Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tutorial Fail

I was going to make a little tutorial for you here. A simple one, just for the entertainment value and to practice in case I ever want to tackle technique. The most difficult thing for me in knitting is the counting. I speak true, friends. I've tried a number of things including hash marks, safety pins, stitch markers, those little barrel row counters, etc. I have a row counter bracelet on order from Etsy even as we speak (write, type, read, peruse, or as my grandpa would say, squawk). I don't think I'm alone because over the years I've seen a number of posters ask for tips on keeping track of stitch patterns and/or rows.

I was inspired by a friend's long ago suggestion on how to keep track of ingredients in cooking. Put a spoon on the counter for every cup of flour to be added. Then remove a spoon every time you add a cup. Frankly, I thought this was ridiculous, though it works for her. Even so, I've never forgotten it and have been trying to improve on it mentally, in the same way that I work mental arithmetic while driving (myself crazy).

I am aware that this candy idea isn't original to me, but I was enjoying myself so much I thought you might like to see the pictures.

Candy Counting Technique (For the Kountry folc: Kandy Kounting Tekhnikue)
to count Rows and 2 different Stitch Alterations that don't occur every row such as increases, decreases, or stitch patterns ON TWO objects being knitted to be identical, such as sleeves or socks.
What you need: Some candy that comes in many small pieces, like Skittles, M & M's or chocolate covered strawberries (small being relative). I had a jackpot find when my pharmacy moved. Retro candy. Snaps. Anybody remember Snaps? They came in a red box. They are black licorice with the texture of shoe leather coated with some sort of hard pastel sugar that resembles housepaint. Now they come in a bag, but you have to be careful. Because of that, sometimes they are fresh and not tough enough. I like them to have slightly less chewiness than beef jerky. You also need a flat, relatively clean surface.
1. Place a candy on the step, table, chair arm or other convenient, cat/child/other scavenger free surface every time you complete a row. If you have an alteration on that row such as a new stitch pattern, a decrease, or an increase, place a candy above the first piece. In the photo you can see I've completed one row which in my case had a k2, p2 pattern, then 2 plain rows.

In the next picture I've completed another plain row.

2. When you have a row with a second type of stitch alteration, add a candy below the piece for that row when the row is complete. In my case, the row in question is an increase row. My picture shows five rows completed. The first row and the fifth row had stitch alterations. Now I need to remember that a candy above my line of candies means that I did a k2, p2 and that a candy below the line means I increased.
I could keep knitting on this sleeve, but I want to get both done at close to the same time. (This is a lie of omission. While it is true that I want to finish both sleeves more or less at once, the real reason it's time to switch to the other sleeve is that I want to eat the candy. It's bad form to drool on your gift knitting. Calling Mr. Pavlov!)
3. Now for the good part! Pick up your second sleeve and begin knitting by reading your line of candy from left to right, in just the order you built it (not backwards as was my first inclination). The superimposed pink piece over the first candy is telling me that the first row of sock 2 must be worked as k2, p2. Once you've finished that row, eat the candy! Not all of it! Just the candy for the first row. Geez. What do you need maybe? A tutorial?

So why is this a Fail Tutorial? This is a Fail Tutorial (not to be confused with a faille tutorial, which would be about sewing with fancy fabric) because the day after shooting, a cap came off one of my teeth while I was eating some nice pineapple upside-down cake. I have to attribute the Dentistry Fail to the Snaps.

1 comment:

errs said...

Very cute! I think I'd eat the candy in the wrong order, though.