Monday, April 7, 2014

Generating Charts for Knitting Patterns Part 2(cont) Multiples and Repeats

To chart any design, you must first understand the concept of using multiples and repeats.  This is probably one of the hardest concepts when learning to design and write pattern. Once you get it, everything starts to fall into place.

The definitions get a bit confusing for some people because  the work "repeat" is used as both a noun and verb.

Multiple-- A set of stitches that repeat across a row.
Repeat--A set of rows that repeat vertically.

*Neither is set in stone. You can choose which set of stitches you want to delineate as the multiple. You can also rearrange the rows to suit your pattern.

This chart shows 2 multiple and 4 repeats

Did you spot the multiples and repeats?: 

Stitches 1-6 repeat across the row so they are the multiple and rows 1-4 repeat vertically making them the repeat. Both could continue for as many stitches or rows needed.

But there are a couple of problems. 

Problem 1-- The piece is neither balanced horizontally nor vertically. 

To balance this cable, I need to add 2 reverse stockinette stitches to the left of the second cable and 1 non-cabled row to the top: 

So where are the multiples and repeats?

But this works as well.
The original

In both examples there are going to be extra stitches and an extra row.  

When you look at a stitch pattern either charted or written, you will often find that the multiple will be expressed before the row by row direction or chart. 

For the original chart the multiple was six. But,... for these bottom 2 charts the multiple is now 6 + 2. Six is the original multiple, the set of stitches that will repeat and 2 represents the number of stitches outside the multiple, needed to complete the pattern. Extra stitches are only worked one time on the row, either before the multiple is repeated across the row or after the multiple is repeated across the row. 

Typically the repeat (for rows) is not expressed. It is up to the designer or knitter to add the appropriate rows to the end (or beginning) of a pattern for vertical balance. 

Here are some other possibilities with this example: 

The second example above brings us to problem #2. What if I want to rearrange the rows?

Suppose I want to start and stop the cable with a cabled row: 

So where is the multiple and repeat now?

And just like our original example, the multiple could be shifted to the left 2 stitches. But the multiple will always be 6 + 2.  

There are 2 possibilities for presenting the final chart: 

Remember in Part 1 that I mentioned the main directions should state how to work the chart?  

The directions for chart 1 would instruct to work Final Chart 1 over a number of stitches that is a multiple of 6 + 2.  (examples: 32, 602, 68) and to repeat rows 1-4 to a certain length ending with row 4  or to work rows 1-4 a specified number of times (the end length would be based on the row gauge for that piece) then work row 5 of the chart.

I like chart 2 better. Here the directions would be similar.  Work Final Chart 2 over a number of stitches that is a multiple of six + 2. Cont working rows 1-4 to a certain length or  a certain number of times, then work row 1 once more. 

Notice on chart 2 that I did not use a box. On this chart I only need to delineate the multiple. Boxing those stitches would be acceptable. But for chart 1 I must use the box, because here I must delineate the repeat. 

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