Garment diagrams

With garment diagrams (Fig 8), you have a perfectly clear idea of what each piece is going to look like, and a true guide for measuring and blocking. You can, if you want to, cut a full-size paper pattern against which to check work progress, or embark on alterations. The pieces used to make a knitted garment are very similar to those used in dressmaking.

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If you find your work looks more like spaghetti than knitting, or the fetching little top you wanted ends up more like a kaftan, you might find yourself turning to this section. Don't worry; you certainly won't be alone. Everyone has the odd disaster, so don't think that you'll never be a fabulous knitter, and learn from your mistakes. If you can't turn an error into a 'design feature', then, whether you drop a single stitch, or knit a full-scale disaster, you'll find the solutions here.

You may feel like chucking your needles out the window and swearing, but remember, errors and accidents happen to everyone. Even seasoned knitters drop their stitches, cross their cables the wrong way, and make gloves with two right thumbs. Keep a cool, clear head and you will almost certainly put things right.

Dropped stitches

New knitters, slack knitters, and knitters not keeping a good grasp (see Needle Know-how, pages 18-21), tend to drop stitches. If you are working on your first project, or if your stitches drop like ripe apples in the wind, inspect every row before you start on the next.

If you spot the free loop a few rows later, rescuing it will make the fabric tighter. Highlight the area with fabric markers and correct it as well as you can when blocking.

Classy clickers...

  • Stop free loop with right or left needle as soon as they spot it.
  • Keep safety pins at hand for catching dropped stitches immediately.
  • Keep stitches close together. Pulling them apart will cause more laddering.
  • Relax. Clutching the work may cause more stitches to drop.

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