knit*therapy

on knitting and healing and other stuff

Words I Never, EVER Want to Read Again

Posted by Janis on July 7, 2007

stillife.jpg

The first words I never, EVER want to read again are these:

“in the usual manner” — as found in many knitting patterns regarding increases, decreases, bind-offs, etc.

Now, if I were a very experienced knitter at this point, I’d say, “Whew – glad I don’t have to read through all those dreary DIRECTIONS again!” and “I really appreciate the effort to cut down on paper and printing ink here!” But for those of us who are newer to the craft, it just doesn’t quite cut it. It’s like following a recipe and realizing after you have all the stuff in the bowl that there are no cooking directions. How the hell are we supposed to finish this thing?!

In a related story, tonight I decided to cast on for the Lacy Kerchief Scarf from IK. I’ve had the yarn for a long time, but had avoided starting it because I didn’t know how to do the invisible provisional cast-on required. I had looked at the instructions in the back of the magazine a number of times but it just wasn’t resonating. So tonight I hauled out all my knitting books, got out 2 colors of yarn and needles, and sat down to teach myself a new technique. (Astrology buffs will note that Mercury is in retrograde till the 9th, so it’s probably not the time to try anything that involves communication. But alas… I forged ahead.)

I felt that good ol’ Montse Stanley let me down in the Readers Digest Knitters Handbook, if for no other reason than that instructions and diagrams were on two different pages. This required me to try to follow the directions, look at the drawings, AND flip the page at the crucial moment. At least Montse tried; Maggie Righetti was silent on the subject in Knitting in Plain English. (I had some pretty plain English for her when I discovered it.) Nothin’ doin’ in Stitch n’ Bitch, either. (So I did a bit of the latter.) On to Victorian Lace Today — better, but I still couldn’t get it from reading and trying to follow the diagrams. Give up? I don’t think so. Cyberspace must hold the answer.

I Google “invisible provisional cast-on tutorial” and up pop hundreds of hits. I recognize the first one right away, and click on her lace cast-on tutorial. I am not at all amused or heartened by the following words:

                                                                                            “ridiculously simple”

especially when referring to something I’ve been trying to learn with no success for the past hour and a half! Her directions and photos seem very clear, but I STILL wasn’t matching the image of the finished cast on. Guess it’ll be awhile before I’m up for any Eunny Jang patterns, huh?

I will spare you a couple of the other sites I tried, but finally I ended up at Wendy Bernard’s blog, Knit and Tonic. She teaches a provisional cast on that’s really (shhhh!) a long-tail cast-on, just using waste yarn on one side and the working yarn on the other. BRILLIANT!!! I am saved! And besides learning a provisional cast-on I can actually DO, I learned that the designer known as Wendy Bernard (“Tomato” top) is Knit and Tonic.

Will share pics of the scarf as soon as it is a WIP.

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