Inquiring minds want to know

Eleanor was back from Morroco where she visited Berber villages in the desert part of Morocco. She said that the color Lapis was everywhere.  That’s one of her favorite colors.  It must’ve been a beautiful site.

She’s working on her L’Enveloppe in Noro Silk Garden Solo (Aran: 45% Mohair, 45% Silk, 10% Wool, 110 yards). There is a certain synergy with this color considering her recent trip.

Corneila was working on one of the sleeves for the Confidence Pullover knit with Cascade 128 Superwash (Bulky: 100% Superwash Merino, 128 yards).

She was stumped because the pattern changed the number of stitches used in the raglan shaping rows on the sleeve versus the body.  She had written a cheat sheet for the body and was caught up short when the row didn’t work.  Once again that whole “reading the pattern thing” rears it’s ugly head. In this case, she hadn’t read it wrong, she just didn’t understand why the stitch count changed.  Who can really say, that’s the designer’s prerogative. She re-wrote the cheat sheet to reflect the change.

Then we reviewed ssk: slip one as if to knit, slip the next stitch as if to knit, then insert the left needle tip into the front loops of the slipped stitches, then knit them together from that vantage point.  Cornelia was slipping them, but not knitting them together.

It’s really easy to get “pattern amnesia” when going from one row to the next or one section to the next.  It can help to read a confusing row/section out loud.  I’m often guilty of selectively reading and either skipping words or inserting words.  Sometimes I even make up what I think the pattern means. If you read it out loud, you’re forced to read what is actually written.

Patti, who is relatively new to knitting, knit up several lovely summer infinity scarves.  She was using the Michael Kors (Inspired) Infinity Scarf. She’s going to wet block them to be wider.

She put border of half double crochet stitches worked through the back loops. It added stability to the scarf. The yarn used in the scarf above is Claudia Hand painted (Discontinued) Linen (Sport: 100% Linen, 270 yards).

She was surprised how much we all admired them.  A knitted piece doesn’t have to be complicated to be worthy of admiration.  Her choice of color and pattern were perfect. The yarn used here is Seedling (from the shop) (Aran: 100% Cotton, 110 yards).

In her own words, Patti is on a learning curve journey.  She has a booklet with stitch patterns and we reviewed how to read knitting pattern shorthand and abbreviations.

We reviewed seed stitch (bottom rows) added a garter border row, then moss stitch.  We talked about the importance of punctuation as a clue to the sequence of directions. 

Twice during class someone had to rip back rows.  Once it was Cornelia for not working the ssk properly.

Another time it was Elaine. She notice this errant stitch in her knitting. You see the twist and the little hole? At some point she must have put down her knitting and when she picked it up, she went back in the wrong direction.

It was comforting to Patti that other people made mistakes and had to rip out their knitting too.  We told her that you are not a real knitter unless you repeatedly have to rip out your knitting and re do it. It’s funny that no matter where we are in life, we take comfort in knowing that others are experiencing the same things we are. Not that we take comfort in someone’s discomfort (although I’m sure that happens too), just that we are not alone.

We also talked about keeping track of rows: row counters, apps for row counting, and the old school way of pen/paper. Like I said, inquiring minds want to know…

How do you keep track of rows and handle confusing directions? Post a comment and share with the class.