19 February 2007

Shhh.. concentrating

If you see me working on this, please do not talk to me or make any distracting noises. Terrible things could go wrong if I lose concentration for one second.

As you can see, at long last I started the aran sweater for Dave, or rather, I started the gauge swatch of the pattern.

All the cable patterns I chose to design this aran (in consultation with Dave) were from The Harmony Guide to Aran and Fair Isle Knitting, by Debra Mountford. This book is an excellent resource, especially for a first time aran knitter like me. She has arranged all the patterns by the number of rows it takes to make them and suggests, for sanity's sake, that you make sure that all the patterns you choose are divisible by the longest one. In mine, the middle celtic knot pattern is 16 rows so the three other patterns I chose are 16, 4, and 2 rows each.

I'm happy with the way it is looking so far. The pattern is pretty wide so I don't think I'll have to add too much double moss stitch at the side.

Another nice thing about the book is that it gives each pattern written out and charted. In my eagerness to start, I totally ignored the charts as I am unfamiliar with the symbols and thought it would be a drag to have to keep looking up what they meant. Presumably, I would learn what they were after a few repeats, but for some reason I found I liked reading the pattern written out more. So write it out I did, or rather I typed it out. Here's a bit of it.
You will notice that I changed color for each section for ease of reading. So far this system is working well for me, but I am wondering if I ought to chart it is as well. Do most of you cable knitters out there prefer charts or written out patterns?


At 11:26 PM, Anonymous grumperina said...

You chose some great aran motifs there! I'd definitely give charts a try - though it seems you have to memorize the meaning of each symbol, they are actually quite intuitive and the little diagonals and such make sense after a little trial and error.

At 9:00 AM, Blogger knotingale said...

Sometimes I make a 'cheater' chart. In Excel, I type out the chart, but use abbreviations instead of symbols. This would look like: k k k yo skp k2tog yo ..., but with blocks around it.
This exercise familiarizes me with the chart and avoids the constant reference to the explanation of the symbols.

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Emily said...

I definitely prefer charts. It's only a few symbols to learn, and you will find that after looking them up a couple of times, they really do look like what the stitches are supposed to do. The swatch looks great! Just be sure to wash and block it. Cables can really grow widthwise in the wash!

At 11:16 AM, Blogger June said...


charts. much easier to spot mistakes.

At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Cheryl said...

Wow, that's going to be a great sweater! And you're designing it yourself!

I prefer charts, I find them easier to read quickly. I can see where I am with a quick glance.

At 8:24 PM, Anonymous diana said...

Wow, the pattern is lovely. I'm guessing you work on this while the little guy is sleeping :)

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Jo said...

I do the same thing when I work on cables - I have a hard time following charts but no problem at all reading the cable repeats.


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