Tracking Progress

August 21, 2014

Sock knitting with repeated patterns can get interesting to track. With simple knit in the round socks, or even ribbed socks, you simply keep knitting until the leg reaches X” from the cuff. I usually add the cuff to the total and knit for that many inches, about 7-9 inches. To confirm, I knit top-down or from the cuff to the heel then the toe, on double-pointed needles. It was how I learned.

My first pair of socks was knit simply in the round after making a lumpy cuff. You don’t have to worry about how many rows, or which row of the pattern you are on. My second pair of socks was the vanilla latte socks in a knit 6, purl 2 rib; I used the same ribbing pattern for the cuff. Again, I knit for 8.25” or something close and measured each sock against the other, and love, love, love these socks.

Then I moved onto the almondine lace pattern repeat in the Sock Knitting: Master Class book I received as a gift. This one wasn’t too bad to follow. The pattern had sixteen repeats over a grid, so I only had to track about five total repeats to get the length I needed. I used hash marks next to the row. I considered using a row counter a couple of times, but decided against it.006

 

Almondine pattern worked upside down (as I did not read how to use a lace chart before I began knitting)

 

Reasons I do not  use a row counter…1) I have enough stuff to take with me already. 2) I will forget to use it and have to “estimate” rows I’ve knitted. 3) I’ve become a fan of a working copy of the pattern and since I’m following that, keep a pen clipped and mark the row. 4) I will lose it, they’re small and portable and adept at landing under the seat in the car. 5) I have a kitten-Scamp makes enough toys out of my project. 6) Pen and paper cost less.

 

I think I’ve given enough reasons. I do make a working copy of my pattern. I often make two copies, just in case. I’ve never found one of anything particularly useful, especially socks. So, why not two? I know, you guys can give me fifteen things I only need one of, but that’s not really the point. I like two working copies. If I leave one in a classroom , or at the Secretary of State, I’m not stranded until I can get back to it. I just need to remember where I was in the pattern and mark my progress. If the pattern gets too marked up, I can use the cleaner copy for the next one.

I feel I’ve made my case for my working copies here, now lets get on to tracking these lace repeats.

 

007

Possibly my favorite pair of socks yet, Vanilla Latte Socks, which can be found on Ravelry.com

Then I moved onto the almondine lace pattern repeat in the Sock Knitting: Master Class book I received as a gift. This one wasn’t too bad to follow. The pattern had sixteen repeats, so I only had to track about five total repeats to get the length I needed. I used hash marks next to the row. I considered using a row counter a couple of times, but decided against it.

Reasons not to use a row counter…1) I have enough stuff to take with me already. 2) I will forget to use it and have to “estimate” rows I’ve knitted. 3) I’ve become a fan of a working copy of the pattern and since I’m following that, keep a pen clipped and mark the row. 4) I will lose it, they’re small and portable and adept at landing under the seat in the car. 5) I have a kitten-Scamp makes enough toys out of my project. 6) Pen and paper cost less.

I think I’ve given enough reasons. I do make a working copy of my pattern. I often make two copies, just in case. I’ve never found one of anything particularly useful, especially socks. So, why not two? I know, you guys can give me fifteen things I only need one of, but that’s not really the point. I like two working copies. If I leave one in a classroom , or at the Secretary of State, I’m not stranded until I can get back to it. I just need to remember where I was in the pattern and mark my progress. If the pattern gets too marked up, I can use the cleaner copy for the next one.

I feel I’ve made my case for my working copies here, now lets get on to tracking these lace repeats.

The almondine pattern I used had a grid pattern to it. I placed the hash marks next to the grid, and never really thought about the tracking. Now, I am working with a slightly simpler lace pattern, repeated over eight rows, with four of those rows having the same stitch. This sock designer simply wrote her instructions by rows. I now have to make 9 repeats of eight rows. My working pattern is getting sloppy and difficult to track as I finish the fourth repeat of the pattern. I wasn’t certain I’d still be able to read the pattern if I continued putting check marks next to each row listed somewhere within the pattern text.

Since I am against a row counter, and will likely forget it if I have it, I need another system. This gets kind of fun, because I am not good at setting up systems to keep things organized. Hence, why I didn’t see this problem until the messy fourth repeat of the pattern. So, I simply fell back on what worked. I used hash and tally marks before, when tracking multiple rows. I will continue to do so now.

015

If you look closely, you can see where I started tracking on the rows and realized it would not work.

I simply made a T-chart, albeit sideways, on the bottom of my working copy, and wrote a roman numeral I for sock #1, and a roman numeral II for sock number 2. Then I proceeded to write 1-8 in vertical rows beneath each sock designator and have a space for tally marks as I complete each row, without making my pattern less readable. I enjoy simpler solutions like this, and hope you find this helpful, or even a bit amusing. If you have a simpler way of tracking, sans row counter, I’m interested. Please note, I’m not good at just remembering or figuring out where I am in the pattern. I have enough other frustrations in my day that I wish to keep knitting socks for relaxation and valuation of self.

Happy Knitting!

 

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