Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Am I dyslexic?

I just finished my first practice sock using Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters.  Am I the only one that had trouble following the schematics of needle positions?
When I got to the base of the heel, I had the most frustrating time trying to figure out which stitches belonged on which needles.  Mine seemed to be a mirror-image of what I was looking at in the book.  If you've worked thru this Little Sky Sock exercise before, you might remember it's at this point that you've just finished short rows and are moving stitches between needles.  I felt like I was trying to solve a Rubic's cube!  Look at the diagram, read the directions, move the stitches.  Look at the diagram again, read the directions again, look at the stitches on my needles.  Move the stitches back to their original needles, start over.  Try again.....and again....and finally, before I pulled the needles out and reduced the sock to a snarl of yarn, I set the needles down and went to bed.  Problem solving is always easier after a good night's rest.  
A new day.  After reading the next set of knitting directions and figuring out what was to be accomplished, I finally got over that hurdle and moved along just fine.  The sock turned out fine and looked like the one in the book.  Sorry no picture to share....I hadn't intended to write this post until I had gone back to review the first few pages of the book before tackling the second practice sock, "Little Coriolis".
Page 7  of the book:  "Compare the foot and the 2 circ schematic above. . . Since [the left needle] tip is red, it's also the the starting needle (the needle in your left hand)."  Yet the schematic shows the red needle on the right side of the drawing.  Why do that?  WHY NOT SHOW IT ON THE LEFT SINCE THAT'S WHAT I'M GOING TO SEE AS I'M KNITTING!!!!    Yes, she says in the last paragraph, "...the needles as they would look if you laid them flat on a table, with the sock growing towards you.  The starting needle is always the one in your left hand."  A schematic of how it would look when laid on a table makes no sense when I'm following the directions as I knit.  

Okay, okay....deep breath......before everyone jumps on me for saying something negative about Cat or her book, let me just say, the woman is a genius when it comes to sock architecture. I love the designs and know I'll be fine once I get my head around the perspective from which I should compare my project to the schematic; it just seems so opposite of what it should be.  
I now have an idea of how frustrating life is for individuals with dyslexia.  Is this my left hand or is this my left hand?  I just don't know right now.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Finishing Touches on the Henley

This has to be some kind of record, at least for me. Looking back at the calendar, it took me just three weeks to finish this project and it probably could have been done in two, if I hadn't procrastinated when I got to a part I was unsure of, like picking up stitches for the neckband. Because the perfectionist in me is never satisfied, picking up stitches has never been a favorite. It's the reason I started the placket three times this morning, once after having already finished the bind off.
The next project, a toe-up sock in J.Knits Miami colorway. I've always knit mine from the top down and it's time to figure out if knitting in the other direction is for me.