Thursday, November 07, 2013

I'm not the boss of you

Here's something that's been bugging me for a long time. If comparative study of multiple toe-up cast on methods doesn't keep you awake at night, you can probably wander off and happily go on about your life.

When I write a toe-up sock pattern, here's the easiest/briefest way to start the instructions:

"Using Judy's Magic Cast On (JMCO), CO 24 sts. Knit 12 sts (half the sts). Rnd 1: ..."

But as much as I love JMCO, you don't have to use that particular method, and I don't want to imply that you must. But if you use the Turkish (aka Middle Eastern, or just Eastern) or Figure 8 methods, at least with most versions of the instructions for those two methods, you don't get the row of visible stitches between the needles that JMCO produces. So I'd prefer to write something like this:

"Using the invisible toe-up cast on method of your choice, CO 24 sts. If using Turkish or Figure 8 method, knit 1 rnd; if using JMCO, knit 12 sts (half the sts)."

Except... some instructions for Turkish or Figure 8, particularly the Turkish include knitting the stitches a second time, which does put an extra row of stitches between the needles like JMCO. So unless I were to provide or cite specific instructions for each method in every pattern, in order to guarantee the same structural results with all cast on methods, we need these starting instructions:

"Using the invisible toe-up cast on method of your choice, CO 24 sts. Knit until you have one row of sts visible between your needles before beginning Rnd 1."

Remember, too, in addition to having taken forever to think about this, I've had varying degrees of creative control when I've worked with other publishers. So you can probably just substitute that wording into any toe-up sock pattern of mine that's ever been published, and feel unoppressed.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


So, you know how you when you owe a friend an email, or a call, or maybe even an old school letter, and you have every intention of answering them, but they're so important to you that you don't do it right away because you want to make it really good? But then some time goes by, so then the pressure to be really good is even higher, so you put it off even longer. And this whole cycle repeats and builds like a pressure cooker canning jam until so much stuff has happened that you feel like you owe them a novel, or at least a holidays letter with nice photos, maybe even digital scrapbook pages and and and...

Um. Hi.