Saturday, September 22, 2007

Smart Knitting

I am the smartest person in the entire world! Okay, maybe not the smartest person, but I am feeling incredibly clever having finally figured out how to read and follow the complex charts for the North Roe Shawl from my French-language Knit-a-Long. Okay, maybe it's not that complex, but I'm a newbie.

I understood the first chart well enough. Following it was another issue altogether. Eventually, having tinked, frogged and reknit enough times I got through it. The real problem came with the repeat. The chart had 31 lines and said repeat lines 11 - 31. Well to the uniniated, that seems pretty impossible given that the shawl by now has expanded well past the number of squares in line 11! I figured out that there was a need to repeat some portion of the line but no matter how I charted it out, it didn't seem to fit. I became like a woman obsessed carrying the chart with me and pulling it out to stare at it and calculate and recalculate.

Finally, I saw it - and it was so obvious I should be more embarrassed that I didn't see it sooner - on most lines, there is an increase of just one box, but in line 11, there are two extra boxes to accommodate an extra increase. Et voila! the pattern suddenly fits.
Here are my newly-learned tips about knitting lace :
  • if you are struggling, count stitches frequently - that way you can figure out quickly if you've made a mistake.
  • follow the pattern backwards on purl rows - this also helps pick up mistakes quickly.
  • Try to learn the pattern as quickly as possible so you understand where yarn overs and decreases should fall. If they seem to be coming at the wrong places, stop and check your work.
  • Make many, many copes of the chart and leave them around the house so you can always find them.


loribird said...

You *are* pretty smart - you've got it figured out for sure, and it's looking great!

Allison said...

Tres bien. Cest magnifique! I also love those knitting babes!

Janice said...

You are brilliant!! And brave!! I don't think I would tackle that! It is looking beautiful!

Ninou77 said...

Hello Jen!!

It' true the beginning of the shawl is not obvious... With my scientific mind, I would tell in the attern : repete the red part 8 times instead of the line 11-31 4 times...

Your shawl looks pretty! Have a nice lace knitting!