Thursday, August 12, 2010

ADHD & lace chart reading

Really simple directions. Both written and charted. Because I'm new to chart reading, I've decided to rely on the chart and only fall back on the written directions if I get lost or confused... or too frustrated. :-)

I can tell when I'm really struggling with ADHD issues when I'm knitting. I think I'm paying really close attention. But, I get to the end of the row and there are too many stitches left. Or not enough to complete the stitch pattern. I tink back and sometimes find what I overlooked or the stitch that got dropped or... and sometimes not.

I've restarted this swatch a half dozen times now. But better to get the flow of the stitch pattern in a swatch and work out the kinks before starting the shawl. Right?

I've been teaching myself to recognize most of the basic symbols in a chart on sight, but this will be the first time I've actually knit from a chart.

Shetland Pi Shawl swatch by WendyKnits
Shetland Pi Shawl Swatch Chart

  • Lesson number one: read completely through the pattern before starting. Check.
  • Lesson number two: carefully count each stitch in each row as you knit the foundation rows and don't just assume that because you started out with the right number of stitches (three times) that there will still be that same number of stitches when you are ready to begin the stitch pattern. Check.
  • Lesson number three: when there are dotted lines separating out a subset of symbols, with words under them, telling you to repeat that set of six stitches 3x... don't ignore them simply because it didn't compute the first five times you kinda sorta noticed they were there but didn't really read them or think about what, exactly, they are telling you to do. Check, check.

The first three runs at the swatch, I somehow ended up with extra stitches at the end of the first chart row. The second three runs I wasn't doing what the pattern told me do. Remember that saying about "assuming"? Yeah.

The last time through, the "Work these 6 sts 3x" finally sunk in. So, I restarted and have successfully knit the first three rows, as instructed, and successfully knit all the stitches, one time through, in the chart.

  • Lesson number four: working the next row after yarn overs (yo) in the previous row, make sure you don't accidentally knit that yarn over together with the knit stitch. Too easy to miss!
  • Lesson number five: everything is "easy" once you've paid sufficient attention to actually do what you thought you did.
  • Lesson number six: if at first you don't succeed, you probably were not paying sufficient attention.

So, now I'm on the seventh attempt and think I've figured it out. I'm nothing if not tenacious! I'll finish up the swatch tonight, and hopefully take pre-blocked photos tomorrow, and some photos of the cakes of yarn I've wound so far to make the shawl, and post them in the next few days.

So. How are you doing?

Joy in the journey!

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