I wish I had a photo from one of my childhood books for this blog.  Alas, words will have to suffice.  Both Donna and Helen came in today with a common question…one that we all face due to the multitasking life demands of us.  “I put my knitting down and I can’t tell where I left off?  Can you tell by looking at my knitting?”  The answer is a resounding, YES.  You can leave yourself a trail of breadcrumbs with just a few easy steps.

First, ALWAYS mark the right side of your work and move that mark(er) up as your piece lengthens.  ALSO, if there are more pieces involved in your project, leave a safety pin or other form of marker on the completed pieces to avoid confusion later.  Seriously?  Yes, really, there is no room for “I’ll know” or “I’ll remember” in this first rule.  Both Donna and Helen are veteran knitters, and Helen picked up her Old Shale scarf to restart it and began on the wrong side…she now has eight inches of fuzzy knitting to frog.  I do not envy her and did offer to help her with this.  Mark the Right Side of your work.  You’ll thank me later.

USE SAFETY PINS, SPLIT STITCH MARKERS OR BITS OF YARN to mark your work after a set number of rows.  WRITE what that set number of rows is on the pattern you are using or on some piece of paper that will not get separated from your knitting.  OR, you can put a LIFELINE in your work after the same set number of rows.  This way you know how many pattern repeats you have completed, and (God Forbid) if things go dismal, it is not so heart-wrenching to frog (tear back to a point of goodness).

Look at your pattern.  Notice special stitches that can serve as landmarks.  My favorite is a double decrease.  They are big, easy to feel (palpate), and usual are at the center of a motif.  Look for stitches that fall in vertical or horizontal lines.  This is easier to see on a chart, but written patterns can be highlighted to give yourself the kindness of a VISUAL CUE.

If you are a musician, a computer whiz, perhaps a stenographer, you are someone who will naturally take to charted knitting patterns.  They did not come easy for me at first, but now they are my preferred method of pattern writing.  They just make it easier for me to see the path I need to follow to get the desired result.  Pay attention to what seems more nautral for you and buy patterns accordingly.  If a chart uses symbols that make you want to poke your eyes out then get some graph paper and take ten minutes to regraph the pattern…or use a chart program on your computer.

Lace Knitter's Advent Scarf-- after day 6

This is the Lace Knitter’s Advent scarf after I finished the rows for day 6 this morning.  I like to start my day with this scarf.  It is quick and I love the transitions between the patterns.  This is definitely a pattern I will knit more than once and keep on hand spare scarves to use as gifts.  The designer says it is just 505 pattern rows.  I would like a little edging on the next one I make but that is the only change I would make.

24 Days Until Christmas KAL

This is the number one Advent Calendar knit-a-long on Ravelry.  The stitch patterns seem to be Estonian in origin and one is more beautiful than the next.  The stitches are also easy to do…not at all taxing.  I have already completed one skein of TSC Dream (that is 264 yards of yarn!) but this is a wide stole.  Franklin Habit mentioned in his History of Lace Knitting class that Estonian lace shawls are weighed and sold by weight because the number of nupps can really increase the amount of yarn used in each individual project.  This stole really brings that message home.  The next lace project I am working on does not have any nupps and is already larger than this one, even with only five days of knitting complete…so Franklin, I get it now!  Wow.

The third photo, of the German Adventskalender Scarf refuses to upload.  It is my favorite of all three.  I have used 200 yards of cashmere (Karabella superfine) and this is what I save for last, the best part of the day.  I do have an early photo of this posted on Ravelry, so you can see it there.  I chose a very pale grey…almost not there.  This is a wide stole and whether the designer edges it or not I plan to use one of the edgings we received from that class with Franklin Habit…the point lace edging.

I see from my word count I have waxed fairly poetic today, please excuse my verbosity…it merely reflects total passion for my art.  Take care and go get cozy with your knitting somewhere.  …xox TheHumanLoom

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