Sunday, January 28, 2007

I Messed Up.

I started and then messed up the Pryllotaxis scarf from Knitting Nature, by Norah Gaughan)

Mine own fault, since I tend to treat patterns as guidelines.
I changed a number of things, first the yarn, second I decided to close the bottom, third, I simple decided, (with out any really thought!) that I didn’t need to start on smaller needles and change to larger ones when I started the pattern.
Well, pride goeth before the fall-- the result was a mess.

The cable pattern is pretty easy once you get it established, but a mistake in an early round--before I understood the pattern-- wasn’t going away, it was just getting worse, and combined with the my two mistaken assumptions, (that I could knit it with a closed end, and that I didn't need to start on smaller needles and switch to larger ones), it just wasn’t working.
It will be easier this time, since I have a better understanding of the pattern now. I don't know it perfectly, but it is a very easy pattern to learn, and it does flow.

There are things I don’t like about the pattern, (none of which aren’t Norah's fault)
First there is only a chart! I prefer written directions.
(I suspect this was an editing choice, since many of the patterns do have written line by line directions)
Second, the scarf in the photo is upside down.
(the photo image is the inverse of the chart!)
For a visual knitter like me, this is horrid.. But again, I doubt Sarah had control over the photo shoot.
Third, I wanted to work as a flattened tube,
and the pattern doesn’t really work well that way.
Well, this is nothing but my pig-headness!

On the other hand, the pattern does works very well if you knit it as written--I know this since I have started it again, and I am being more compliant.

One major complaint, the chart is presented as a parallelogram--
This means, if you add 4 markers, (Beginning of round, between stitch 20 and 21; 40 and 41, and 60 and 61, (that is, one marker every 20 stitches for a 80 stitch pattern) the markers have to reposition every other row, since R1 of chart starts with Stitch 1, but R3 starts with stitch 2, and R5 with stitch 3, and so on.

Now it does make sense for the chart to 'move' this way, but it also makes it a pain.

The chart moves organically, and its not too hard to follow once you get the hang of it, but the design makes it hard to keep track of where you are until you do.
There are stitch numbers on the bottom of the chart--but because of the offset, the numbers really only work for R’s 1 and 2. To keep track of where you are, a zig zag line is needed--or moving markers! and one of the markers fall in the middle of a set of twisted stitches-- (that marker was retired pretty early!)

A simple solution, is to copy the chart and add a high lighted zig zag line indicating where stitch 20 (or 40, or 60) is on any given row.

What makes this difficult is, the chart is way too close to binding. It is hard to copy/enlarge with out damaging the spine of the book.

Don't you think that all charts should be positioned at the outer margins of the page, not close to bound edge? I am sure the art director in charge of the publication is pleased with the lay out of the page--but really--did she think was a coffee table book? or work book? (

The obvious answer, is a coffee table book. Beautiful lay out, but not always practical!

Finding a working copier that is designed to cope with copying pages with out breaking the spine of book is just another added challenge/annoyance!

When you do, you first have to copy the chart then copy the copy or else the enlarged chart runs off the page.

Those knitters who have ready access to copiers (and free copies) at work might not mind the extra work, but its annoying when you pay per page.

I wish every knitting book came with a CD of charts and details in a pocket in the back of the book.. Then I could just open a file, and print it. (changing the font/paper layout as I pleased!)
The photo, (a nice clear photo, beautifully shot, with good clear stitch defination!) is well---AAUUGH! The part of the scarf that is hanging down, the 'visual reference' ISN'T!.

The pattern is a one way pattern, and the peice of the scarf hanging there, looking good, is the bound off edge, not the cast on edge. So it's upside down, in reference to the chart. It is just about useless as reference!

I haven’t blog this past week, because I have been busy knitting my socks for swap.
I finished them last night, and will send them off to Polargrrlpurl tomorrow or Tuesday, and then blog all about them. I am thrilled with them.. They worked up even better than I hoped.

(I don’t care when Jenn gets her socks to me.. I am not anal about her behavior, only mine, and I needed to get them done, so I wouldn’t go crazy--she has another 30 days!)

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