Monday, September 24, 2007

The Way Knitters Write...

or What is a Repeat. I'm knitting away on my Icarus Shawl and looking forward to getting beyond the boring plain section and moving on to the interesting lacy section at the bottom of the shawl. I want this shawl to be big enough to really wrap up in when I'm freezing to death in church on Sundays. It's surprising how such a fine shawl can provide so much coziness and warmth while weighing practically nothing.

I have 112g of a slightly finer lace yarn than the designer used. She used 90g for her shawl, so I have at least a 20g "fudge factor" which is a good thing if you are considering increasing the size of your shawl. I'm thinking I may need to work more repeats because my fine yarn will most likely block out a little smaller than the original. This led to an interesting discussion, mostly with myself of course, of what is a repeat? I came to the conclusion that the way knitters write patterns and the way we really think about what we're knitting are two very different things. Icarus is an excellent example. This is what the pattern tells you to do:
Work R1-42 of chart 1;
Rep R19-42 five more times (aka 5 repeats)
Work rows 19-34 one time.

My logical math brain adds up the number of times I have to knit the same series of rows and says 7 repeats, but my pattern reading brain says there are 5 repeats. No wonder so many knitters get confused! It's a brain teaser game... Q: When is a repeat not a repeat? A: When it's the first or last time you knit a pattern sequence, or not!

Regenia says she knit 7 repeats on her Icarus and she ran out of yarn. Did she knit 2 repeats too many...or not? Who knows, but one thing I know for sure and that is I have knit the rep R19-42 5 more times and I'm on R25 of the next repeat. I have more than half of my yarn left-- which is more than enough to knit an extra repeat, which will result in a bigger shawl, which will make my already crowded needle even more crowded, and will take even longer to knit, which will almost guarantee that Regenia will finish her Icarus before I finish mine. I wonder where Diana is on her Icarus?

1 comment:

Regenia said...

Silly me.... I've not looked at the actual pattern in over a year! I have seven copies of the chart which as you've reminded me is the first and last and five repeats in the middle. So I'm still clueless as to why I ran out of yarn. Anyway, semicompeting with you is definitely keeping a fire beneath my needles. Four rows since Thursday with a birthday and trips to Charlotte and Dandridge included. Maybe I CAN get it done in time for the symphony...