Archive for February 26th, 2015

What is an in-depth schematic? It contains much more information than a schematic that comes with a pattern. It accounts for every stitch, row, inch, centimeter, rate and amount of increase or decrease that goes into making the garment. A well-made in-depth schematic tells the designer everything he / she needs to know in order to create the garment and does it through numbers, not words. Ultra in-depth schematics even cite the types of seaming stitches used. Here’s an example of an incomplete one I began creating only to abandon it once I decided to measure gauge in the pattern stitch rather than stockinette.

in depth schematic 1

I use inches when I design. They are highlighted in yellow. Stitch counts are highlighted in pink, row counts in orange. Since I’m in the numbers stage of designing I translate the inches into centimeters. This makes it easier when and if I decide to write up the pattern. Missing from this particular schematic is the rate and amount of decreases for the neckline and armhole shaping. Also missing is the stitch pattern information for the body, which includes the stitch multiple plus the number of extra stitches needed to make the stitch pattern and the number of rows needed to complete one pattern.

Why include the stitch multiple on a schematic? It tells me the number of stitches in a set to complete one pattern. A stitch multiple of 4 plus 2 lets me know that I will have less of a headache if I make all my stitch count numbers multiples of 4. A multiple of 4 is simply a number that when divided by four provides what I call a “clean” answer, or a whole number with nothing left over. An example of a multiple of 4 is 12. When 12 is divided by 4 it equals 3. No messy left overs in the form of fractions or decimal points. So what does the plus 2 mean and where does it come in?

Plus two tells me that at the beginning and at the end of the 4 stitches I need to have one additional stitch. For example, if I had a row of 26 sts the first stitch would be one of the plus 2, then I could work 6 sets of 4 sts across the row leaving the very last stitch to count for the second stitch of the plus 2. In reality, I would add a selvedge st to either end for a row count of 28.

Stitch multiples also give me an inkling of how the pattern will look when I start increasing and decreasing. Sometimes where and how often an increase or decrease is performed is affected by the stitch multiple.

I try to work out all the math before I start knitting the garment and include it on my schematic. Doing so prevents nasty little surprises from popping up when I am half way through a project. Well…most of the time it does.

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