Ok. So it is not that we are breaking codes at Bletchley Park penetrating the secret communications of the Axis Powers huddled up in the cold.
Nor are we making sure the Marines could take Iwo Jima with Code Talking. But boy do we know how to crack codes!
Novices and Non-Knitting/crochet folk often look upon patterns with a mixture of fear and awe. There are abbreviations, symbols and charts all thrown together in some kind of alchemy to create gold out of a sheep.
It is not only the novices that get the fear when they look at a pattern. Recently, I seemed to stumble at each step of the Cherry Lace Shawl pattern we did in the recent workshop at Yankee Yarns! In an effort to make progress and understand the pattern, I enlisted the aid of one of our talented regulars, Angela.
“So,sloppy, purl, normal,normal, sloppy, purl, tight…”coached Angela in my attempt to read the chart before me and keep track of my stitches. I agree, it is an unconventional and slightly controversial approach. But we were dealing with a complicated lace design and sometimes it just comes down to this… ANARCHY.
We do need to consider, besides the runic feel of the abbreviations, how we seem to “wrap and turn” our heads around the slang we acquire along the way from other knitters, You Tubers, Ravelry and blogs. There is a brilliant list of this on Stitch & Unwind.
We are mostly familiar with handy terms such as WIP and frog. There is also OTN (on the needles) and my favourite one (for all the wrong reasons) UFO aka an abandoned, neglected WIP! There are some terms I have never encountered like “vanilla”. This is an easy or plain pattern. Another one is the acronym SEX. This means “Stash Enhancement Experience”, which is the act of buying more yarn.
I need to let you know, the yarnies that attended the Cherry Leaf Shawl cracked the code and cracked on with learning how to block their lace shawls. You will be able to see this soon on the You Tube chanel.