Saturday, February 17, 2007

When a knitter's brain implodes.

Maybe some of you are familiar with the Imploding Brain phenomenon, wherein there is so much inside the brain at one time that it collapses in on itself, leaving a mere shell where once a functioning cerebrum was. I am a firm believer that if this does not place you in a mental institution, that you are either
A) A mother, who is used to this kind of thing and has a back-up copy of the really, really important stuff (like kids' names) written down somewhere.
B) A knitter, who is used to this kind of thing and hasn't got a written, typed, or photographic record of a damn thing and has to figure it from scratch.

Frequently, mothers who knit will find that they remember their child's birthday, but not which row they last decreased on. This shows that the Knitting part of the brain, while distracting, does not normally impair function of the rest of the neural functions.

Back to my point. Which I do have. Somewhere.
When a knitters brain implodes, and all pertinent knitting information has left them in their time of need, it is important to sit down with three things.

1. The knitting. (A friend's V-Neck Pullover)
2. A good reference book. (My favourite knitting book ever, actually.)
3. A calculator. (Because it's always the effing numbers.)

My book of choice is Knitting In The Old Way, by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts. All of the sweaters in this book are designed around percentage systems, which is how I design all of my sweaters.

Right now I'm figuring out the rate of decreases for a friend's V-neck pullover. That number on the calculator is how many stitches I've gotta decrease total.

At least I've got the shop sample of the Pageboy Hat to knit out of Nikki. It should be good bus knitting, since the sweaters have become so unwieldy. I'll have a picture of that when there's more than 2 rows of ribbing on it.

In completely unrelated news: I started teaching my first class today. I am teaching the Advanced class at the shop, where people are making their first garments. We did swatching today, where I discussed swatches, and the importance of gauge. We also chatted about all other kinds of things, family, jobs, schooling.

Ronnie, a nice lady with the most delicious English/French accent, is making a drop-shouldered pullover. The style of construction and the yarn both put me in mind of traditional fisherman's ganseys, except that this pattern lacks the underarm gussets which are a part of the construction of most ganseys. Ronnie's pattern may be a bit too big for her, so I may end up helping her resize it - Her pattern is perfect for resizing using a percentage system, because it's all "Knit until work measures X from X." type of instructions, which means you can easily fill in X with whatever measurement suits you.

Elizabeth is a doctor at OHSU, she is making a neck-down cardigan that has an I-cord tie at the front. She's using the Cascade 220 Superwash in Very Berry. Her pattern's totally different from Ronnie's, but they're both highly adjustable. Elizabeth is in-between sizes on the pattern, but she said she likes a loose fit. I already had looked at that company's patterns and they are fairly true-to-size, that is to say that they are designed to sit exactly at the bust measurement that's given. I think that knitting the next larger size will give her the roomy feel she likes.

I think I'll ask them if I may take pictures of them during class as they knit and work on their projects, and I'll definitely be sure to put up pictures of their finished work if they don't mind.

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