Reader Emmy remarked in the comments how quickly I crank out socks and asked:
Do you have any tips for committing the patterns to memory as you work, or do you find that working from a chart is easier/quicker than working from text directions?
One of the reasons I can crank out socks fairly quickly is because I’ve memorized all my basic sock patterns so I never need to refer back to the pattern. Just the chart.
And I’ve got a very good memory for certain things, like knitting patterns and charts. I vastly prefer working from a chart because I am a visual kinda gal — when I look at a chart my brain can kinda take a snapshot of it. So I find that I quickly memorize all but the most complex charts well.
(This, however, makes me a terrible test knitter, because I won’t notice mistakes. Rather, I do what my brain tells me is right to do.)
Here are some tips that might help you with the reading of the charts. Here’s a chart:
(You’ll want to click on the chart to enlarge it so you can actually see it, I’m thinking.)
This is the pattern chart for my Seaweed Socks (pdf link) for size medium. As you can see, the pattern repeat is 8 stitches: p1, then work 7 stitches of lace pattern. You work this repeat 4 times, then p1 at the end for a total of 33 stitches across, which is half the circumference of the sock.
Note that only the odd-numbered rows are charted. This means that on even-numbered rounds you will work: (p1, k7) 3 times, p1.
Okay, on Row 1 of the chart, the 7 stitches of the lace pattern are worked: yo, k3, ssk, k2.
On Row 3, everything is moved over 1 stitch: k1, yo, k3, ssk, k1.
On Row 5, it is all moved over 1 more stitch: k2, yo, k3, ssk.
The “meat” of this pattern motif is the “yo, k3, ssk” — note that this never changes. All you are doing is shoving it over to the left by 1 stitch on subsequent pattern rows. If you remember this, after you set the pattern you will know where everything is supposed to go.
Using a row counter makes a pattern like this much easier to remember, I think. Because rows 6-8 are all worked plain (no yarn-overs or decreases), I like using a row counter so I don’t have to remember if I’m on row 7 or 8.
Another thing the row counter is good for — measuring. My row gauge in sock yarn is 12 rows/inch. I know that I want to work (for example) 5 inches of pattern (after working the toe) before I start the gusset increases. 5 inches times 12 rows is 60 rows. Divide that by the 8 rows per pattern repeat — that’s 7.5 pattern repeats before I start the gusset. That saves time because I don’t need to stop and measure.
And if I keep track of how many pattern repeats I do on the leg of the sock as well, I can make the second sock identical to the first.
The Random Number Generator chose Alice in Portland, Maine to receive the book. Thanks to everyone who left a comment!
The Sock du Jour
Here is the first Flora sock, completed.
And a close-up:
Miss Lucy’s Signature Scent
Several of you wondered whether Lucy might prefer eau de poisson to eau de poulet. I asked her, and she was quite clear in telling me that she prefers eau de poulet. She still gets Wildside Salmon treats from time to time, but she is not as enamoured of them as she was in the past. I think she eats them to humor me.
But she is nutsy-cuckoo over chicken. I generally cook chicken once a week and as soon as the aroma starts wafting out of the kitchen, Lucy positions herself beside the dining room table, ready for some prime begging. We give her tiny tidbits of cooked chicken breast, which she accepts as her due.
My current front runners in the search for a new fragrance are “Close Your Eyes and . . . ” by Miller et Bertaux, “Grapefruit” by Jo Malone, and “Prada” by Prada. Alert the media.