Wednesday, May 14, 2008

All The Knitting Nations

And so the Latvian Hockey Delegation descended on our fair city just as I hit, or at least approached a wall with my traditional mitten cardigan.
While the visiting fans don't 'strik'e me as knitters, uh, there is a further coincidence.

As my colour chart hit the blue and white section (with the blues represented by dots, and the white by blank squares), I was faced with a familiar situation. Once I'm established in a two colour pattern my eyes have trouble and the dots invert themselves. Soon I'm doubting myself and wondering which colour is which and truly if I've ever understood charts in my life.

Blinking away in frustration one afternoon at The Loop, Mimi proclaimed "Rods and Cones!". As I listened to the plight of hockey players whose jerseys sport inverted colours for home and away -resulting in players checking their teammates by mistake-I felt very sportif and patriotic, not to mention better about my brain function.
So my eyes were simply having trouble assimilating the two colours, especially at such a strong contrast. It's okay.

There are several ways to make such a chart easier to read. Adding a colour with highlighter or printing on coloured paper works well. A line magnifier is a great tool. I suggest LoRan brand.
Here is my new technique:

With a different coloured pen for each colour yarn (and on a light coloured paper) I write the number of stitches to be worked in each colour until the next is used. For instance,
would read
I also mark the middle stitch with an 'M'.

Let me know if this works for you too.


Mimi Fautley said...

Ooh, that coloured numbers + "M" trick is a good one!

Kathryn said...

When I work stranded using "Charted Peasant Designs from Saxon Transylvania" (it's awesome, btw), I often write the colors down, because the charts are tiny and not always perfectly aligned with the graphs.

It's a good technique. I also re-chart small designs, but that's just to make it more legible for me.

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