Today’s post comes from guest writer, JC Briar, developer of the Stitch-Maps charting tool. She’s written for us before, and her clever tool permits interesting and illuminating analysis of complex stitch patterns and their behaviour.
Checking out the charts in the latest Knitty, I was struck by the charts for Evangelina.
Evangelina’s Victorian Stitch Pattern is so clean and pretty. Did its charts have to be so disjointed? In particular, was it really necessary to slip stitches across the beginning-of-rounds marker at the end of round 6 and at the beginning of round 8?
To better understand the stitch pattern, I drew a stitch map for its instep version – that is, the version that features edge stitches, in the form of purls worked at the edges of Evangelina’s instep.
With the stitch pattern’s original red repeat boxes overlaid on top, we can see where the repeat shifts at the beginning of round 7. At that point, markers placed between repeats have to shift one stitch to the left, out of the way of the p2tog on round 7.
But is this the only way to define the pattern’s repeat? Viewing the stitch map again with column guides tracing the stitch columns, it’s possible to visualize a more convenient repeat for the pattern.
Markers placed between these repeats would run between stitch columns, and would never need to shift.
Going a step further and discarding the edge stitches, we come up with an alternate way to work the pattern on Evangelina’s leg.
Voilà! The beginning-of-rounds marker can stay put.
Truthfully? The more I play with stitch maps, the more certain I become that almost all stitch patterns can be worked in the round without ever having to shift the beginning-of-rounds marker. It’s all a matter of paying attention to the stitch columns, and defining the pattern’s repeat in accord with those stitch columns.