It’s a pattern!

The too-short repeat error in the saxon braid is now officially part of the pattern. As of last night I am seven repeats into the piece, and repeats #3 and #6 are both circular rather than elliptical. Hah, take that, random knitting mistake!

I also had a couple lessons yesterday on the importance of recognizing your limitations. It would be a really productive world if we could all keep a complex lace pattern in our heads, knit both English and Continental with equal grace, always bought enough of the same dye lot, always got gauge and never forgot our notions. But it’s not that kind of world.

When you recognize that you’ve got a shortcoming, you’ve got two options as I see it. You can either analyze the shortcoming and figure out how to eliminate it, or you can compensate for it. If your shortcoming is, say, that your tension is always way too tight, you can practice knitting looser until the problem goes away. But for some people, the problem won’t go away. If that happens, you compensate for it by switching to bigger needles than the work normally calls for. If you can overcome your limitation, that’s great. But if you can’t, you need to accept it or else you’ll never be able to get past it.

My limitation – well, the relevant one, anyway – is that I easily lose track of what line I’m on in a pattern. I almost screwed it up again last night, so I dug through my notion bin and grabbed my knitting abacus. It is now on my needle between the first two stitches of the strip and it plainly tells me what row I’m about to knit. Problem diminished if not solved.

Update
Oooh! Oooh! I forgot to mention something!!! Susan has started making little packs of stitch markers using novelty beads. Most of the flowers and pretty beads she had didn’t appeal to me, but she made me a set using itty-bitty dice! They’re damn cool and very manly.

Pictures of all this stuff later this weekend, I promise.

No Responses to “It’s a pattern!”

  1. Susan Says:

    Sticky notes help keep your place too. Of course, they work only as long as the sticky holds out and then you’re back to square one….at least I am.

  2. Donna Says:

    I tried checking off the rows as I went – too messy. I tried using a ruler and moving it down – not portable enough. I bought a row counter – that worked for a while. I finally accepted my limitation – and now I don’t knit complicated patterns I cannot memorize. Which is really limiting ever since I contracted CRS (can’t remember shit).

  3. Donna Says:

    PS Congrats on changing up the pattern. I think it looks fantastic!

  4. janna Says:

    I second Susan — sticky notes! I use one along with a row counter. And I use a lot of stitch markers, sometimes even different colors or types to mean different things. My knitting is kind of high maintenance, I guess, but it’s a whole lot less frustrating.

  5. Kim Says:

    I’m the post~it queen! I can never remember where I am in a pattern. Sometimes they fall off though…!

  6. amanda Says:

    I suppose on some level all of life is about recognizing limitations and accepting or working with them. I’m glad your knitting has a new cool twist to it (I’ll let that be pun intended). Don’t forget you’ve cut out some rows of knitting so if your pattern is based on a certain number of repeats of the cables it will be too short and you’ll need to compensate. If on the other hand it told you to do the cable pattern for x inches you’ll be fine. Unless you’re like me and get crabby when that point comes in the middle of a cable repeat, and the ends won’t match up seamlessly and you start trying to rewrite the whole thing to deal with it. But you’re a smart boy and probably already took that all into account.

  7. Juno Says:

    row counter, sticky note, pencil hatchmarks and prayer.