Thursday, October 28, 2010

Getting ready to knit!

When you decide on a project, what are the items you need in your basket?  

1).  Yarn
2).  Needles
3).  Pattern
4).  Scissors
5).  Stitch counters
6).  Scratch pad / pencil

Now, find a comfortable spot to sit with good lighting. 
Be sure you understand the pattern.  Read through the pattern a few times.  If there are sections that are unclear, work through them before you tie that section into the full pattern.  I have a hard time understanding other peoples' patterns, so I reconstruct the pattern in my own language.  Looks like chicken scratch to most, but keeps me on track with where I am in the project.  Most patterns are written in a paragraph style, however, I break it down to:

Row 1). knit          +     /    /    /    /    /    /
Row 2). k1yok2tog       /    /    /    /    /    /
Row 3). knit            -    /    /    /    /    /    /
Row 4). knit                 /    /    /    /    /    /

As I knit Row #1 I check it off on my scratch pad, Row #2 the same..........and so on until the end.  Setting up a pad for this purpose can take some time when you first start a project, but can be well worth it.  I prefer a side, spiral bound, small note book.  I'll label the project at the top of the page.  On one side of the page I write the pattern per row, then rule off the rest of the page for my check marks. It's rare to find a pattern that's different every row and is not repetitive, so I only need to write the pattern a few times. 
Every time I knit, I finish the row.  That may be all I have time for, is one row, so with this system, every time I sit down, I know exactly where I am in the pattern.   If a row is an increase row, then I add a + sign, a decrease row, a - sign. (see example above). 

Simple, and easy to read at a glance.  If you've been having a hard time following patterns, try this method.

Good Knitting!

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