Saturday, October 30, 2010

Your Reach Should Exceed Your Grasp

Maybe I'm being a bit too ambitious in my goal to clean out some of the projects that have been hanging around forever but I think I actually do better on attaining my goals if I over reach. I am using Ravelry to manage my projects (was there a world without Ravelry at one time and how did we survive?). I took two projects out of hibernation and added seven others. I will include the pictures when I actually start the projects. Not sure I will finish but since I am not knitting any Christmas presents this year I may succeed. I finished the Who? hat for DD#2 but I think I am going to reknit it. For some unknown reason I used size 6 needles. A "What was I thinking" moment. It is really too small. I'll reknit it on a size 8 like all the rest.
I sat down with the purple mock cable sweater and figured out where I was in the pattern. Before I started to knit, I had to also figure out why this was such a slow knit. Now I love working from graphs. I remember vividly the first issue of Knitters magazine that had all the instructions as graphs. I was very intimidated and it took me a few years before I tried them. Now, I would never knit from instructions over graphs. It is very visual and easy (for me) to follow. This pattern is a 16 row repeat of alternating knit and purl stitches that make a very interesting cabled look. I found it extremely difficult and that is the reason it languished for longer than I like to acknowledge.
On thinking it through, I decided to try writing out the pattern repeat on my trusty index card pad. I used one card to write two lines of pattern, since the wrong side row mirrors the right side row. That way I got all 16 rows on 8 cards. By flipping the pages, I am able to remember where I stop and can pick up very easily when I return to my knitting (unless someone moves the pad and accidentally flips the pages). This saves an amazing amount of time. I was also able to indicated the rows that are decreased for the neckline decreases.

I have been working away on this and am finding it so much better than trying to follow the graph. I actually think I can get the second front and the two sleeves done this month. There is no finishing to speak of, just sewing the seams together. So it may very well be possible that I will wear this on Christmas but Thanksgiving would be nice, too.

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