Sunday, July 08, 2012

Hoist with my own petard

The problem with being opinionated about things is that they come back to bite you sometimes. And I've been bitten.

It's not uncommon to see an instruction like:
Knit, decreasing 12 sts evenly across the row.
I don't like these sorts of things, particularly for patterns aimed at less experienced knitters, because they can seem awfully intimidating - and they require either math or a high degree of confidence to power through. I understand why designers use them, absolutely - mostly to save space in the pattern - but they're scary for less confident pattern readers.

Now, the important thing to know is that ultimately, if the designer isn't specific how about to decrease, or where, then it doesn't really matter. You just need to get to the right number of stitches.

I'm working on some new patterns, with multiple sizes and multiple gauges, and I've found myself in need of the following instruction:

Knit, decreasing 6 (6, 6, 6, 8)/6 (8, 10, 10, 10) sts evenly around. 34 (36, 38, 42, 44)/26 (28, 30, 32, 34) sts.

The problem is that this particular pattern is aimed at newer knitters, and I realized that there was no way I was going to let myself get away with this. So I had to write them all out - 10 different rounds! It took a surprising amount of thinking.

The final decrease round.
Fingering weight version
1st size: (K5, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k5, k2tog) twice. 34 sts.
2nd size: (K4, k2tog, k3, k2tog) 4 times. 36 sts.
3rd size: (K4, k2tog) 10 times, k4. 38 sts.
4th size: (K3, k2tog) 10 times. 40 sts.
5th size: (K3, k2tog, k4, k2tog) 4 times, (k3, k2tog) twice.

Worsted version
1st size: (K3, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k3, k2tog) twice. 26 sts.
2nd size: (K4, k2tog, k3, k2tog, k4, k2tog) twice. 28 sts.
3rd size: (K4, k2tog) 6 times around. 30 sts.
4th size: (K4, k2tog, k5, k2tog, k4, k2tog) twice. 32 sts.
5th size: ([K3, k3tog] 3 times, k4, k2tog) twice. 34 sts.

I haven't proofread them yet, but I think I got them right. I hope. But most of all I hope this makes my pattern easier to work.


Etcgirl said...

Two words: colour coding. An amazing aid to readability. No big love from publishers though. :)

Emma said...

I love that you've taken the time to right it out, thank you! I'm a relatively experienced knitter, but instructions like that always slow me down. I can work out what to do, but it takes up valuable time.

cookalotje said...

I applaud the work. And if it were me knitting that pattern, I'd sure be grateful. And yes to colourcoding (comment #1)