Friday, August 10, 2007

Further on the Pattern Stitch - Sometimes, You Just Have to Chart

Mum's completed the front and back. Looks terrific. She said that she was able to get a hang of the pattern stitch without much difficulty. Once she saw what it doing, it's easy to figure out what you need to do on the next row.

That's the most elegant defense of the chart I've ever heard.

But then it was time for the sleeves.

Of course, you're increasing 1 stitch either end every 4 rows. Yeah, ok. A standard technique.

There's a 5 stitch border at either side, written out as (get this!)
Row 1: K1 (edge stitch) k4, work row 1 of pattern, k4, k1 (edge stitch).
Row 2: K1, p4, work row 2 of pattern, p4, k1.

(Which in itself could be improved.)

But then you have to start increasing stitches and fold them into the patterning. My Mum is a terrifically good knitter. But after 3 attempts she gave up trying to figure out how to fold the increases into the pattern stitch. Again, I think part of the problem is that the pattern is "moving" on the WS as well as the RS rows. Typically, if you increase on the RS, you have an even, predictable WS row that gives you a chance to smoothly incorporate the increased stitches into the pattern stitch -- allows you, in essence, to figure out where they go. Not with this one.

Could you figure it out? Yeah, absolutely. Do you want to? Probably not. Recall that ultimately, this is something we do for fun.

So I charted it. All 116 rows. All the way across. Starting at 48 stitches, increasing up to 104. It may have taken some time...

And the knitting now? Easy as pie!

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