Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pattern management, or avoiding the flip-a-thon

So you know that Kristina and I started knitting the popular Must Have Cardigan back on Labor Day. I've knit the ribbing and 9 rows of the pattern, and the pattern itself (the physical thing printed on paper) is really frustrating me.

The pattern is condensed into 4 pages in the Patons booklet. I photocopied the pattern so as not to mark up the original, and my photocopy is printed double-sided on 2 sheets of paper. Big mistake! I use 3 of the 4 pages on each row, and the knitting experience is practically a spectator sport with all the flipping.

My first response was to photocopy it again, then cut up one version and tape the relevant bits (like the stitch glossary) right next to the parts to which they referred (like the charts). Last night I got out scissors and double-stick tape and went crazy.

I'm still doing a lot of flipping, though.

In the end, I made a spreadsheet to help me keep track of my rows. The basic pattern follows a 4-row repeat, so some stuff changes 1-2-3-4. One of the charts is an 8-row repeat, and it's pretty straightforward to incorporate into the 1-2-3-4 pattern. But the other chart is 26 rows (NOT divisible by 4!), and that's where things get sticky. I finally gave up trying to hold all this information in my feeble brain and typed it into Excel.

Behold, the spreadsheet:

Now I can check off each row as it's completed, and not fret about post-its coming off the pattern while the pages rest in my knitting bag. Or post-its coming off the pattern while in the hands of small children. Either is possible.
Kristina, I'm emailing this to you!


  1. Thanks for making this up. I can't wait to review it. You know I'll probably end up using it as I work through my Must Have.

  2. How maddening that the patterns don't match. I'm thinking from your description that they eventually do -- every 52 rows! Geez.

    Can't wait to see some pictures...