Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Knitting without directions

Somebody was asking how to translate a pattern from chunky to worsted.  I can't even wrap my brain around that. I would toss out the pattern directions and keep the schematic or sketch. Figure out the dimensions and write them down in inches. For example, let's say you have a sketch of a sweater. Look at the hem. Maybe it's a size large and the hem is 40 inches in circumference, worked up on circular needles.

Next test your yarn and needles and get a gauge. If you see that the yarn you want to use on a particular circular needle is worsted gauge, or 4 st to the inch, then you will want to cast on 4 st x 40 inches. So you cast on 160 st. If the schematic says the length from the hem to the armpit is 20 inches, then keep knitting until it is 20 inches long. At this point, you probably need to divide the stitches onto non-circular needles. Perhaps you will put the back on stitch holders and continue working the front. You might decrease three inches at each armhole.  Since you are working in worsted, then you will need to dec 4 st per inch or 12 st on each side.

Does this make sense? If not, then you probably need directions to follow and there is nothing wrong with that.  Your work will come out more precisely. If you are averse to following directions and/or if you tend to work better from visuals, you may like my way better.   Socks are a challenge because you must envision how that heel flap works. I will see if I can draw it or something. Unless of course I forget completely or wander off to eat a sandwich.  [Edited November 16, 2011 to add: I did follow through and write about the socks.  Avid knitters who were always confused by socks have written wonderful things about that particular blog post without my having to bribe them or anything.]

dj runnels
Life's an Expedition yarn is on Etsy

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