Chart Reading 101 pages and a long commute

Well, after (literally) years of promising I finally got around to putting up part 3 of the chart reading tutorial as web-pages as well as PDFs.  I split the PDF into two sections, and reworked (slightly) the second part about reading chart only instructions (for example those pesky Japanese charts).  The PDF is still the original version so the wording and charts are very slightly different.

While this is definitely the most visited section of this little website, if you haven’t come across these tutorials before there’s a bit more info below:

Part 1 – getting started, what those funny symbols means and working out what you are supposed to do with them.  You’ll need a hook and a bit of spare yarn as we’re going to make a small sample together.

Part 2 – continuing where part 1 left off, getting further in our sample.

Part 3a – which covers finishing the test swatch and working out how to change the size of your pattern here. (note: it is the same PDF for Part 3a and 3b)

Part 3b – which deals with chart only / foreign language charts here  (note: it is the same PDF for Part 3a and 3b)

Part 4 is coming soon and deals with working in the round.

In other news, this week I started a new job.  The commute is a bit of a killer though with an hour and a half each way.  On the positive side this means plenty of time to get some knitting done.

Invariably I am squished up against somebody else, being thrown around corners and getting a variety of drivers who have little faith in the brakes of the vehicle, ramming their feet into the floor Flintstone style and then being surprised when everybody on the bus is flung forwards at the window.   This means that delicate lace charts probably aren’t going to be my project of choice.  However, the 2×2 eternal ribbing of the Tirrold is perfect.  I get about 2 1/2 rows done (before swapping out to catch up on my reading) – and those 5 rows are day are slowly adding up (remember this one is in cobweb weight!)

I think I’ve added another 1″ (ish) this week.  I need to count the rows though, and the pattern (much as I love Jenni and Fyberspates) has one of the most useless gauge instructions I think I’ve ever had:

Repeat last round 117 more times.
When firmly stretched out rib should measure 21 cm”

Now the tension instructions read: Relaxed after firm blocking 29sts and 49 rounds to 10cm

So – how firmly am I stretching?  To the limit of the ribbing?  why don’t we have a “or about x cm unstretched”  Have you tried counting rows in cobweb weight yarn?

I get the feeling I’m going to be doing this for a while longer.  I’m currently at 21cm unstretched.

I’ve also started ICE in a denim blue cotton (there’s really not enough to photograph yet).  I’m mentioning that project here as I’m trying to work it in continental style in order to practice picking (being a natural thrower).  The knit stitches I’ve kind got down.  I’m not really enjoying it yet (my left index finger gets quite sore from the tip of the right needle rubbing it – anybody got any tips?) but I can see how the knits would be faster.  For the purl rows I’m tending to find myself using the Norwegian style, but it feels clunky and long-winded with lots of extra, unnecessary movement.  However, “proper” continental purl with the yarn in front drives me mad as I can’t get the yarn to stay wrapped around the needle tip.

Long story short: I’m enjoying the pick method of knitting, but want to use Portuguese style for purling.

More research needed on the different methods of purling continental I think.

So, light on the images this week – sorry.  Hopefully I’ll have some photos for you next week of a progressed Tirrold and an ‘assembly pack’ of Garland as I have about 20 beaded rows to do on the final sleeve before I can start sewing it together.