Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Question from Kniterary on Monday

A new member of Kniterary asked me a couple of questions on Monday night, and although she didn't want to ask the group, I thought it might be helpful to answer here anyway.

Question Number One
She had a pattern for a cable knit sweater worked flat (front, back and two sleeves), but the materials called for a circular needle 24" long. Why, she wanted to know, would it call for a circular needle if the pattern was knit flat? Could she be missing some important part of the pattern that would require her to join in the round?

The pattern is entirely knit flat, but working something larger than a scarf is often easier to wield on circular needles. Sweaters, shawls, blankets, etc, become very weighty when you have a substantial amount of knitting finished. Holding your knitting on straight needles forces all of the weight of the item to pull down on your wrists. By using circular needles, much of weight hangs onto your lap or tabletop. It causes much less strain on your hands and wrists, thereby allowing you to knit more comfortably and for longer. And who doesn't want to knit for longer amounts of time!?

Question Number Two
Okay, so if the pattern is knit flat then why does the cable chart read as if you are just looking at it from the right side?
This isn't the chart, but this is an example of what she was asking:
As you can see, there are columns of knits and purls that form the pattern. But if you are working flat (reading the chart on row 1 from right to left, then row 2 from left to right, etc), wouldn't you be working knits on the right side and purls on the wrong side...and vice versa? Yes, which is why the legend states "knit on RS, purl on WS" and "purl on RS, knit on WS". They use the same symbol for opposing stitches to make the chart more visibly logical.

Does that make sense?

Please post your questions or comments and I will endeavour to answer any and all....if I can't, I'm sure that someone can!