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lace knitting needs a technical editor

I'm trying to learn lace knitting and I started with Knitty.com's Branching Out and the little spiral-bound Vogue Knitting Quick Reference.

First challenge: How to do a Yarn Over. Several different web sites and the reference book show entirely different ways of doing it. I still don't know if I am doing it right, but I am getting an extra stitch on the needle and a hole underneath, so I guess what I'm doing might be good enough. (In writing this entry I looked at yet more web sites. The video accessible from
is the most useful I've seen so far, and suggests I'm doing it the right way.)

Second challenge: I keep running out of stitches before the instructions run out. I count stitches, try again several times. Then I count stitches on the pattern. Finally I realize that although my reference book implies that YO means "yarn over and knit the next stitch," when the Knitty pattern says YO it means simply "wrap the yarn around the needle" and what you do next depends on what the next instruction is. Try again with this in mind. It works. Yay me for figuring it out! Boo Knitty and Vogue for being entirely unclear on this point!


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 24th, 2006 07:03 pm (UTC)
Yarnovers, as you've figured out, are just the motion of puttingthe yarn over the needle, creating an extra stitch. I knew that Debbie Stoller's Stitch n Bitch was wrong on that front (implying that a YO is always followed by a knit stitch--not true!), I was unaware that the disease had spread to other reference books. Fan-freaking-tastic.

(Just to be clear: Knitty is right, Vogue is wrong.)
Jul. 24th, 2006 07:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's always the way that Knitty said, and what it looks like depends on whether it's followed by a k or p.

I like knittinghelp.com a lot.
Jul. 24th, 2006 09:33 pm (UTC)
"Yay you" from me too!

You're good for sticking with it. Wish I could say it'll get easier to follow directions, but they tend to vary a lot and you just have to keep trying things, consulting knitters and do what you just did in order to find out what the heck is going on. Goddess bless generous knitters!

Jul. 24th, 2006 11:41 pm (UTC)
yeah, i noticed that while learning crochet - a bunch of sampler patterns all from the same book, but i still struggled with the instrux for each pattern for the first few rows.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 24th, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC)
I'm sticking with it for now, but I have other patterns saved in case I can't get the hang of it.
Jul. 24th, 2006 10:07 pm (UTC)
I've always thought of a YO as "Just like a knit or purl stitch, except without putting the right needle through the stitch on the left needle" but as I type this, it occurs to me that I've never watched myself do it with this definition in mind so I've no idea if that's actually what I'm doing.

While I learned quite a bit of my early knitting from Stoller's SnB, I somehow missed her implication (mentioned by other commenters) that YO = YO + knit ... that hurts my brain!

I very much enjoy the lace knitting I've done. The Branching Out pattern is definitely more complicated than what I've been doing, though. The scarf I'm nearly done with is all Feather and Fan. It's a very easy pattern that gets lots of oohs and ahhs because it doesn't look all that simple.
Jul. 24th, 2006 11:39 pm (UTC)
Jul. 25th, 2006 07:05 am (UTC)
I'm another who's shocked that books imply that YO includes a knit stitch immediately after the yo. Because sometimes you need to purl, and sometimes the next stitch is K2T or SSK, or something even fancier. It would limit lace patterns far too much otherwise.

On the other hand, you always want some plain knit stitches (or purl) at the end of the row - don't try to end a row with a yo. Maybe that's what they were trying to convey, or misunderstood?
Jul. 25th, 2006 07:37 am (UTC)
The Vogue book described multiple ways to YO (do it this way if you're knitting the next stitch, this other way if you're purling, etc.), but the way I read it, I thought that when you saw simply "YO" in the instructions it meant to knit the next stitch.

This might have been a mis-reading on my part. But as a technical editor I consider mis-readings by intelligent beginners as opportunities for clarification.
Jul. 25th, 2006 10:39 am (UTC)
I agree with you - these books often need better proofreading.

I think part of the problem may be that a lot of people can't learn stuff like this from books (my mother was repeatedly astounded at each new handcraft technique I taught myself from books), and so think they're only reference for people who already know what they're doing or have some in-the-flesh demonstrator handy.
Jul. 27th, 2006 04:00 pm (UTC)
It surely wouldn't pay as much as tech editing for conventional tech publications, but surely that's a niche you would enjoy filling.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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