Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's Not Rocket Science

Last night, a friend was here, to get some knitting help. She is starting a new shawl, and she needed a bit of  ''encouragement" to get it started. She did a great job on the garter stitch tab that begins the pattern and was starting into the body. As she was trying to figure out what the pattern was telling her to do, I heard her say to herself, "Come on, this is not rocket science!"

I have been thinking about this. In my younger days, I actually studied rocket science. The mathematics of rocket science is fairly advanced, but there are some physical laws that govern it, an agreed vocabulary, and set of conventions that allow engineers in many different places to understand each others work.

Knitting, on the other hand, is not always that simple. There are regional differences in how things are done. There can be more then one way to knit the stitches to get the same results. To make a left leaning decrease, a pattern may ask you to slip, slip, knit, or slip one, knit one, pass the slip stitch over, or knit two stitches together, through the back loop. All will serve the same function, making a left leaning decrease, and when the sock is finished, it is hard to tell which one was used.
In the case of the shawl pattern, the passage confusing my friend was "knit to marker,m1r, SM, k1, SM, m1l". I don't blame her for being confused. M is used both the mean the marker and to indicate where an increase is required.
I helped her understand, and she finished the row, and did a few more. The shawl is going to be awesome!
No, Michelle, it's not rocket science. Sometimes, it's even harder to understand.


  1. Does that mean the average knitter is a pretty smart cookie?

  2. I have always thought that knitting is for smart people :)
    You shawl is going to be beautiful, Michelle!