Knotty Purls

"Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica"

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Is it chicken or fish?

Well, slap a scarlet S on my head and call me Jessica because I am just that stupid. Last night I realized that I had absolutely nothing on the needles. WHAT? How can this be? Well, after completing 4 projects (nope, still not in the mail) I made up the project sheets for each, organized my patterns, project sheets, receipts and Elann Newsletters. This still left me with time and nothing to do. I weighed my options and chose casting on the Shetland Triangle Shawl from Wrap Style in Diwa vs. cleaning up the dinner dishes. After spending nearly 30 minutes ripping out the first 6 rows (don’t panic, they only had 2 stitches) because I just couldn’t get my head around picking up from the provisional cast on, I made my way to the first chart. Here is where I became a cotton headed ninny muggins. First I should mention that charts and I just don’t mesh – the concept of reading right to left baffles me completely (HELLO, Kindergarten taught us LEFT TO RIGHT!); second, I enjoy a good picture book as much as the next person but making an entire garment from pictures…

So, here is a photo of my chart and legend…

Do you see lines 1 and 2? This is the part that had me perplexed. How can the square with the little dot say, “purl on the right side” when line 2 of the chart has a square with a little dot and that is the wrong side? This can’t be. I checked IK for errata and found none…I checked blogs for errata and found none…How can millions of people read this pattern and not one have found this pattern to be wrong? Did they just do their own thing and say, “screw the wrong pattern”? I had just started an email to my Elannites to see if any of them could help me understand this when the fog lifted and I went “Ah Hah!” (out loud too!). The legend is used for ALLLLLLL of the charts in this pattern and there is quite possibly a RS row just waiting for a purl. Sadly, this is not the first time this has happened. At that point, I decided that I should not be doing anything that required reading skills and pointy objects and headed off to bed.

Before I cast on this little gem, I started to cast on the Vintage Pink Cardigan from IK Spring 2005. I realized that in order to get their gauge I would have to cast on with a size 2 needle, which I do not have and was not going to go traipsing to the Michaels at 8:00 p.m. in hopes that they had one. It is a good thing I didn’t cast on because I realized that the sweater is made for either a 34” or 38” finished chest. I am neither. I would in fact be a 36”. So, the question became, do I knit the 34” with a larger needle to get a bigger size or knit the 38” with a smaller needle. No. 2 was out because I was not going with anything smaller than the 4 and 2 called for! Then there is option numero tres…I could redesign the whole thing. I have time, it is knit in wool and I ain’t wearin no wool now! So, I sat down today with my trusty Excel and a calculator and a pad of paper and I did me some math. I am now at the point of figuring the numbers for the left front. Keep in mind that I flunked Algebra once. I have to do some of the numbers a couple of times to be sure I am correct and occasionally I divide wrong but unlike 15 years ago, I now know when the number is wrong and I go back. After all, if the other sizes only cast on 100 I should not be casting on 200. I don’t see myself designing from scratch anytime soon but I think I can do this as long as I have numbers on either side of my goal to act as a guideline, and a calculator. And, yes, I did this all while at work today. I did it between taking dictation for the boss and trying to find his oven repair people from 2 years ago who may or may not be on the corner of Broadway and 410. I did this in between phone calls and playing with glue (I said playing, not sniffing!) and writing out my grocery list.

Well, it is off to watch a little crime drama and work on the shawl. It is going to be very pretty when finished! It is a gift for my child's Godmother. It has been a tough year - they moved, both lost their jobs and now the middle child and only boy is going off to college - a very expensive college mind you. I think a shawl will make her happy!