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Sunday Images are here. A new wrap style I see a lot is shown in the photo of the Tumeric Wrap by Rowan.

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In an ideal world all knitters get stitch and row gauge and happily produce a garment that fits well and they love. Reality says that this is a rarity. Knitters may get stitch gauge but not row gauge or vice versa or they might not meet either gauge at all. From all that I have read knitters mostly focus on getting stitch gauge if they embrace the importance of gauge at all. Row gauge seems to be a bridge too far for most knitters, hence the length of the pieces are better off being given in inches and centimeters rather than in specific row counts.

When a designer designates row counts as the sole identifier of length bad things happen to the knitter. While knitter X may get 2″ (5) cm out of 14 rows, knitter Y may get significantly less or more. I am not saying row count can’t be included in a pattern. What I’m saying is it can’t be the only marker for length that is in the pattern.

If the designer must include row count in his / her directions say it like this: “Knit 14 rows or until piece measures 2″ (5) cm.” This gives the knitter a tangible goal. If the 14 rows don’t measure 2″, then the knitter has the okay to continue knitting until the 2″ goal is met.

Another thing I am noticing in patterns is the standard X stitches and X rows = 4″ (10) cm is starting to fall by the wayside. Lately, I’ve seen patterns by indie designers that use X stitches and X rows = 2″ (5) cm. The 4″ (10) cm standard is there because knitting that amount gives a more true idea of how many stitches and how many rows are really in 1″ (2.5) cm. The width and length of the standard 4″ (10) cm allows for all the idiosyncracies to be offset.

When I ask indie designers why they use 2″ rather than the standard 4″ their answers deal with math. They don’t want to work with fractions or decimal points in their calculations. This is crazy. Knitting, garment creation, is all about fractions and decimals, knowing when to round up and when to round down to help a garment fit and lay right. The only way to become comfortable with fractions and decimals is to work with them over and over again.

Knitting design is math centered. It’s not the warm and fuzzy math of 1 + 1 = 2. It’s geometry and algebra, fractions and decimals included. Designing is having an idea then running the numbers to see if it is mathematically doable.

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Sunday Knitting and Crochet Images and a Little Humor is now located here. This is one of my Pinterest pages. I have commented on the trends being shown in some of the pictures. I really think knitting is heading in an exciting direction with combining short row and color work.

Also start thinking about knitting garments in undyed yarn and then when complete apply the dye. See the Gucci tie-dyed sweater.

My hope in changing the pictures to Pinterest is that I can show you more of what is inspiring to me and the trends I am seeing. In doing so, I hope this inspires the knitter and crocheter to create their own works of art.

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crocheted picture frames

crocheted picture frames

berroco Margaux. I've made two of these so far and love wearing them.

berroco Margaux. I’ve made two of these so far and love wearing them.

alice starmore's charts for color knitting

alice starmore’s charts for color knitting

vadis designs. Bird cage dress.

vadis designs. Bird cage dress.

Tiny penguins by Suami

Tiny penguins by Suami

crochet pool side dress

crochet pool side dress

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I know people hate the g word in knitting but knowing your stitch and row gauge is crucial for a sock that fits. If you are guessing your gauge or assuming it is the same simply because you are using the same needles and yarn cited in the pattern, you aren’t getting a well fitting sock at the end of your efforts. Further, if the yarn you are using is familiar to you because you’ve knit with it before, still check your gauge. Depending on the dying process, yarns that are dark in color tend to use more stitches per inch than lighter colored yarns. The lighter colored the yarn, the more rounded and loftier the yarn. The darker the color, the more brittle, squashed and dense. Same yarn, different colors, different gauges. Knowing your stitch and row gauge guarantees socks that fit.

Once you know how many stitches per inch you are knitting, then you can figure out how many stitches you need in the total sock. To make this sock easy, let’s knit it using stockinette stitch only, meaning we’re knitting all rows.

Cuff Down Socks

The number of stitches per inch times the adjusted circumference equals the total stitches in your sock. For example, a gauge of 8 sts per inch times my 7” circumference equals 56 sts. The calculation looks like this. Go ahead and fill in your numbers.

________number of stitches I’m knitting per inch times _______my adjusted circumference number = _______the total number of stitches I need to cast on.

Because the sock begins at the cuff, work a 1 x 1 rib as follows: K1, p1. Repeat to end of round. Make the ribbing at least 1” (2.5) cm long. Then begin knitting all stitches on all rounds until the leg of the sock reaches the top of the heel flap.

Heel Flap: To Fit or Not

The typical heel flap is 2” (5) cm less than the total leg length of the sock. If you have average feet the calculation looks like this:

___________total leg length of sock minus 2″ (5) cm for heel flap = ____________length at which I switch from knitting the leg to knitting the heel flap.

The length of the heel flap is an important measurement that can make a sock fit or not fit. You have some decisions to make if your foot is not the average foot. If your Achilles Tendon area is longer than 2″ by 1″ or more, the heel flap needs to be longer too. If you have a high arch, you want the heel flap longer to accommodate it. In both cases, the length of your heel flap would no longer be 2″.

How To Find Your Heel Flap Length

The heel flap is where the sock is divided in half. One half of all the leg stitches become the top or instep of the sock, the other half the sole or heel flap. Divide the total number of stitches originally cast on by 2. For example: 56 sts / 2 = 28. I would have 28 instep stitches and 28 sole stitches. Go ahead an fill in your numbers.

_____total cast on stitches divided by 2 = _____ number of stitches for the heel flap and number for instep.

If you have a high arch, the number of stitches for the heel flap is going to be greater than the number of instep stitches. For high arches it is suggested 2 or 4 stitches be added to the last row of the leg of the sock. The only way to find out what number works here is by trying. Add an even number of stitches, work the heel flap and try on the sock to see how it all fits and make adjustments up or down in the stitch count accordingly.

The math for dividing the sock into instep and heel flap stays the same even though you have added stitches because your are dividing the original cast on number by two. Precisely half the number of original cast on stitches are instep stitches. The rest of the stitches, the heel flap, will be either 2 or 4 stitches greater than the instep. The number of heel flap stitches also signals the number of rows you need to work. Extra stitches make the heel flap longer. This gives the sock more stretch to navigate the heel-ankle-instep-ankle-heel area.

Here’s Where Row Gauge Matters

At this point, check your row gauge. Measure the sock over a 4″ (10) cm length and count the rows. Divide the total number of rows by 4. This is the number of rows you are getting per inch. Take the number of rows per inch and divide it into the number of heel flap stitches. The answer is the length of the heel flap.

__________number of heel flap stitches divided by ________number of rows per inch = ________length of heel flap. Does the length equal what you need in order to make the sock fit? Try on the sock. If you find the fit too large, reduce the number of added stitches. If the fit is too tight, increase the number by twos to keep it even.

Go back to the equation that tells you when to stop working on the leg and begin the heel flap. Substitute your heel flap length in place of the 2″ (5) cm.

Set-Up The Heel Flap
Place the instep stitches on holders, or if you prefer, leave them on your dpns and just ignore them. I leave them on the needles and place 3 stitches from each side onto locking stitch markers. This helps prevent holes from forming between the stitches I’m working for the heel flap and the stitches on hold. It eases the amount of stress placed on the running thread between the working stitches and the stitches on hold. The more stress placed on the running thread the more gruesome the hole.

To set up the heel flap for working, divide the number of heel flap stitches in half. For example, my heel flap is 28 stitches / 2 = 14. I’d knit 14 stitches, stop, turn work then purl across 28 sts.

______heel flap stitches divided by 2 = _______ number of stitches to knit across. Turn work around and purl across all heel flap stitches.

Heel flaps are worked back and forth in rows as follows.
Row 1 (RS): *Slip first st purlwise with yarn in back, k1. Repeat across row. Turn work.
Row 2: Slip first st purlwise with yarn in front, purl to end of row. Turn work.
Repeat these two rows until you have worked the number of rows designated by the number of your heel flap stitches. For example, my number of heel flap stitches is 28. I would work 28 heel flap rows.

Next we’ll begin the heel turn.

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As my luck would have it, March, and I mean the entire month, can’t move on and be done with fast enough. Two minutes after midnight, that is two minutes into 1 March, I was in the emergency room of the one hospital that is close to me, but which I highly distrust because they are simply awful.

In seeking help, I increased the pain in the tooth and added on an allergic reaction from the medication they gave me. Let’s just say I am up to my ears in medical stuff I don’t like and won’t have relief from the pain until Friday. All my breast cancer tests, MRI with contrast and mammogram, scheduled for today have been canceled and need rescheduling. We have an ice storm visiting. None of what is going on medically should kill me, but when I am in this kind of pain that is made worse by weather fronts it is a special kind of hell.

Please make this month go fast, please, please, please.

Back to the Style Sheet for knitters and crocheters.

Following the first page is, naturally, the second page. Number the pattern pages following the first page. It’s about a 50-50 split between those who print out a pattern and those who only use electronic devices to access the pattern. Thus, it is still advisable to format a header that includes the name of the pattern and the page number. The footer on the inside pages include copyright information, your name or business name and a way of contacting you such as email or pm via Ravelry.

While a debate continues on where to place the list of abbreviations used within the pattern, I tend to favor placing it on the second page. The Craft Yarn Council has a list of standard abbreviations. The Abbreviation List is in alphabetical order. The first letter of most abbreviations is lowercase and the abbreviation itself is in bold. The abbreviations for WS (wrong side) and RS (right side) rows are always in caps. Within a pattern, abbreviations are lowercase unless they begin a sentence or signify row side.

After the Abbreviations List comes two more items: Stitch Patterns and / or Pattern Notes. Stitch Pattern cites those patterns you are not charting. A particular ribbing, a particular overall pattern with unusual components, an uncommon cast on.

Pattern Notes is where information goes that applies to the whole pattern. For example, accurate stitch counts occur only after completion of a WS row. If a note does not apply to the entire pattern, then place the note in a sidebar and put it right where the information is needed.

It is now time for my pain medication after which I won’t even be sure of my name.

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I have decided to do a couple of fasts posts giving the elements of a style sheet for knitters / crocheters who are interested in self-publishing. I do this with this caveat: This is the style I use. Other styles are out there, so look around. The information contained below is not chiseled in granite. These are the things that work for me. Do experiment and find what works for you.

What Info Goes On the First Page

1) Design Title

2) A picture of the garment or object. Recommended size 3 x 4″ (8 x 10) cm. Where you place it is up to you. My strong recommendation is to make the design of all the pages in your pattern as clean and easy to read as possible. Study patterns with layouts you like. Adopt what you like and leave the rest.

3) Your name or your business name.

4) Description of the item. This is the romance part. Include inspiration for the design. A description of construction. Sell the person on why he / should buy this pattern and how it will make life better. Keep the description short. Avoid superlatives.

5) Sizes. For sweaters, I like to list 2 chest sizes. The “To Fit Chest” measurement and the “Finished Chest Measurements”. The “To Fit” measurement tells the crafter the actual chest size without ease. The “Finished” measurement is the size of the sweater after it is seamed and blocked and includes the amount of ease.

6) Yarn. The format for listing yarn is this: Yarn Company Yarn Name (fiber content %; yds [m] / oz [g]) per skein; weight; color. Number of skeins.

7) Needles. US size (mm size) straight, circular or dpns, If necessary, change needle size in order to obtain gauge. When listing circular needles: US size (mm size) circular length in inches (cm). For those outside the US, mm size is listed before US size.

8) Notions. Tapestry or darning needle, types of stitch markers, stitch holders, ribbons, buttons, etc.

9) Difficulty level. Go here for how to assess skill levels.

10) If I have specific construction techniques I want to highlight, I list them under Design Elements. An example of design elements for a sock might be short-row toe, round heel, gusset, provisional cast on, lace, etc.

11) Gauge / Tension. Stitch number and row number = 4″ (10) cm with Needle size used followed by the type of stitch. For example, 36 sts and 15 rows = 4″ (10) cm with US 6 (4 mm) needles over pattern stitch. Outside the US list cm and mm before US measurements.

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