Barndom knit along/kill along — same thing

WARNING: My non-knitting followers might want to skip this unless you’re interested in a seeing a grown woman throw a tantrum. If you’re entertained by someone else’s nuking, by all mean, enjoy!

I’ve been knitting for many years. Many, many, many years. I teach knitting. I read patterns and charts. I have charted patterns and written patterns from charts. I have designed a couple of sweaters, socks, mitts and shawls. I have altered instructions for more items than I can count. In short, I know WTF I’m doing.

When writing a pattern, I assume I am writing it for a blind knitter with limited experience in charts and abbreviations. This means I ignore the fact that there might be clues in a photo and I write an abbreviations legend to fit the pattern. I guess that’s just me.

I bought the instructions, downloaded and printed the instructions for the Barndom Shawl KAL that I’m doing with a couple of local knitters. For this particular KAL, we have not met up or communicated beyond start and end dates, who’s participating and what yarns we were thinking of using.

I know this pattern was originally published in a WestKnits collection, but c’mon! If I buy the pattern I should receive complete and correct instructions. In the knitting world at large “sl” — slip (one stitch) is usually specified somewhere either slip purlwise or knitwise.  And yes, it does make a difference. As a general rule if it’s not specified, slip purlwise. Fine. I can live with that.

“yo” means yarn over. In the rest of the knitting world and beginning to creep into the US patterns, “yfwd” — yarn forward — means the same thing. Don’t believe me? Check it out:  and

So for the love of god, why oh why would you ever put both of those abbreviations in the same pattern??? Caveat: UNLESS you want me to slip a stitch with the yarn in front. Further caveat: In that case, use the abbreviation “wyif.” That’s what “wyif” is for.

Do not, do not, do not have wyif, yo and yfwd all in the same legend. As they told us in school, “take one and pass the rest.”

Now let’s get into the instructions themselves. Instructions read “C4F” and C4B.” As a person who has knitted many an Aran sweater, this is not a foreign abbreviation. I am going to place 2 stitches on a cable needle, hold them in front or in back depending on the “F” or “B” and either knit or purl the next stitches. Which do I do?

Lovely. Let’s go to the legend because the answer will be there. “C4F for Longview” or “C4F for Moose River”; “C4B for Longview” or “C4B for Moose River” are my choices. Uh huh. I’m doing Barndom. Knitting experience kicks in and a sort twisted logic prevails. Most cables are done on a background of purl to set them apart from the rest of the knitting, but that’s not always the case. I’m knitting garter stitch — every row is knit — with some strategically placed purl stitches.

Thank god for photos because otherwise I would have no idea what the designer had in mind for the end product. Not seeing any sort of indentation anywhere along the cable and not being told to purl except for the wrong side of the cable, I’m going to guess I knit all stitches on the right side.

So knitting across the row on the wrong side I get the the B color and the cable. The A color is no problem. P2 — purl 2 stitches — of the cable and all else is as written. But what about color B? You are slipping the stitches. So? wyif? wyib? yfwd? C’mon! You have the abbreviations! Use them!

But no. So once again, had it not been for the photos, I would not have a clue whether this was a little design feature, having ladders evenly spaced up the cable, or not.

Yes, knitting is supposed to be relaxing and fun. I think this is the last time I buy or knit a project by this designer. It’s too much fussing about to be something I do for the joy of knitting or to have a nice end product.

2 thoughts on “Barndom knit along/kill along — same thing

Add yours

  1. Wow! I went to look up SW’s abbreviations, which he posts in this pattern to obtain from his website. Not able to get abbreviations. I am NOT an experienced knitter. I wanted to make this pattern. Saw your post. Now I’m really scared! Did you ever finish it?

  2. I did, and it came out beautifully. It took persistence, logic and looking at the photo to figure it out.

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