30 June 2007

Read Purl Rows From the Left Stupid

With the baby cardigan safely stowed away, it's time to start something new. I really like a lot of the patterns from Knitting Daily and I decided to start the Intricate Stag Bag as a gift for someone. The way the pattern is written you first knit the center motif, then add side panels, then the top panel, then the bottom panel and back of the bag. This means that the stranded knitting is done back and forth. I didn't really stop to think about this much, but it turns out that ALL of the stranded knitting I've ever done was done in the round, and my chart reading habits are a little hard to break.

The first time I started (you do see what this means, right?) I got through about 20 rows when I really took a look at how things were going. It turns out I should have done this a little sooner. When you're reading a chart and going back and forth you need to remember that you read the purl side rows from the left, not the right. If you choose not to, you end up with exhibit A, to the right. At this point it should look like legs, not some strange dot-to-dot Rorschach test. Ripping ensued. The second time around I managed to follow the chart correctly, but I couldn't get my tension right on the purl side rows. (I'm not good at catching the floats on the wrong side.) Ripping ensued. The third try was a pretty good imitation of the second, the only difference being that the brown stitches were pulling instead of the off white ones. Ripping ensued. I finally decided that back and forth stranded knitting is not for me and modified the pattern so that I could knit the sucker in the round. I made it about 3 inches on that go-round until I decided that I really did need to have a purl stitch on each side to keep the bag flat when I was done.

At this point, I have two re-balled skeins of yarn that are ready to go back on the needles. I'm gonna make this thing even if it kills me or, more likely, drives me insane. It's now a matter of pride. I shall not be bested by the Intricate Stag Bag!


elan said...

I made the same mistake many years ago fortunately it isn't one you'll forget & you hadn't got too far.

Rodrigo said...
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