Friday, September 21, 2007

Refresh My Memory...

Dishcloths for my sister
Originally uploaded by sunasak
Since neither project I am currently working on looks any different from a picture I already posted (that would be the beginning of my second green Walking Away Sock and the front of the surplice top, which has all the lace panel and about 1/3 of the first surplice done), I am sharing the only photo I can find of something that passes for a beginning knitting project: the dishcloths I made my sister for Christmas last year.

OK, so I made them from Schaeffer cotton yarn that retails at nearly $40 a skein, so they aren't beginner Sugar-n-Cream models, but they are simple knit-and-purl patterns. Loved the yarn, by the way. Made very sturdy cloths with a bit of sheen. All I can remember is that I had so much going on (sudden pick up in love life, for one) that it took me way longer to make 4 discloths than I had hoped--the Flickr site reveals I took this photo on December 25, so I must have not finished until the day I gave them away! I have leftover yarn enough for another, too, which would make the expensive skein actually crank out $4 dishcloths after all.

But, here is my dorky question. I got to yet another set of instructions (in the Nashua pattern book for the surplice top) telling me to decrease X number of stitches "evenly spaced" across the row. WHY can't they say "decrease every X stitches" so you'd know how often to decrease? Why do we have to figure that out for ourselves? And, have I forgotten the "magic" way to calculate this (I am just sure I read such a thing once). I know that if you decrease once on each end, that takes care of two of them. But what's the formula for figuring out how many stitches to put between each decrease?

Or, do they say this mainly because you have to do is somewhat irregularly? On mine if I knit the first two together and then K5, K2tog to the end, I came out with two few decreases. I ended up doing them on the next row, hoping the Knitting Police would not come by and see. I must have done that on the other side, too, but it was in June, so I forgot.

I am feeling a bit dim, but willing to learn (not willing enough to post this question to an email list, though).

I have a LOT of knitting time tonight and over the weekend, so I am hoping to make good surplice and sock progress. And I am working on the next beginning knitting teaching tips, too!

UPDATE: Woo! Post and you shall receive! The kind and gracious Katie K has posted in the comments this helpful link to a calculator that will answer my questions (and yours, if you also wonder how to calculate decreases). Thanks to the Knitting Fiend for making this calculation helper, too. I just love the blogosphere and its helpful residents.


  1. I can't figure out the math, either. Luckily, the Knitting Fiend has figured it out and posted automatic calculators for increases and decreases. Check it out:

  2. Yay, Katie K! Thank you so much--I will post this on the blog entry and add it to my bookmarks! You rock!


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