Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Newbie knitting chart mistake

As it turns out, you can't just knit a chart from top to bottom instead of bottom to top as written.

I think I mentioned before, but I'm new to charts, and suddenly find myself knitting two patterns with charts at the same time. I'm working on the Uncommon Dragon socks from Lara Neel's Sock Architecture (affiliate link). The pattern is one of the few in the book written top down only, as the pattern flows right into the gusset, which I'm guessing isn't possible / as easily possible when working toe up.

In hindsight, I'm not really sure why I insisted on doing these toe up. My inclination is to use up as much yarn as possible and make the socks as tall as possible, which is why toe up appeals to me. As this is only my.....fourth pair of adult sized socks, I'm still getting used to exactly how much yarn is a good sock for me. However, I do know that it definitely fits into less than 100 grams, so it's not like I would run out doing these cuff down. In any case, I'm over halfway through the foot, so I'm not going to rip out now!

Again, in hindsight, I'm not even sure why this matters, but I foggily decided that I'd like the pattern to be oriented the same way as the original, even though I was knitting it "backward." In my head, I could just knit the rows in the opposite order than what was written, and that would work out. I kept waiting for the pattern to just didn't. Yes, some kind of texture was showing, but it didn't look like anything specific. I thought that perhaps it was just a poor pairing of yarn and pattern.

I thought about it more though, as I was working the chart on my other charted project, and I really started paying attention to the directionality of my decreases, and it hit me that THAT is probably my problem. For kicks, I decided to do a couple of repeats in the correct order to see if the pattern would look better. I marked the row where I made this switch, and sure enough, this pattern DOES actually show up in this tweedy yarn if you knit it as written!

An interesting experiment, which I'm sure has been done by someone before, would be to see if you also knit the pattern upside down AND left to right if it would actually show up as its reverse like I originally intended. Now that the pattern is showing up nicely at the top of the foot, I'm not sure that
I want to frankenstein this particular pair of socks any more than I already have. On the other hand....they're just socks, and I'm sure no one but me or other perceptive knitters would even notice! (and another knitter would totally get it if I explained) Maybe I'll throw in a lifeline and knit a repeat upside down and mirrored....I can always rip it back if I don't like it or if it totally doesn't work out!

Update: I tried it. It didn't really work. The pattern immediately disappeared, and actually was really frustrating to knit. Not surprisingly....everything felt backward! I threaded in a lifeline intending to rip it back....but ultimately I just left it alone and switched back to the normal stitch pattern and now these guys are ready for their heels! Oh well, they're just socks.

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