Thursday, June 23, 2005

Spatial Relations 101

Why would a former Tetris addict have issues with figuring out how a knitting pattern would actually come together? This should be simple spatial relations, but somehow, it's not.

Ok, I'm making good progress on the Vintage Spinnerin Shrug (description: bulky knitted shrug, made in one piece; simple moss stitch with garter stitch borders). My gauge is good (3 1/2 sts = 1", 5 rows = 1") and I'm knitting pretty fast (for me, anyway). I'm at the point where I've worked the body, and I've cast on extra for the underarms. And as I'm reading the pattern, I'm trying to figure out how the pattern will come together into a finished piece. And I hit the wall.

I should state that I'm normally pretty comfortable with patterns. I've been sewing for years. I took "Intro to Apparel Construction" at OTIS College of Art & Design. I've made quite a few pieces, sewn & crocheted, from vintage patterns. But, for some reason, I can't get my head wrapped around this pattern.

Here is a normal shrug/bolero pattern:

Knit it up, sew A to B, C to D, and voila! Looking at the photo of this pattern, that's how I assumed this pattern would come together. But as I did the math, I realized that what i would have at the end would actually look more like this:

I drew a diagram. I folded paper. I stared at it for about 20 minutes. I felt like an idiot. How could this be this hard? And a bit of panic, I need to finish this for a birthday present. It needs to be done in a week and a half. I don't have time to frog this!

And then I read the pattern again: "Starting at neck edge, cast on 97 sts." Which means that the 27.75" bottom edge was actually the top edge. I turned the diagram around.

DingDingDing! Light bulb turns on above my head. Sew corner A to corner B, corner C to corner D (armholes), and then sew up to create sleeves. Hurrah! We'll see if this actually works or not, but my fingers are crossed and my eyes less so.