Sunday, May 02, 2010

Faulty Assumptions

I haven't been knitting as much this week as usual - because I had a business trip that was pretty intense all week and I didn't get the usual time in between and at night to knit. Dang!

At any rate, one thing I did finish was another Storm Cloud Shawlette - this one in Dream in Color "Bold" - a very striking variegated blue. This is the least favorite one I've done so far, mainly because it is a bit too small for my liking - it was done on size 8s and I only did one single strand of sock yarn. In the future, if I were just using one strand of sock, I'd use a 9 needle rather than an 8 - because everyone I know who has used an 8 ends up saying their shawl is too small.

But one person over on Ravelry wrote to me because she was frustrated with not understanding the pattern. She thought she only increased one stitch per row. So it occurred to me that other people who aren't watching other knitters make this shawl might be a bit confused.

On the increase rows, instead of just increasing 1 stitch on each row - on that increase row, you do yarnovers between each “knit” stitch - and those STAY on the needle in the subsequent row after Rows 2, 4, 10, 20, 38 and 72. So each time you hit one of those critical rows you are DOUBLING your stitches. But you are only doing that for critical rows - otherwise you’d end up increasing and having way too many stitches on your needle before you knew it.

I think another confusing thing is that what the designer is calling the INCREASE row, is actually just where you are knitting in the stitches you actually added as yarnovers on the row before. This sounds confusing but really isn’t. It’s the simplest thing in the world once you get it.

Isn't that true with life in general, we often mess up when we have something stuck in our minds, a faulty assumption that blinds us to seeing what is really there. This knitter who wrote me assumed that you only knit one extra stitch in the whole row - and she "read" the pattern with that belief in mind. Then when I pointed out her mistaken assumption - it was like a light suddenly came on - Eureka! and the pattern became blindingly obvious and simple.

Throughout our lives, because we develop life experiences, we start lodging many perceptions and assumptions - it is what my boss calls "head trash." Much of the time, those assumptions act as a shortcut to understanding life and are helpful in streamlining our learning, but sometimes the assumptions get in our way and create a mental block that we have to jump past or clear away in order to get a true understanding.

Now I did something different on this last shawl with the border that I kind of like, instead of continuing to do elongated stitches - on the border row, I just knit 10 solid rows of plain garter stitch - it made a more solid border - and instead of creating a ruffle, it just added a more solid border, which might be good if you're wanting that look, especially when you have really stretchy yarn. Just an idea!

So sometimes we need to look at things afresh - and create new ways of doing things - sometimes NOT following the pattern or the tried and true way is a good creative change.

1 comment:

Elysbeth said...

Hello Mac!

"Head Trash" I like it.