Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Vague, Not Precise

Just before Baltimore, I purchased the spring/summer issue of Vogue.  Filled with several summer sweaters that I would like to knit, I searched my stash and came up with 5 balls of Mission Falls cotton (long discontinued, last summer, I purchased a store's remaining stock for $1 a ball) in white and about the same amount of white Helena, a cotton/rayon/viscose blend.  Perfect for this little number minus the sleeves.

Before setting off for Baltimore, I cast on so as to be ready to knit in the car.  Motoring along,  (clever use of language there as I meant the words to apply to the knitting) I soon came to the lace section.  Then, I arrived at the waist decrease section.  The pattern was a little vague.    Was I supposed to decrease a stitch then recalculate the lace work so it would line up with the lace rows below?  Or was I simply meant  to decrease a stitch then carry right on with the lace?  In which case it wouldn't line up, but might have a very 'oganic' feel.  I went with the 'organic', math-free look  for about three inches before deciding it wasn't me.   Rip.  Back to  the end of the shirt tail portion to re-start the lace. 

Take two. I re-calculated the lace start point on every decrease row,  so as to line them  up properly with the none- decrease rows.  Moving right along, the pattern says to work until  9 1/4 inches from cast on then do some increases.  Seems quite clear.  Except this is a shirt-tail hem. 

The cast on row swings to three or so inches longer in the centre than at the sides due to many short rows.  Is the 9 1/4 inches measured from the sides or the centre front?  The pattern didn't say. 

About the same time as I was pondering where to start the increases, I stretched out the piece across my lap.  Lyn looked over from the driver's seat and laughed.  "That's never going to fit you," she said.  "It's enormous."   She was right.  What was supposed to be 19 inches across was more than 22.  And stretchable to more than that due to the nature of the lace section.  And this was happening after achieving precise gauge  in the bottom, shirt-tail portion.  Hmmm. 

I stopped to think.   There is as much lace as stockinet.  Lace is very stretchy.  The lace sections seem to have more power to stretch out the stockinet sections, than the stockinet sections have to rein in the lace portions. Hmmm.  Rip.

Take three.  Smaller needle.  And a revised lace section that will start and end with 5 stockinet stitches.  This gives me some plain knitting in  which  to do the  decreases  without interfering with the lace.   I can easily, without math, make the lace work line up, row on row.  And those stitches will make the sides much easier and neater to seam. 

For your next pattern, Ms Designer, call me.  You need a second  opinion before going to print.   Just sayin'.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

Nothing I hate more than vague info!