Friday, January 16, 2009

Trust not the book!

Allow me to preface this post with this:
It's my studio disassembled again for the sake of Construction. The devil is in the details so I will spare us all from discussing the reasons why we are in a state of disarray again.
But I tarry . . .
My grandmother, may she rest in peace, gave me this book a long time ago. I admit, I haven't read it all carefully so the description is sketchy, but as far as I can discern, this author was hanging 'round the British Isles cultivating knit patterns for titled Guernseys, Jerseys and Arans. Gladys would stalk piers and alleyways accosting unsuspecting fishermen and/or their wives, shaking them down for their knit patterns, sometimes measuring guage and noting knit, purl or cable right off their backs. What she did not do was insure that Dover Publications hired an editor who had a clue about knitting and its proper annotation for instructions and patterns. This copy in my possession is the third edition, folks. Third edition! And it's still, since 1979, incorrect. There's even a Forward from the renowned knit queen Elizabeth Zimmerman. Go figure.
And so, this is the second pattern I've had to chart from this book. Page 68, Seahouses Pattern I, Mrs. Laidlaw's Pattern. It was a puzzle of sorts beginning with the realization, again, that the stuff I was knitting on the needles was not, in any way, similar to the photo in the book. The second piece of the puzzle was working on the hunch that all the odd-numbered row instructions were correct, while the even-numbered were not. My hunch smugly sat back in my red leather chair as I ticked off marks on the graph paper proving me right. Thus, the written instructions should have been:
"1st row: k5, p3, k1, p1, k2, p3, k27, p3, k1
2nd row: p1, k2, p13, k1, p1, k1, p13, k2, p2, k1, p2, k1, p1, k2, p6 . . ."
Instead the second row reads, and I quote:
"2nd row: k6, p2, k1, p1, k2, p1, k2, p2, k13, p1, k1, p1, k13, p2, k1 . . ."
The finished chart showing the need for only 28 rows until the repeat rather than the full 46 written in the book.
The moral of the story: Use the chart, Luke! The book, it lies!

1 comment:

wild-heart said...

Perhaps it's time to write your own knitting book?