Last night my Other Knitting Group was meeting, and I had decided to start knitting the Puncia shawl (yarn wound, pattern copied*), so after work I looked over the details to make sure I had what I needed, and cast on, so that I didn't have to spend the first part of the meeting counting to 108, since that isn't terribly social. This pattern may not in fact end up being social knitting, but the cast-on is kind of obviously not.
*Did I mention that my mother sent me the book? She rocks. I photocopied the pattern so I don't have to carry the whole book around.
There was one pattern stitch that seemed difficult to me, not in the sense of doing it, but in the sense of what it wanted me to do, but I had a guess. At the meeting, I first got the latest purse sock around the heel, then picked up the shawl and started knitting. And when I got to that stitch in the pattern for the first time, it was clear that my guess was wrong (it messed up the count). Huh.
I put the project aside and, aside from a brief discussion of what in the world it could mean, went on with the sock, and when I got home, sent the designer a message on Ravelry asking for clarification. She replied almost at once, which was awesome! And yes, my guess had been totally wrong. It's an interesting insight into pattern writing, which like any explanatory writing can suffer if the writer thinks she is being clear because she knows what she's talking about already, and it isn't necessarily clear to someone reading it cold.
At lunchtime today, I took the time to finish that row, and it all worked out now that I knew what the ssptbl meant. I glanced at the instructions to see what was going to come next, and promptly got myself confused over something else.
The pattern is printed over three pages, which includes some photos, written instructions, charts, and other notes. The second page is actually where you pick up the start point, and after casting on and knitting a few rows, you are sent to the Frost Flowers and Leaves lace section. There is a section named that on the first page, under Stitches and Techniques, which gives written instructions for 8 rows. The pattern start says to do row 1 of that, do row 2 of that, and then "Continue in pattern working Edging Chart..." Now, there is a chart on that page that is labeled Puncia Edging, but why, I ask, are we not continuing on with the Frost Flowers and Leaves?
So I looked closer at the Puncia Edging chart, which I see is also 8 rows, and ... wait. Are they the same thing? But named differently? Oh, no! Confusion alert!
Now, don't get me wrong, for a pattern to provide both written and charted instructions is pretty cool, since there are knitters on both sides who feel very strongly about using one but not the other. But you can't call them two different names! That's just ... man, I am not an inexperienced knitter, and I have knit lace before, and that just strikes me as All Wrong. Any other knitters want to weigh in?
At the very least, next to the written instructions, say something like "or use the chart on page 88." But I still think the names should match.
Big Bad Blog is still discussing
the possibility the Bruins will get a high draft pick
(hey, a 1% chance is still a chance), and I just loved this part:
The Bruins have a 1.1 percent chance of getting the second overall pick and a 1.3 percent chance of picking third. The other possibility is that they end up with the 14th overall pick (96.6 percent chance), but that’s no fun.