Saturday, December 23, 2006

Pimlico Progress/Difficulties with Written Instructions

Coming along nicely... it's a great autopilot project, interesting to knit but still not so interesting that I can't watch Battlestar Galactica while I'm working on it. It's nothing to look at, at this stage... you work a big square of the eyelet pattern, and then the cleverness is in the assembly.

I still think it's a weird eyelet, though. And the pattern is written poorly. The schematic is of no help at all, and the way the eyelet is described isn't helpful.

The puzzling bit is this instruction:

k1b, k1 in 1 st, (some stuff that makes sense), k1b-f, k1 in 1 st

I get that you're making two stitches out of one in both cases. But the k1b, k1b-f are abbreviations I've not encountered before. They're helpfully explained as follows:

k1b: Knit into back of st in row below next st on left-hand needle (I'm ok to here), inserting right-hand needle into st from the top down (what?)

k1b-f: Knit into front of st in row below next st on left-hand needle. (This one makes more sense.)

I figured something out that I think works, but I'm not convinced it's what the designer intends. It looks ok, so what the heck.

This illustrates nicely the challenge pattern writers have in trying to articulate a motion, a placement of needles. This is why I have so many students in my classes tell me that they can't figure something out from written instructions, but it takes them a tenth of a second to figure it out once they see me do it. And I really don't think it's about being a visual learner in the case of knitting. If I don't know what the "top" is , when you're asking me to insert the needle from the "top down", then I'm stuck.

(I'm actually sorted of frightened to ask others how they did this stitch, because I'd hate to discover -- 22 inches of 34 into the main piece -- that there's a better, more attractive way of doing it.)

This is all to say why I love the big Vogue Knitting book, and it's helpful step-by-step pictorial instructions.

And why I figure I'll always be able to get teaching gigs.


denny Mcmillan said...

I have figured the whole thing out ....we'll talk. Cheers and happy holidays.

liz said...

I just started knitting the same pattern and I'm having the same trouble! Glad to know I'm not the only one confused.

liz said...

I just started knitting the same pattern and I'm also confused by the same stitches. Glad to know I'm not the only confused one out there.