I scream, you scream, we all scream for schematics

In looking through the lens of a knitter, a schematic is a diagram of the fabric’s shape you are creating.  A thorough schematic  has measurements included in both horizontal and vertical directions, otherwise known as width and length at key ‘fit’ points of the garment.   Those measurements on a schematic are typically posted in inches as well as centimeters.  These measurements inform how the garment will ultimately fit in the eyes of the designer.  Also, the schematic is meant to match the written directions of the pattern.  The purpose of a schematic is to clarify those directions for the knitter.  A schematic also serves well when one surfs knitting patterns.  One look at a schematic immediately forecasts the shape of the garment.  It is hard to believe that there continues to be patterns without these informative diagrams.  I have been both challenged as well as successful in the making of a project due to the schematic of a pattern.

The schematics below are from five different projects of mine from the past few years.  These schematics range from “WHAT! You’ve got to be kidding” to “WOW, I’m impressed!”  Stop for a moment and see if you can see what is wrong or really great about each of these:

FIRST

Problem:  The measurements say centimeters, however along the hem, are in inches.  Every measurement should be in BOTH inches and centimeters.  This caused minor angst in the time it took to figure that out and, of course, some unit converting.  The result is below.

More Here on this Project

SECOND

Problem:  No measurement for the circumference of the neckline.  I was pretty happy with this schematic, although minimal in content, until I had difficulty with the stitch count around the neck.  I could not pick up the number of stitches the pattern recommended.  If there had been a measurement on the schematic, I could have used that measure to better understand how many stitches I should pick up in accordance with my gauge.  I ended up guessing and hopefully the little cardigan will fit the baby comfortably.

More Here on this Project

THIRD

Problem:  No measurement for the armhole or shoulder or neckline or width of sleeve at hem.  All of these measurements really matter.  A garment too tight in the armholes will sit on the shelf in my wardrobe and not be worn.  I solved this by knowing from past projects how wide I wanted my sleeve to be and knitted that sleeve width, accordingly.  My experience solved the problem where the schematic fell short.

More Here on this Project

FOURTH

WOW is all I can say!  This is the most thorough schematic I have ever seen!  Almost overkill!  The knitting of this project was smooth sailing.

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FIFTH

This is also a very thorough schematic and is likely what has inspired me to write this blog post.  In this case, the pattern’s directions did not match this diagram.  Without the schematic and my ability to re-create a life size pattern, I would not have known how to proceed with the project.  The schematic was the sole key to the fit and success of this project.

More Here on this Project

These hand knits actually are my wardrobe, as well as part of my heart and soul,  as early as the point of yarn purchase.   So, the expectation of success at the end is of the utmost.

In looking through the lens of a (potential) knitwear designer, I will remember the importance of a thorough and accurate schematic in the planning and writing of a pattern.

6 thoughts on “I scream, you scream, we all scream for schematics

  1. Very interesting post, and I like how you illustrate each with your FO pictures. Schematics are very important indeed, and a way for me to check key milestones in the progress of a sweater.

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    1. Agnes, I am so thinking of you right now as I am on the last section, which for me is the front lattice of the fretwork sweater. I have sewn together the back so have a fairly good idea of its fit. Sleeves are done. Of course, I have again relied heavily on the schematic and everyone’s notes about the project, including your notes. I have not yet begun to weave in the ends. And, I am wracking my brain for a great spot for the photo shoot. . . and so it goes. Thank you for stopping by and regarding the FO pictures, it was the only way I figured I could show that the schematics really do lead to an end product.

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        1. I keep searching the area for grid work on a diagonal…. aside from a bridge since I have so many ‘bridge’ photos, already. Windows, doors and door frames, bricks, walkways, are all rectangles or squares. If you have any ideas, I’m all ears! Goal: about 2 more weeks. . .

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          1. You would need to find an Oriental door or interior, maybe in a restaurant. I don’t know if you have anything like it where you live. Or a garden treillis, you know, for climbing plants. That’s all I can think about right now.

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