A few days ago, I posted about my progress on my Nantucket Jacket. I mentioned that I transcribed the pattern into a spreadsheet and I am working it all in one piece so that I don't have to seam the sides. I've had a couple of questions about how exactly this works, so I will explain ...
The first thing that I do is read the pattern, and decide if I want to knit the front and back in one piece. For this project, I do. My spreadsheet will have four columns - row number, right, back, and left. The written pattern has the instructions in blocks - one block of text for each front side and the back. I just transcribe that information into the appropriate column in my spreadsheet. First, I did the column for the right front. the first line in the spreadsheet has the number of stitches to cast on for that section. The second line is Row 1 - the directions say to purl the first row, so that block just says "purl". The third line is Row 2. I have a little note in the block where I have the row number that this is a "rs" row. The fourth line is Row 3. I read the directions for Row 2, and write in what I would do if I were actually knitting. Since this pattern says to continue in pattern until you get to a decrease row, I just copy and paste the Row 2 and Row 3 directions until I get to the decrease row, in this case, Row 8. I put a notation in the block where I have the row number that this is a "dec" row, then put the instructions. I continue through the entire pattern in this manner, filling out each column in turn. I also note the number of stitches that should be on the needles for that section when I finish a section of the pattern. When I get to a part of the pattern that says "work in pattern until the piece measures 8 inches", then that row gets copied across all four columns of the spreadsheet, and I highlight it. Then the next row is the 1st row of the next section, and again, I note if it is a rs or ws row.
Some of you are probably thinking that it is a lot of work and might not be worth it. Well, it is a little bit of work, but it really forces me to read the pattern carefully - like I always tell TRHM - read ALL the words ... lol! I just find this kind of pattern easier to follow, and I have a nifty little row-by-row set of directions that I can check off as I complete the row. As a bonus, since this pattern has cables, I can just circle the row number for the rows where I cable, and now I don't have to count them! I am also not that experienced with knitting sweaters, so this helps me to have confidence that I am following the diretions correctly.
If anyone is interested in learning more about this method, or needs help doing it, just drop me a line at shieldlm AT hotmail DOT com. I'll be happy to help you!