For some time I have been on and off fascinated by the Baktus scarf, which is a symmetrical scarf knit in a very simple four row repeat pattern. lHowever, each time I try to knit one, I cannot keep track of which of the four rows I am on. I would usually write it down but the scarf begins with four stitches and is increased one stitch every four rows. So, since the beginning rows have fewer stitches, it’s annoying to stop and jot that down, after spending a few second to knit 4 pr 5 stitched. I would really like to make one of these scarves. Does anyone have any ideas?
Hi Diane–sometimes when I start a new project, I just really hunker down and focus on what I’m supposed to do. Sort of like when you start a new book and need to get your head around it. Maybe you can grab a quiet moment, do those quick rows where the four-row repeat happens often, and catch the rhythm of it. Another approach is to read your knitting–when you get to the place where you either increase or don’t, check to see what you did two rows earlier. If there’s an increase down there, you skip it this time. If there’s no increase, well, time to increase.
I made a Baktus last year using Euroflax mini skeins–it’s such a flexible, great pattern. I did a random color pattern where the five shades overlap each other as they progress. Here’s that post.
I made two Baktus, ages ago; it’s a great pattern, so versatile to wear too. I wonder if your difficulties are compounded by fuzzy or dark yarn which makes your rows of knitting more tricky to “read”.
As Ann suggests, I would give this my full attention at first and place a safety pin on the front side as soon as you have enough knitted length to do so. This way you know that your increas can only happen when you are working this side. All that remains is to take a good look at your early increase rows to see what the increase looks like, somyou can count from then. That was enough for me, because my scarves were knitted in light colors and easy to read. Otherwise, you could take a short lenght of contrast yarn and lay it across the next stitch, as the laziest form of row marker, then count rows from there.
After a while I am sure that you’ll also be able to “read” the diagonal line and to spot any weirdly placed increase. It should become much easier, no worry.
I 3rd the safety pin for the right side. And I’ll add that if I’m doing a repeat like that, I will take a piece of crochet cotton, double it and then tie knots in it large enough for the needle to pass between. On row one, I use the top loop and each successive row, I move the string marker down. Then I always know which row I’m on. After I knit row 4, I go back to the top and start over. I also use this if I’m counting repeats at a place in the pattern (increase 1 every 4th round or 6th round-whatever the pattern calls for) If I’m counting repeats, I will put a removable safety pin at the end of each pattern repeat so that I can re-check my work. Good Luck~~
Thanks Ann. I tried the “hunkering down” and it worked! Now, though, I am not sure about the yarn. It is a self striping sock yarn. The first stripes are pretty wide, which I expected. What never entered my mind (Du-uh!) was that the random color change is ok when lnitting a tube, but I don’t like it in flat garter stitch unless there is a discreet right and wrong side, which will not be practical with this colorway. O must switch vplors fory Baktus.
I am glad that you gave me the link to your October podt about your Baktus made from Euroflax mini skeins. I can’t believe I missed that post! Your striping was petfect and to die for. Great job. Gives me food for thought.
Thank you Scarlett! I do not know how I did not remember that simple trick, but I shall use it and not forget it. I even bought a pack of safety pins last week, so I should be good to go!
Great idea for the crochet cotton marker! I know I have some here somewhere. I purchased it to use for making lifelines; it will be good for use in this instance, too. Thank you!
I also use a little safety pen to mark the front side. First learned of this trick in knitting two at a time to keep track of the front and beginning of a row but is quick to utilize and helps in other applications.
Almost embarrassed to mention this next trick to keep track of row number and number of decreases/incr but I find myself using it again and again. I use two dice, each a different color, placed in a mini Altoids tin to keep them from turning over inadvertently. They even travel well in a knitting bag without loosing my numbers. I consistently use the left for row count or whichever I need to change the number more frequently. I also stop to get use to reading my knitting but the dice just gives me extra assurance and the dots are easy to glance at and see as I knit.
I made the “lacy” version of Baktus (x3) which may have made reading the rows a little easier; I’ll see if I can drag a screenshot of my rav project page here.
But even with the lace version, I remember at least once having to rip back! Sometimes I just have to force myself to make a little pencil mark on an actual piece of paper after each row, however unnecessary it seems.
Lovely photos - thanks q-piper for sharing them!
I’m working on the Drachenfels shawl by Melanie Berg and it has rows/increases that sound like what you’re dealing with. To help myself, I am using two Clover row counters, one to track the garter ridges and one to track the rows. The increases are on the odd rows and after each two rows (1 an increase, one plain) I increase the garter ridge counter by 1. The increase/decrease rows are in groups of 6 (3 garter ridges) so when I’ve done six increase/decrease rows I just reset the row counter to 0 and keep going with the garter ridge counter until the pattern indicates a change. Changes in color or design are indicated in the pattern by the number of garter rows so I find this a very helpful way to tell where I am within the overall pattern. Hope that makes a bit of sense. It’s easier to actually do than to describe it.
Thanks I didn’t realize til now that I have given away every Baktus I made. Maybe this winter I’ll make one and keep it!
Your Lacy Baktus scarves are wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing the pics and your experience.
What an original idea! I love it!
Take a child’s wooden block and put a small piece of white medical tape on 4 sides. Write the numbers 1-4 on the tapes. Rotate the block at the end of the row so the desired row number is up. Only end a knitting session after row 4. A block has 6 sides, so this works for row repeats up to 6. 2 blocks let you count to 12, etc. I read my knitting, but I recommend the block method to students who can’t reads knitting.
Julie in San Diego
Does any one use Knit Companion app on their mobile device? I can’t hardly knit anything without it. Lots of counters and even able to measure on it. I’m pretty sure I don’t utilize everything that’s available on it but I do like it.
photos looks great, i think
It is back in my to knit list. I knit one with a picot beaded edge. This one that is planned will be knit with 2 colours of yarn and I use Fibonacci sequencing to do colour changes.