Monday, June 22, 2009

The devil really *IS* in the details.

What can I say? That thistle panel chart for Peggy Tudor is in a class by itself. I have done a fair bit of complex chart-based knitting in my day — including lace patterns that spread over several pages — but I've never seen anything quite like this. It contains 19 or 20 different symbols, at least half of which seem *specifically* calculated to create left-right directional headaches for someone like me.

Mind you, any malice aforethought in all of this must be attributed to the cussedness of the universe in general and not to the designer. There is nothing wrong with the pattern itself. Indeed the instructions explicitly state:

Reading odd numbered (RS) rows from right to left and even numbered (WS) rows from left to right, beg at row 1 and work the patt from chart A...
As long as you can do that, the chart is perfectly clear and unambiguous, with all the little devilish details put meticulously in their proper places. But as a left-handed knitter I always have to pay extra attention to what I am doing to avoid mix-ups, even with relatively simple patterns. So this is just an extreme case of something that I deal with every day. C'est la vie.

In the course of reworking the first thistle after my last post, I actually identified two more places where I had misread the chart. So I am very, VERY glad to have taken the time to work out all these little kinks at this early stage. Now is the time. It would be rotten to discover problems of this nature with the project any further along, that's for sure.

Here is the new & improved first thistle. It will need careful blocking of course (oh, really?), but I think the knitting is as accurate as I can ever expect to make it. Click on the image, as always, to get a closer look.

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