Thursday, September 13, 2012

Following Directions

I used to be really good at following directions.  Really, I did.  I remember this one time in 8th grade, our teacher made us all take out a sheet of paper and pencil and she passed out this test booklet.  I remember her telling us to read all the directions before getting started.  So, I dutifully read the instruction booklet.  It was not a timed test, so there wasn’t really any hurry.  The instructions told us to put our name in the top left-hand corner, draw lines through words, draw a square and a circle, and a bunch of other things.  You can see a similar test here.  After reading the test, and actually following the directions, I was one of only a few people who did exactly what they were supposed to do. 
Fast forward a few years, and sometime in high school, I got the same test.  I made it down to about direction number 3 or 4, and realized that I shouldn’t be following any of the instructions, but simply reading them.  So, I had already goofed up. 
Fast forward to now, and I have the hardest time reading directions before I do anything.  That would explain why I’ve worked the chart for my sweater pattern 3 times.  Third time’s the charm, right?  Here’s a picture of the second time:

Here it is corrected:

So, here’s what I’ve learned about making a sweater.  First and foremost, make a swatch.  I’m glad I did – it saved me from having a sweater that I spent hours on and can’t wear.  Second, read the directions.  No seriously, read them.  Several times.  And then, one more time.  Don’t just glance through them.  READ THEM.  See, there was this little section in there where you set up for the pattern, and you work 4 rows like that.  Then, you start the chart, and work 4 rows 5 times.  Yeah, I missed the 4 rows part the first time.  And I had misread the pattern previously, so my chart was on the wrong side.  I ripped back, and started again.  Thinking I had misread more than just WHERE the chart was supposed to be, I also started working the chart 3 rows early.  Oops – yet another problem.  So, now I had the chart in the right place, but started it incorrectly.  Fortunately, I’m not that far along, and can fix it with a handy dandy crochet hook.

 1.       Skelf                                          2. Chambord

 3.  Oatmeal Pullover                             4. Plain and Simple Pullover

I think it’s because I’m in such a hurry to get things done.  I should really slow down a little.  I guess I should also tell you which pattern I decided on, shouldn’t I?  I picked the one with the same yarn that I was working with, and I already had the pattern.  I’m trying to be good, and use what I have, and not spend more money.  So, I chose the Skelf.  I think it will be a lovely addition to my closet, and a go-to sweater for the fall.  Also, it took no modification, other than switching needle size.  I like not having to do a bunch of math before getting started.  Although, sometimes apparently, it’s a helpful thing for me to do, since it makes me read through all the directions BEFORE getting started.  In any case, Skelf should be moving along nicely, now that I actually read the pattern and know what I’m doing.  Sort of.  


Victoria Peat said...

I know what you mean about reading instructions. Sometimes it can really help. Having said that sometimes it can completely stress me out when something doesn't make sense to read. I always just make a start and hope to goodness that it will make more sense when I come to knit it!

Laura said...

I completely agree - and sometimes it gets me in trouble! When reading and knitting as I go, I have to be EXTREMELY careful. No children running around! :)