Good Things Take Time, So Just Be Patient

Posted on Posted in Bare Naked Wools, projects, yarn and dyeing

The above title reflects my fairly recent impression of pattern reading. Unfortunately I don’t read music, but imagine it’s akin to reading a knitting pattern, especially the terminology. A musician’s notes, chords, bars, rhythm all culminate to create a song. Our knitting language is not dissimilar, we have knit/purl, cast on, decrease, wrong side, and more, lots more actually, resulting in fashionable wearables.


Admittedly my initial reception of pattern reading was less than stellar, preferring to be coddled and no so interested in knowing the intricacies of a reading a pattern. Having an expert knitter/designer and pattern writer seated next to me is the absolute best, indulging every call for help. Anne would offer an impromptu lessons with each interruption, however as I said I was not so receptive at that time, being satiated with my immediate problem being resolved. I feel awful about this, taking advantage of Anne’s generosity, could have been a much better student. To my credit I did realize my failures and yes lack of gratitude (by way of not absorbing imparted knowledge Anne offered) and took steps to rectify.

My first foray into deciphering knitting patterns was the Blanket Statement Club, a rather audacious introduction I should think. An assortment of various patterns to be conjoined, now throw in a bit of stitching and crocheting and you have what constitutes a brilliant foundation to understanding and reading of patterns. Perfect for beginners like myself, affording an opportunity to hon my newly acquired skill set and be rewarded with a lovely blanket, of which I have yet to complete, hopefully soon, after finishing Anne’s hat (although if it does not fit, will gift to someone else instead of ripping out). Using the original Breakfast Blend for my blanket project, if anyone is interested the Blanket Statement Club, we can arrange a selection of yarn for you, just forward a note to me.



44 squares so far.

Early on I was unable to grasp the concept of casting on, despite Anne showing me several times. In an attempt to sort this out I took to watching Anne’s Grandmas cast-on video, not only upon casting on, but a few times when not knitting. Resulting in a technique that has become embedded in my mind, instant recall as it were now. The stitches of a cast-on must be consistent, not too tight to allow for some elasticity, no doubt true for most other cast-ons as well. Important to get just right as it serves as the foundation for the project.


In the beginning I found myself often ripping back a square to begin anew (Blanket Statement project is composed of many square patterns, averaging about 31 rows), when a mistake would occur. As I was not able to make corrections on my own, this can only be done so many times before frustration ensues and desire falters. At this time I began to pay keen attention to Anne’s lessons, showing me how to undo several stitches and ripping out just a few rows and picking up stitches. This lead to a transition from angst and frustration to a relative pleasure. A better understanding of the mechanics of knitting, a sense of unravelling (pun intended) of what has heretofore been somewhat nebulas. Good place to end, will continue another time, want to talk about charts versus written instructions next time.


Renovation update, about 2/3 of the ceiling has been removed, my desk resides under the remainder of the ceiling on the other side of plastic sheathing. Will probably temporarily relocate upstairs now that the temperature is rising as spring is near. It is astonishing the lack of interesting relics from the past, you would think that a hundred year house would be a treasure trove of such things. Not so much this house. A fire place in the center hallway was uncovered during the kitchen renovation. Much to my surprise I found a written note and drawing on the wall from the 1940’s where I was scraping off wallpaper, part of the note is obscured by plastic sheathing just now. I thought it curious by the seemingly lack of layers of wallpaper, this explains it. Sadly the plaster can not be restored as I had desired, sustaining a lot of damage when crown moulding was installed. Old plaster will serve nicely as a base for a new finish coat of plaster.




Previous installation of crown moulding damaged plaster. Bil suggested using fabric softener to remove residual glues from scraping of wallpaper, works really well, as you may discern from the two photos above. Still requires quite a bit of elbow grease to get the job done, but worthwhile as it is necessary for preparation for finish coat of plaster.


I try to respond to everyone that leaves a comment, so if you any question and/or comments would love to hear from you.

17 thoughts on “Good Things Take Time, So Just Be Patient

  1. Learning to read charts is like learning to read a foreign alphabet in some ways, isn’t it?

    And I love the drawing and notes on wallpaper removal drawn on the plaster…i hope “dear Ruthie” took kindly to what looked like instructions!

  2. I agree with you David, reading knitting charts is very much akin to reading music (which I can do and if I’m not mistaken, you’ve posted the part of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition which is pretty apt if you think about all your wonderful artwork hanging in your home!) I learnt not to be scared of charts by knitting Anne’s patterns and now find I often prefer following a chart rather than the written instructions. Your blanket squares look great. I have finished knitting mine and the next step is blocking. Finding the message underneath the wallpaper must have been fun!

  3. Well, David, your post has opened up a new avenue of thought! I learned to read music over 40 years ago, but this is the first time I have thought about the similarities between knitting charts and printed music. Like Josiekitten, I learned to read charts from Anne’s patterns, and have always equated them to “maps” in my mind. But music is such a better comparison! Like the notes that build chords, and chords that build a musical phrase, our stitches build upon each other to make an object of beauty. Thank you for this post!

    (And I am also fascinated to see the note you found on the wall!)

  4. So excited for your final remodeling project! Can’t wait to see the finished room – you do beautiful work. Am sure you will continue that trend in your knitting.

  5. You are a craftsman on many levels, David! When you decide to do something–be it knitting, building furniture, remodeling a room or house (taking it down to the original framing),–you do it beautifully!

    Thank you for taking the time to share w/us your readers, the development of your skills. (Stick-to-itiveness has to be a strong character trait of the successful person!) It is fun to read how you come to a project and stick to it until you master it. Many, many thanks for your wonderful examples of skill, and desire to accomplish added w/perseverance to result in creating something very special.

  6. Mr. Knitspot

    Your turn-of-phase makes for very interesting reading.

    Perhaps you might consider adding “author” to your ever-growing list of accomplishments…..

  7. wow, just a great wall drawing; kind of like an old cave painting with that dancing figure. since you can’t restore the plaster, will it be at all possible to lift that section and keep it intact? i bet bil could think of a super cool way to preserve it in a frame!

  8. I loved seeing the music and the knitting chart in juxtaposition – I never thought of that! Please continue to write, both style and content are very enjoyable. You have an interesting way of thinking.

    Re: Dear Ruthie, I can only read parts of it, but clearly the writer (and artist) was having a good time! If only he/she could have known that one day it would become public on something called the internet.

  9. I love seeing the progress on both your blanket and the house. Really enjoyable! I grew up with a contractor (step-father) and kitchen designer (mother) who were constantly remolding our house. When they moved into a house built in the early 1800s/late 1700s they would occasionally find glass bottles, but nothing really that gave a window into the lives of the people who used to live there. BUT the house is haunted – you can hear people having a nice party in the living room once you go to bed. So I guess there’s that.

    Keep up the great knitting!

  10. That is a great analogy for the charts. When I started knitting they were so confusing and, for me, hard to read. I would default to the written directions instead.

    And, Anne’s Grandmother’s cast-on is excellent!! I did not know this cast-on and it does give such a beautiful edge!

    Your stack of squares is quite impressive!

  11. When I first started, I would do and redo each Cast On a dozen times, at least!! The Bare Naked Blanket is such a wonderful project – I would recommend it to anyone – and a blanket is actually a great Beginner’s project – as the repetition of patterns with similar yarns and tension/needle size teach alot!

  12. After 22 years i. The house from hell, I appreciate finding no surprises at all, like discovering that the illegal wiring under the kitchen sink could have electrocuted me anytime, or that the odd things pasted on the wall covered evidence of the roof leak. Having a house without too many surprises can be a great blessing! But somehow you must preserve the writing on the plaster: good thing you are a photographer!

  13. I’m impressed with the number of squares you’ve gotten done! This really is a good way to learn a lot of different knitting patterns and also getting a great knitted item in the end.
    I taught a co-worker of mine some knitting basics several years ago and he worked on these same type squares, including ones with cables. I don’t think he’s ever assembled them into anything useful, which is probably understandable since he prefers to knit with string. Yes, string!! Like you buy in the hardware store. I’ve even gifted him some ‘real’ yarn and he stuck with the string. I think he’s now moved on to cotton yarn so maybe there’s some hope for him yet 🙂

  14. I LOVE the note and drawing! How exciting! It’s like a treasure. And your knitting is fabulous. You’ve really grown, even though you may not see it!

  15. (sorry for the late comment)
    Oh, what a neat thing to find under layers of wallpaper! You have quite an impressive pile of squares, David. Great work! Your efforts will make a wonderful blanket.

  16. hello David 🙂
    so pleased to see your growing stack of blanket components, you have made stellar progress!
    it is a good thing you are so lovable hey? I am sure Anne still adores you despite the lessons.. 🙂
    you write beautifully, I love your blog contributions as much as Anne’s offerings.
    much love to all at chez Knitspot

  17. Your post gave me a bit of a chuckle because a long time ago I test knit a pair of socks for you. When I was making them, I decided to make it faster and easier on myself by translating the knit and purl into tones. I sang a two-tone melody in my head (knit stitches were a tonic note and purl stitches were 5th scale degrees) that worked with your chart, and even though the chart was a bit complicated to memorize, in tonal form it was fairly easy!

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