Each time I tried the stitch it did not work out the way I knew it should. I didn't know if the problem was with me or with the instructions I was using. The instructions from The Dictionary of Needlework by Sophia Frances Anne Caulfeild and Blanche C. Saward were originally published in the early 1880s.
Last week I felt I had time to try the stitch again. I wanted to use this stitch in a scarf. I picked up a small ball of scrap yarn and began. By the time I reached row 9 of 13 rows I could tell that something was wrong. Since I could not find any other description of the stitch, I decided to try the Swiss Netting (which was 4 loops instead of 5) found in The Art of Netting edited by Jules and Kaethe Kliot. I hoped that by working through the 4 loop pattern I would learn how to fix what was wrong with the 5 loop pattern.
I wanted to know how the stitch was actually put together and not just follow the instructions blindly so I began with a couple rows of plain netting and then did row 1 of the pattern. At this point I stopped, cut the thread and began again. This time, after the beginning rows I did row 1 and then row 2. Once again I stopped, cut the thread and began again. I worked to row 3. The next piece of netting took me to row 4 and so on through the 10 rows of the pattern. It took some time, but when I finally finished row 10 I knew how the pattern worked.
I learned that for me there was more to the pattern than just long and short loops. There were actually three different ways I created the long loop and two different methods I used to form the short loops. I found it helped to describe the type of loop I wanted and the type of loop I was netting into. With these insights gained I wrote down instructions that I could use to repeat the pattern.
I felt pleased with what I had accomplished and decided to see if I could figure out the Honeycone or Single Diamond Netting stitch pattern. I had done it once years ago, but since then I had not felt confident in my ability to work with long and short loops. I was surprised at how easy this 4 row pattern was after the Swiss Netting.
I was delighted at how everything was coming together. I had now made (with the help of some instructions) Single Diamond Netting, Treble Diamond Netting (which had 3 loops) and Swiss Netting (which had 4 loops). Now to get daring. On my own I would see if I could make Double Diamond Netting (which would have 2 loops). I didn't know if such a stitch existed, but I decided there should be one and I would make it. So I did.