Dear Pat: In knitting a fair isle pattern on circular needles, I know that you start reading the first chart row from right to left. How are Row 2 and all-even numbered rows read _ from left to right, or from right to left? _ Lillian M., Wonder Lake, Ill.
In working back and forth on straight needles, you start each new row at the opposite end from the previous chart line. That is, all odd-numbered rows are read from right to left, and all even-numbered ones from left to right.
When you are working round and round on circular needles on a tubular piece of knitting, however, you always read every row of the chart from the same direction. You can see the logic of this when you realize that you are always beginning a new round at the same place where you started the previous one.
There is one thing you should watch out for, however. Your patterns should match exactly at the center of the underarm, where a seam line would be if you had worked it in separate pieces. This may require a small adjustment to the chart.
As an example, let's say that the first chart line for a diamond pattern alternates a series of five blank squares separated by a single square marked with a color symbol. If the chart row starts with two blank squares followed by a marked square and ends with three blank squares, there will be no adjustments necessary, as that will maintain the pattern of one marked square separating each set of five blank ones.
But suppose it has either two or three blank squares at each end? With just two at each end, you would add one extra blank square at the end of the chart line. This would require one extra stitch on the needle to achieve perfectly shaped diamonds all around. If the chart begins and ends with three blanks, you would do the reverse, crossing out the last blank chart square on each row and deleting one stitch on your needle.
You can add or cross out the extra square at the end of every chart row if you feel it is necessary, but once you have made this adjustment on the first pattern row, you are not likely to have to mark the other rows as you will easily see on future rounds the adjustments for that one stitch you added or deleted.
A classic pullover
A two-color, crisscross design provides a visual treat in a classic sweater. In a gauge of 4 stitches per inch, worsted-weight 4-ply yarn is used with a graph chart to create this design.
With finished chest measurements of 38, 41 or 44, this sweater can be made for men or women.
To obtain directions for making the Crisscross Sweater, send your request for Leaflet No. Z-100492 with $2 and a long, stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Pat Trexler Crafts, Dept. 123200, P.O. Box 419148, Kansas City, MO 64141.
Or you may order Kit No. K-100492 by sending a check or money order for $26.95 to Pat Trexler Crafts at the same address.
Kit price includes shipping charges, full instructions and yarn to complete the sweater in your choice of the following colors: off-white and gray, off-white and dusty blue, or off-white and cranberry.
Or call toll-free (800) 255-6734 to place your kit order.
And remember, if you would like more information on the therapeutic craft gloves we mentioned in a previous column, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the above address. They provide relief from arthritis, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other pains in the hands.