Lost in Translation.

Not the Sofia Coppola film and not even the cultish Edith Eig creation for Scarlett Johansson in said film.

No this is the general frustrating weirdness caused by the instructions (and I use the term loosely) in Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns.
A book which ,sadly for the publishers, I cannot recommend.

I've swatched lace stitches from about.com and I even managed to swatch several pattern repeats of Jo Sharp's Thandie mohair lace scarf, no problemo, with no frogging!
So, it can't be me, right?

And yet I've spent countless ( I would hate to tally) hours trying to crack this sucker:

Fans of Rimsky-Korsakoff, this... is Flight of the Bumblebee!

Or in my case, Lurch of the Manually-Challenged.

So, long stitch, long stitch, long stitch...hmmmm...the instructions for this stitch are cursory, ambiguous and...frankly... open to interpretation. Which I have been doing a lot of lately... interpreting that is.
Row upon row and repeat upon repeat of interpretation in fact.

Flicking back to the 1/2 page of glossary at the front of the book, (no explanation of longstitch there) I noticed that this entire book is, in fact, translated.
But from what? And more importantly... into what?

Even a quick google of "long stitch" yields scant joy.
Except for one A Strikke's blog, whose "Notes on Russian Knitting Patterns" looked promising but sadly following those instructions still looked nothing like the sample.
Gee Whiz.
And so this is where, dear readers, a certain obsessive obduracy comes into play as I've kept at it (and at it) and I think finally it's looking kinda close.
It's actually more of a k2tog, psso affair but with the k2togs being above and below rather than side by side.
Which bears little resemblance to the printed instructions. Looking at the chart and then improvising seems to work better.

So 2 lessons learned.
1. If written instructions don't actually make sense and hence all your attempts at lace stitches look like disordered/blind person's knitting, then maybe it's not you after all.
2. If you're like me and the neurons in the problem-solving part of your brain fire up in a more meaningful, useful way when looking visuals rather than words...then chart, chart, chart!


Blogger Rose Red said...

I recommend the Vogue Knitting guides - there is a big one, a portable/quick reference one (which I have) and a couple of "stitchionary" ones. I use the portable Vogue Knitting guide often, but it doesn't have a lot of lace/pattern work. I've also seen the Barbara Walker Treasury guides a lot (there are 4) and I think people rave about them, but I haven't used those (but have them on my wish list!). Sometimes working the pattern/instructions out is part of the satisfaction of knitting anyway, along with the swearing and ripping!!

14 September 2006 at 3:07 pm  
Blogger flim.flam said...

I can vouch for the newly improved gorgeousness of the bumblebees thanks to Carson's improvisation.

They look exactly like the picture in the book, but not much like bumblebees.

Perhaps it should have been called "magnified adora cream wafer"

15 September 2006 at 11:57 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home