Photo of Hayle Cowl and Creative Knitting Winter 2014
Hayle Cowl and Stitch Maps article from Creative Knitting Winter 2014

It’s always exciting when a design or article I worked on months ago is published: I can finally talk about it! The Hayle Cowl returned home after its long journey through the publishing process; it was nice to see it again.

This project was sooo much fun to work on: I got to write about JC Briar’s baby, Stitch Maps, work with 3 of my favorite people (JC, Edie Eckman and Myra Wood) to develop the chapter proposal for the folks at Creative Knitting, and then come up with my own pattern to illustrate Stitch Maps’ virtues (adding my own KLITCH-y element of weaving crochet chain ties throughout).

She's So Edgy Collar
She’s So Edgy, Creative Knitting, Spring 2014

If you’ve worked with standard knitting charts, you know they provide a graphic representation of your knitting instructions. The resulting fabric doesn’t always look like the chart: stitch manipulations can pull fabric in and out in ways that delight, and 2-dimensional paper can’t begin to show us what those fabrics will look like. Stitch Maps give us a better visual representation of the fabric produced.

Since the article was written, JC has added a slew of exciting new features to Stitch Maps: you can now include cast on and bind off stitches, cross cables, add bobbles, drop stitches, place beads, and twist stitches. Whew, that’s a lot! For fun, I entered the bottom edging for my She’s So Edgy collar into Stitch Maps (take a look). Here are the instructions for the standalone version of the edging:

Row 1 (RS): Sl1 wyib, yo, p2tog, k1, yo, k2.
Row 2:K2, (k1, yo, k1) in next st, k1, yo, p2tog, k1.
Rows 3 and 5:Sl1 wyib, yo, p2tog, k6.
Row 4:K6, yo, p2tog, k1.
Row 6: BO 3 sts, k2, yo, p2tog, k1.

And below, a quick standard chart and the Stitch Map. The square chart view, with its square, gray no-stitch boxes, can’t compare to Stitch Maps’ representation of the final fabric appearance. Like everything else new, it may take you a while to get used to entering and working off a Stitch Map, but it is time and energy well-spent. Thanks for coding it for us, JC!