is seven stitches wide, excluding the border design.

I’ve erased all the contents of column C from the illustration for figure 1, but have left the blank columns instead. This means that there are columns of squares and dots with a little white space to either side, and arcs making parentheses around the squares.
Figure 4b: intermediate editing to erase column C

This was an intermediate stage in editing — I erased the contents of the C columns before shifting everything horizontally to match the chart in figure 4a. I really like the way this looks with the extra white space, and it shows another way to edit existing charted designs. (Though I’m not going to make yet another blog post about it!) This is a multiple of 9 stitches plus the borders.

The same as figure 4a, but without the white space.
Figure 4c, with column C completely removed.

And here’s the result of completely removing column C. I like this, though not as much as figure 4b. Still, I think this would work better than many of these to combine with my earlier Quirky extracts — the central squares fit the visual theme quite well.

Figure 1b, but with columns A and B removed, and the C column merged
Figure 5a: Columns A & B removed, column C combined

I could have removed each of column D & E, but I thought it was time to start getting narrower to see what happened that way. This chart removes Columns A & B. The column is five stitches wide, plus the borders.

This makes chains of ovals, narrower and simpler than the ones above.
Figure 5b: columns A&B removed

I like how the central motif is a light square with a dark dot in the middle instead of a dark square with a light dot. I think this would also combine well with my earlier Quirky variations.

This chart consists only I of columns D, E, D, plus borders.
Figure 6a: columns A-C removed

Here I’m continuing to narrow and thus simplify the pattern.

Finally so many columns have been removed that the vertical band is a set of ovals with a blank horizontal line between each. It makes a pleasant, simple design.
Figure 6b: columns A-C removed

I like the simplicity of this. I also like that the vertical band plus the border makes a square charted design (it’s 6 + 1 stitches by 6 + 1 rows).

This chart has removed columns B & C from chart 1.
Figure 7a: columns B & C deleted.

Finally, I thought I’d try removing multiple columns while leaving column A in the middle. I think this has some promise. This one is five stitches wide plus the borders.

Back to a chain effect — where the ovals meet vertically, there’s something like a figure eight made of two small diamonds.
Figure 7a: columns B & C removed

I’m pleased by this one. I like the paired diamonds where the repeats join vertically. I think this one in particular would look good rotated by a quarter turn. Several of the others would too, of course, but this is the first one that prompted the thought.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into variations and that you might be inspired to try some of your own.

Note: while I didn’t try it here, it is of course possible to try removing a row instead of a column!