elements of ela


July 21, 2019

Resident tech editor, designer, and all-the-things coordinator extraordinaire Jerusha Neely takes to the blog today to discuss her design from the Kestrel 2019 collection: The Ela tank. Graced with a macro lace diamond motif at the front of this summer linen top, Ela's patterning is created with elongated eyelets, which are a bit different to work than the traditional yarn over patterns found in lace motifs. Jerusha digs into the knitty gritty details below—enjoy!

The elongated eyelet diamonds in Ela, my Kestrel tank from this year's collection, are a rather unusual motif. I really wanted the look of a running stitch here, so I worked to find an eyelet that would travel without being round. Knitting into the same eyelet over several rows draws it into more of a slender ellipse than a round hole, and that's just what I was looking for.

And, of course, to make it travel requires strategically increasing and decreasing! The shaping is carefully placed to avoid creating lines along the outsides of the eyelet columns, which would detract from the patterning itself. So, there are two things happening here: Elongated eyelets are being created over 4 rows, and shaping is causing those eyelets to travel. 

Building the eyelets

On Row 1, a double decrease balances out the two double yarnovers (each yo2 counts as one stitch), and a single increase and decrease around each stitch marker nudges the eyelet columns either to the right or left (except when setting up the lower diamond pattern).

On Row 2, purl into each yo2 one time, dropping the second wrap, giving the elongated eyelet the wiggle room it needs. In my little swatch here, I've worked up to the end of a Row 2.

Elongating the eyelets

Row 3: Knit to m, M1L, sl m, knit to next m, knitting into each yo, dropping the st above from the needle (k1rb), sl m, M1R, k1, M1L, sl m, knit to next m, knitting into each yo, dropping the st above from the needle, sl m, M1R,knit to end (4 sts inc'd).

On Row 3, knit into each yo, dropping the st above the needle. This is essentially a k1rb (knit one into the row below), with the stitch one row below being an eyelet. So knit into that eyelet, picking up the strand above it in the process.

In addition to this maneuver, we're also increasing stitches (M1L and M1R) that help with making the overall diamond shape, which will be decreased in the following row.

Finishing the eyelets

Row 4: Purl to m, sl m, p1, p1rb, p1, p2tog-rb, purl to 5 sts before next m, p2tog-rb, p1, p1rb, p1, sl m, p3, sl m, p1, p1rb, p1, p2tog-rb, purl to 5 sts before next m, p2tog-rb, p1, p1rb, p1, sl m, purl to end (4 sts dec'd); 29 (29, 33, 33, 33, 33, 37, 41, 41) sts rem between pattern markers.

On Row 4, the eyelets get completed and shaping forms the overall diamond shape. The eyelets closest to the pattern markers are purled into the row below (p1rb), purled into the eyelet.

The eyelets furthest away from the pattern markers have to simultaneously decrease and elongate. And they are doing so in different directions:

The first p2tog-rb in Row 4 is begun 5 sts before a marker, meaning that you have a purl stitch followed by an eyelet.

Since you need to purl into the row below for the eyelet, you'll need to get all of the strands onto the needle before making the decrease. To do this, first slip the purl stitch that will be part of the decrease, to the RH needle.

Then, you'll insert your needle into the eyelet purlwise, from back to front, which picks up all of the strands in the eyelet. Slip them to the RH needle, then place them back onto the LH needle in the same position.

Then, you can slip the first stitch back to the LH needle, and purl the two stitches together, completing the p2tog-rb.

The second p2tog-rb in Row 4 occurs 4 stitches after a stitch marker, so that the eyelet is first, and it needs to be purled together with the stitch following it. Again, in order to purl into the row below, we need to get all of the strands onto the needle to be able to execute the decrease properly.

Insert the RH needle into the eyelet purlwise, from back to front, which picks up all of the strands in the eyelet. Slip them to the RH needle, then place them back onto the LH needle in the same position.

You can then purl these strands together with the following stitch, completing the p2tog-rb.

Then…a couple of rows of stockinette to complete the 6-row repeat. It is fun to see the diamond pattern take shape! And blocking crisps those eyelets up nicely.

Hope this is helpful!! I do love what eyelets can do, and I've been big into exploring open fabrics of late. If you're signed up to receive our email updates, you'll be the first to see my new piece coming out this week, which also features a fun open motif.

Happy knitting,

xoxo j

Go to Ela pattern

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