Sunday, August 6, 2017

Design Series: Raven Rocks Scarf, Part 2a - Why Does That Chart Go the Wrong Way

It's Sunday so that means office hours at Starbucks (#notsponsored) and I try to write more blog posts. I like having this structure of writing on Sunday afternoons even if I feel like a pretentious prat with a laptop at a coffee shop like I'm writing the next Great American Novel.

Also, by the way, it's a venti vanilla sweet cream cold brew and cheese danish kind of day.

In the last post I released the first chart for the beginning of Raven Rocks Scarf. You may have noticed that I'm not posting any written instructions, just charts. I greatly prefer charts to written instructions because the chart helps me visualize what the finished stitch pattern and project should look like.


Look at these two pictures side by side:

The sketch (left) shows the scarf growing to the left. The chart (right) shows the scarf growing to the right. It looks like I'm wrong; the chart doesn't match the finished project. And sure, a little bit. But what the chart shows is the left edge is "straight", just like the left edge of the sketch. The chart shows the increases are at the right border, just like the right edge of the sketch.

But another way to look at this is the chart keeps the stitch pattern as it will look when it's knitted, with the stitches lined up and showing the correct pattern. If I rearranged the chart so it grows to the left, it would look like the chart to the left.

No, it's not the worse but, as you can see from the red box, the stitches are no longer aligned and, in my experience, this will make it so much harder to knit by sight. You will be forced to follow the chart exactly and won't learn the stitch pattern as quickly.

It'll also be harder to recognize mistakes and fix errors. You can't tell by looking at this chart if a purl stitch should fall above the knit stitch or not and that can make your knitting much less fun.

So I suggest you use the chart in the last post for knitting Raven Rocks Scarf.

And another caveat: this is the chart I used for my sample of Raven Rocks Scarf. If you want to knit the border wider or narrower, I've charted a condensed version of the chart, which I may substitute for the full chart in the finished pattern. The instructions would read something like "Work Beginning Border Chart Rows 1 - 20 once, then Rows 13 - 20 three more times."

If you want the border wider/narrower, work more/fewer repeats of Rows 13 - 20, but always all rows of the repeat so that it flows neatly into the next chart.

Stay tuned!