Archive for September 8th, 2014

I have never in my life had a perfect glass of lemonade. Either it was too sweet, too tart, or too blah. In fact I stopped trying to find the right product many years ago. So when my neighbor and friend, Mary, offered me a glass of her homemade lemonade I wasn’t prepared to be wowed. Just one sip sent my taste buds spinning with delight. It was the perfect balance of sweet and tart, lemony and refreshing. The perfect glass of lemonade: the epitome of the taste of summer in a cool, tall glass. I’m not sure Mary would want to spend her days squeezing lemons, but she could make millions of dollars selling her perfect concoction.

In other news, the back of the Girl’s 1960s Sweater is complete. The sweater is sized 12 mos, 18 mos, 24 mos, and 4 years. I purposely left out the 3 to 6 mos sizes because this has a nehru collar and the child needs to clearly have a neck. The necks of babies start to be defined around 9 mos. I’m knitting the 12 mos size. Before I begin the front, however, I want to write the pattern for the back. This is where I am stuck as the designer.

I believe good patterns are clear, concise, and consistent in their directions so that the knitter can duplicate the garment with as little confusion as possible. The dot pattern stitch used is an 8 row pattern. However, only 2 of the 8 rows are patterned. The other 6 are alternate knit and purl rows. I figured the rate of decrease for the A-Line style and only 2 of the sizes rates coincide. The 18 mos and 4 year rates are different from each other and the other two sizes. The 2 patterned rows move the dot stitch so it alternates position and is not aligned in straight vertical rows.

girl's sweater 1960s a

My problem is 2 of the 3 Cs: clear and concise. I don’t want to write out 59 or so rows of instructions 3 separate times to deal with the decreases that affect the dot pattern on just two rows, yet I don’t feel comfortable with the concise alternative of telling the knitter to “keep in pattern” while decreasing x stitches every y row z times. Knitters come to a pattern with very different experience levels. While the experienced knitter can easily figure the x y z direction, the intermediate knitter will struggle with it at first, and the knitter with limited experience will be lost completely, unable to read the knitting and decipher the stitch repeats and how they work.

While the skill level for this pattern is intermediate I don’t want the knitter who is branching out, trying to learn new things to be frustrated and lost. I’ve thought of charting just the beginnings and ends of the 2 pattern rows for more clarity. But many knitters, regardless of level, aren’t chart readers. Thus, written directions are also needed. So I am stumped. Unsure how to be concise and clear at the same time to as many knitters as possible.

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