Sprang Patterns

This replica sash has some lovely designs. I am very pleased to see them working out so nicely.
I have been playing with sprang designs for several years now. I find that the key to success is the effective use of pattern writing and pattern reading. Much trial-and-error has lead me to a system. Let me share a bit about my pattern writing.

I have noticed that I prefer patterns that read in the same direction as the direction of work. Reading and writing English, the common standard is to work from left to right.
When I work on a piece of sprang, I start at the right margin, and work towards the left. I have found I get confused when my patterns are written as normal English.
I found myself happier, working more comfortably, once I started writing my pattern symbols across the page from right to left, the same direction as my direction of work.

Graph paper serves me well. I use one square for each thread. In interlinked sprang the plait row begins with a ‘three-thread edge stitch’. That means three squares. The remainder of the row is stitches that involve two threads, hence two squares. The last stitch will also be a ‘three-thread edge stitch’, again three squares.

A practical application?

Clover design

The clover pattern is a common one, and also figures in the Braddock sash.

The clover pattern uses three ‘stitches’. These are the regular ‘plain stitch’ that is one up, one down, two squares on the pattern.
The second ‘stitch’ is the ‘edge stitch’. This is a stitch that involves three threads, the typical stitch that begins and ends a plait row. The third stitch is what Skrowronski calls a ‘double stitch’ and Collingwood calls 2/2 interlinking. It involves four threads. It is worked in exactly the same manner as the two-thread plain stitch, except that you double the threads, two up, two down.

And this is my grid pattern for the clover pattern:IMG_0220
Looking at the pattern you notice four boxes stacked (one then two then one). This should resemble the clover pattern. The top ‘box’ (first hole worked) is formed by two ‘edge stitches’ worked in the middle of a row. Row three has two boxes, one beside the other. This is the two holes at the middle of the clover, and consists of ‘three-thread edge stitch, four-thread double stitch, three-thread edge stitch’, but I get ahead of myself.
Reading row 1 from right to left
at the far right you see three boxes connected with a slash.
That’s my symbol for the ‘three-thread edge stitch’.
The angle is unimportant. This works in S as well as Z, so long as you are consistent within the piece.
Working from right to left you next come across nine pairs of boxes connected by slashes. This indicates nine ‘plain stitches’.
Then there is another ‘three-thread edge stitch’, well actually two of them, one after the other. This is the top of the clover.
There are seven stitches between clovers, a three-thread stitch, five plain, and another three-thread stitch.
These clovers can be repeated as often as desired or necessary.
Row 2 would be an overplait row. Similar to the ‘purl’ row on a pattern for lace knitting, I generally don’t waste pencil and paper writing it down, it just clutters the page.
Row 3 is the next plait row, the next pattern row.
Reading starting at the far right, the first stitch is a ‘three-thread edge stitch’ followed by eight plain stitches. The clover pattern here consists of a three-thread edge stitch, and then a ‘double stitch’ or 2/2 interlinking. This ‘double stitch’ involves four threads, and is represented by the vertical line separating two boxes. Then there is another three-thread edge stitch.
Row 5 is the same as row 1.

Now, some students have requested that I distinguish between ‘right edge’ and ‘left edge’ stitches.
In Z twist the plait row stitch at the right edge is ‘pick up two back threads, and drop a front thread’. The left edge is ‘pick up one back thread, and drop two front threads’.
Patterns I write for myself, well, I know that the first edge stitch in a row is a right-edge stitch, the second one is a left-edge stitch. In my book I had these right- and left-edge stitches color coded, trying to be helpful.

Anyhow, all this to say, that I have been finding my patterns to be serving me well in this replica process.
I hope all of this is helpful to someone out there.

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