Although I have not yet finished the Celtic Stole, I have already started the Strawberry Pie Shawl. Two shawls on the needles at the same time – shocking, is it not? But I could not wait.
Oddly enough, this relatively simple pattern gave me all sorts of trouble. I could not make sense of the directions. Clearly the designer and I spoke different dialects of pattern-ese. I attempted to chart the little strawberries, and, after a good bit of symbol shifting, came up with this --
The strawberries are correct and the spacing is correct. Good. Now I could cast on. But I was still convinced that some of the directions were "wrong." Heh.
So I decided it would be fun and educational to translate the chart into my dialect of pattern-ese. Oh, did the light ever dawn!
See that pencilled square? Those ten stitches are the "strawberry." That's the bit that is repeated across. And in that context, every single word of the instructions is completely correct. What was wrong was . . . well, I guess, my brain. I simply wasn't reading the pattern the way it was intended to be read.
Here's the scary part -- if it's possible to so thoroughly misunderstand something as focused and specialized as knitting instructions, what does that say about the possibilities for misunderstanding in the wider world? How often do we think someone is "wrong," when we simply are not listening? (And don't even get me started about the "sound bites" on news shows. Aaaargh!)
**from "Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?" by Ajahn Brahm