Saturday, January 22, 2011

Charts - UGH!

So, I started knitting this wonderful new vest called Cloud Chaser... lots of cables (which I love!) and complexity.  

Cloud Chaser Vest Pattern

Up until now I've always just followed the pattern by reading the directions.  But this particular pattern has two repeating cable patterns up the back and the patterns don't repeat at the same time.  I started knitting from the directions and using the little chart on the pattern but quickly realized that I would get lost fast if I kept this up.

No problem, I'll create a spreadsheet.  Right!

Hmmm...  first conundrum, do I create it right to left (which is the way you knit) or left to right?  My first inclination was right to left but I thought I'd check with Pam who said it was just the opposite.  And since she had actually done research (really?) to verify that was the correct way, I decided to go with it.

In making the spreadsheet there are a lot of decisions to make.  Like, which little symbols do you want to use for each stitch?  Since I'm creative by nature I decided that maybe little @'s would look cute or ~'s but it quickly became clear that if I wanted to keep my eyesight in tact, I should keep it simple.  So I settled for blank spaces and X's.  Boring but much easier on these old eyes.

You also need to try to keep the width of the pattern on one page if at all possible and if your rows are 98 stitches, that can pose a bit of a challenge!  So I just kept squishing and squishing and squishing until they all fit!  8.5x11 paper was completely out of the question (the whole eye site thing again) so I went with 8.5x14.  It's amazing what a difference 3" can make.  ;-)

Symbols and spacing determined, it was time to fill it all in which was much easier than I had anticipated.  It's a good thing too because I forgot to save periodically (I know better than that), my spreadsheet froze up and I lost a good bit of my work!  No problem, at this point it's just copy-paste-copy-paste-copy-paste...  but how many times?  How may rows?  Pattern says 18 inches...  that means MATH.  So, 30 rows = 4 inches; 30 rows/4 = 7.5 stitches per inch; 7.5 x 18 inches = 135 rows.  Right?

And that's just the back!!!

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