I am feeling sheepish. Baah!
After all my jubilations about cracking the code of my stitch pattern, I went home on Monday night and started ripping. Baah!
There was a lot of muttering and frowning.
More ripping on Tuesday night. Baah! and double baah!
Lots and lots of scribbling and counting.
I put it away at 10pm last night and settled down with a good book.
This morning I came to work (ssh! don't tell my boss!) and started drawing circles. 36 circles in total. I might take a photo later.
Every circle represented a different cross-section of my leg / the stocking. From 96 stitches, down to 62 across 9 pattern repeats vertically and reducing from 13 to 9 repeats horizontally, with a "seam allowance". My father was an engineering draughtsman and I think I must take after him. The only way I could "see" what had to happen was to make these drawings, and annotate them with my sums.
The problem is that my chosen stitch pattern was never designed to be knitted "in the round", so doesn't take kindly to being "halved" to allow for decreases down the leg. Nasty things happen when you attempt to "half" this pattern in the round: the fabric starts to get wider instead of narrower; the lacey bits start to bunch together at one side of the "joining point", like a spider's web, while the other side becomes a dense blanket of solid stockinette. It took me 6 inches of work to realise the full horror - which serves me right for getting cocky on the blog!
I hesitate to blow my trumpet again... but this time I am certain I know how to do this thing! Transcribing my diagrams, I have written out 9 x 12 rows, line by line, long-hand, with symbols for where to place the essential stitchmarkers. (Never EVER take your stitchmarkers out, children!) And used shockingly bright yellow highlighter pen at the points where the pattern needs to "step back" a full repeat at either side of the centre back, even though it looks like there is acres of leeway for decreases just over the other side of that stitchmarker... don't you believe it, girl! LEAVE that stitch maker ALONE!
This weekend I will write up the pattern for Robynn at Purlescence. Meantime, there will be lots of calm peaceful steady knitting, following my manuscript note by note, with no more creative improvisations around the theme. I have learned another lesson.