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Chatty Knitter

213 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  04:18:15 AM  Show Profile Send RatherBknitting a Private Message
Well, I'm throwing this out for some sage advice -- I usually knit for others -- gifts, charities, etc. But I just received the new Knit Picks catalogue, and I fell in love with the shawl on the back cover. I'm thinking of knitting this for myself -- a great thing to throw on at night, during a Spring day when I'm sitting on the porch, taking out to dinner when the air conditioning is too high, etc.

My hesitation is that this is the most complicated item I've tackled so far. The thing that I love about knitting is that I can sit in the middle of my family room with all of the activity of the kids, my husband, dog, TV, music, etc. going on around me and still participate (vs. reading a book where I'm detached). But this pattern has a 36-row stitch pattern, and I'm worried about how to concentrate without getting frustrated.

Does anyone have any secrets or words of wisdom about how to stay on-pattern when knitting? If I have to limit this project to "quiet time", it will never happen.

Gabber Extraordinaire

562 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  04:41:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit yarnyamy's Homepage Send yarnyamy a Private Message
If it's a chart, I like to use a magnetic board (I think it's made by Lo Ran or something) with a strip that you move up to keep track of which row you're on. If it's written out, it helps to write each row of the pattern on a separate index card so you can keep just the row you're working on in front of you.
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Permanent Resident

1198 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  05:40:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit pjkite's Homepage  Send pjkite a Yahoo! Message Send pjkite a Private Message
I found the 'one row, one card on a split ring' trick helpful when my three were younger. I also used stitch markers for every repeat, and, most importantly, did a large-enough swatch to get familiar with the pattern during a relatively quiet time. If you already know how the pattern flows, you won't have to concentrate quite so much.

Pamela Kite
East Tennessee

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Seriously Hooked

627 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  05:55:44 AM  Show Profile Send Schleppenheimer a Private Message
These are excellent pieces of advice. I've just begun a lace cardigan for DD and I rarely get times to knit -- so I may have a jag where I can knit for three days straight, but then I don't get to it again until another four weeks goes by -- which is AWFUL because I have to try and get back into the hang of the lace pattern! The card idea will come in very handy!

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Seriously Hooked

883 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  08:07:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit ScubaQueen's Homepage Send ScubaQueen a Private Message
I've been knitting for just under a year. I found that I can't keep myself straight when following a pattern and I hate charts with symbols...too hard to remember what is what.

So what I do is translate all my patterns to an Excel spreadsheet. Using copy and paste and the auto number fill it is really easy to set it up. Then I cross off each row number as I complete it. That way no matter HOW LONG I put it down for I know right where I'm suppose to start again when I pick it back up. here is a sample of what one looks like.

Yes it does slow me down a bit because at the end of every row I have to pick up a pen and cross off the row number....but the pay-off of not being lost in my pattern is worth it. I'm so used to it now that it's just second nature. Plus I save these on my computer so if I ever want to re-knit something...I just print it out and I'm ready to go.


"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable." - Sidney J. Harris

... My Knitting Blog.... My Other Nonsense
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Permanent Resident

1872 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  09:18:30 AM  Show Profile Send pieheart a Private Message
When I'm going something really complicated or something I keep messing up, I use more than one technique to keep track of rows. It takes a while to get used to it, but I have been known to use the magnetic board with the magnet under each line, a notepad where I make tally marks after each line, and a row counter I click after I make the tally mark.

works for me, but as I am writing this I am getting creeped out!


Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday----Dale Carnegie
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Permanent Resident

7254 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  09:28:00 AM  Show Profile  Send gwtreece a Yahoo! Message Send gwtreece a Private Message

I love the excel idea. Thank you, I have been going crazy on this cable sweater from Knit Picks and I am going to translate the pattern into excel and work it that way.

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Laura Ver
Seriously Hooked

656 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  10:45:03 AM  Show Profile  Visit Laura Ver's Homepage Send Laura Ver a Private Message
Also, when I am working on a complex project, I try to pay attention to my own state of mind. A couple of rows a day may be the most I'll manage sometimes. Making a number of mistakes is a sure sign I need to put this knitting down and pick it up when I am more rested. That's why it is nice to have a very plain, unchallenging project going on at the same time. Even with 2 rows a day you will still get your gorgeous sweater done.

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Permanent Resident

5986 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  11:16:09 AM  Show Profile Send achrisvet a Private Message
If you use the magnet board (or Post-it notes) place the marker above the row you are working on. That way you can see how the row you are working relates to the stitches in the row below. This can make a world of difference in lace or cable knitting and prevent many errors.

My completed projects

and here

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Warming Up

70 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  11:27:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit bym's Homepage Send bym a Private Message
I like the 3 x 5 card version with one card per row. I also like to do some color coding, example, if there are 5 different stitch steps per row I make each step a different color so I can glance at the card and be right where I need to be by making note of the color I'm working on. This takes a bit longer to set up but is well worth the effort. Also, because I need to be so portable with my projects I use a rubberband around my cards and just rotate the finished card to the back and start on the next card.

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