When? (a somewhat cryptic response)

If you were wondering, um… June? I’m aiming for June, although I’d rather it would be earlier than that.

Let’s just say that I can’t work on it constantly, and with what I’ve written so far (in normally verbose style), it’s going to be about twenty-five pages. Seriously. Reducing the chart size would help cut down the number of pages, but I prefer to keep the charts as large as possible.

And these charts… well, see, there are charts to represent four variations of the collar (two different garment styles, and two different sizes of collar–not that there are only two garment sizes, each collar size is meant for more than one garment size, but never mind that now). Simplistically, that can be divided into six charts, four of which are roughly 30 stitches x 150 rows each, and two of which are twice that size. A single garment only requires two of the smaller charts or one of the bigger charts, which doesn’t sound so bad. But if you sum the contents of those charts, that’s a total of about 36000 stitches. (And you might wonder why pattern writers don’t provide text instructions for cable charts? Yeah, that’s why.)

A single chart, however, doesn’t fit very legibly on a single letter-sized sheet of paper. Not even on 11×17, unless you wanted a single chart row to be about 1/9″ high. It’ s more legible if a single chart is split over 3 letter-sized pages, which would add up to about twenty-four pages. Twenty-four pages of charts, with rows that are 1/6″ high.

Fortunately, there is a lot of duplication between those charts. And the way the duplication happens to work out, it is possible to break up these charts into subcharts, some of which are used for multiple styles and sizes, thus reducing the page count. By breaking them up this way, I can boost the chart square size (except for a few of the charts, but they’re still at least as big as a knitting magazine chart) and reduce the number of chart pages by about half.

The only drawback is that this means there’s about twenty-three charts now, instead of that many pages of charts. So the instructions will have to read something like “for size X cardigan, follow these charts: B, C, D, F, H.” (At least there aren’t any text instructions to be followed at the same time–all the instruction is contained in the charts.)

Breaking up the charts was an interesting problem. The solution, I guess, is similar to the concept of sewing patterns, in which the same pattern piece can be used for multiple variations of a particular garment. It’s data compression for the crafter.

And this all started from a poncho–er, I mean capelet idea, which has since been abandoned (it was already dead, then Martha came along and ensured that any residual poncho/capelet DNA could not be recovered).

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4 Responses to When? (a somewhat cryptic response)

  1. Monica says:

    Collar sounds good. Collars even better. 5 or 50 pages will be ok. Charts please. June, May or August will be perfect. And no problem whether you hear or not. The gauge information is missing:). Monica

  2. jo in ottawa says:

    Ok, I’m confused… but intrigued. Seems interesting. But what is the other looming deadline of which Steph speaks? Is all of this for the in Toronto crowd only?

  3. Steph says:

    Try to get it done before that other looming deadline…I’m getting excited to see it.

  4. claudia says:

    Now this sounds like a PATTERN. Bring it on.