Friday, July 16, 2010

Instruction Woes

For some time now I have been designing a slip-stitch beanie. Or rather, I have designed a slip-stitch beanie (and I'm quite proud of how it turned out, too!) but I have been stuck on the simplest way to convey how it is made to someone who is not, in fact, me.

The trouble is that I am just clever enough to get myself into trouble, yet not so clever that I always know how to get out. The dilemma in getting the gist of this pattern across to others is that I did not go the simplest route. I could have made the beanie to knit flat like so many striped hats are, so that that it could be sewn together with the pattern perfectly aligned, etc. Or I could have made the slip-stitch pattern come in tidy little packets or modules that could be neatly repeated so that all I needed to do was explain how to make the brim (CO on so-and-so number of stitches, knit ribbing for such-and-such many rows, etc.) and then primly refer to a chart to be repeated so many times before moving on to a solid color crown shaping. (A good example of doing that is the l across crossword beanie in Knitty, although it doesn't use slip-stitches.) If I did a crown shaping at all instead of just having it all drawn together at the top or kitchenered off... you know what I mean.

No, no, no. I had the bright idea of working it in the round. And on top of that, it's not a modular slip-stitch pattern. No tiles, no diamonds, or anything like that, where the change over from one row to the next gets lost in the solid colored between spaces. I went for diagonals. That have to line up at the "seam." And there's a very simple trick to making this appear to happen, that when seen in person seems simple, but is not simple to express in writing for someone who is not sitting in front of me. It's just a little skipping trick. A jump to the right, you might say. But I haven't seen it happen in any other pattern out there, so it's either very clever of me, or a horrible aberration that I should never have attempted, or both.

If I ever manage to get it written up coherently you can be the judge.

Gratuitous baby photo!


Jeanette said...

Cute photo! Sorry I haven't helped with trying to figure out conveying the idea. I have the beanie packed up right now. When I am unpacked I PROMISE I will pick it up again. Sadly, there will be frogging involved, which is why I hadn't finished earlier. Frogging is always a bit daunting, and is not something I am accustomed to having to do.

Praxis said...

No problem! I got kind of stumped with how you were stumped and I put it in a bag, too! :P