katherine summer * couturière

Fine Dressmaking in the San Francisco Bay Area

08 June 2010

Everything is more complicated than it is.


I'm working on a new pattern to submit to Knitty, and it's going to be a big piece done on lace weight yarn, so I'm doing a test swatch first. I'd rather get all the kinks with the lace pattern and the shaping figured out first instead of having to start over 5 times 'cause it isn't working out right.

And believe me, it hasn't been working out right. I have worked on this test swatch for HOURS so far.

The lace pattern comes from A Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker, and as beautiful as it looks, it isn't complicated--k, p, yo, k2tog, ssk, and a central double increase.

In case you don't know, a central double increase creates 3 stitches out of 1 instead of 2 stitches out of 1. I found this video if you want to see how it's done.

Anyway, so where's the problem? I want to knit it backwards. Meaning that the instructions start at the bottom of the swags, but I want to start at the top.

Try #1) Okay! No problem! I'll just start at the other end of the chart!
Time and several rows pass….
Not really looking like it does in the picture…

Try #2) Maybe if I switch the decreases and do a ssk when it asks for a k2tog, and a k2tog when it asks for a ask.
More time and more rows…
Yeah. Not so much. Doesn't really look significantly different than the first try.

Try #3) Yes! I got it! I'll flip the chart and knit it backwards and upside down! That'll definitely do it!
moretimemorerows…
No. It still looks pretty much the same. Check minus on the problem solving, KSO.

BUT NOW. Now I've at least figured out WHY it's not working. I feel pretty silly that I didn't figure it out before now. The shaping comes from the increases and the decreases. The shaping in this particular pattern comes from the central double increases that happens in the middle of the solid parts of the swags and is controlled by the decreases. Since BW knits from the bottom of the swags she has to make cdi's in the middle. But since I'm knitting from of the swags, I need to decrease for my shaping.

SO. At this point, I am just going to try knitting it as she's written it so that I can get a better feel for which decreases are used for shaping and which are just to counter increase made by the yo's. And THEN I'll try recharting the pattern.