Chic Knits Downloadable Knitting Patterns Chic Knits Downloadable Knitting Patterns Chic Knits Knitting Blog Chic Knits Knitting Tips & Techniques Chic Knits Bonne Marie Burns Free Knitting Patterns
Studio Chic Knit Blog

And At the Same Time October 27, 2009

In my many merry ramblings through the world of knitting design, there is one phrase, even more than “reverse all shaping as for Left Front” that strikes fear and loathing into the hearts of knitters everywhere: And At the Same Time.

(Tell me your nose didn’t twitch a little even reading it!)

This fall, I decided to try something different, more user-friendly and hopefully more direct.

Writing the Mondo Cable series, I wrote the instructions without using this phrase. It was banned. There had to be other equally succinct ways to parse the idea of SIMULTANEOUS. (Even thinking about concurrent actions makes me want to capitalize words.)

Below you see the Mondo Cable Pulli I’m working on. I love the plushy polar-fleecy fabric this yarn (Jaeger Persia) is creating and can’t wait to snuggie down in at as the temperatures fall. We’re at that point in Chicago now where we’re losing all our leaves and the Real Stuff (cold, wind, ice, rain, omg, snow) is just around the corner.

This is fated to be one of those soothing Saturday sweaters and I have some favorite black velvet pants WITH AN ELASTIC WAISTBAND that will make a super comfy but great look.

I’m about ready to join the fronts but I thought it’d be interesting to look at the architecture here.


It is a typical V-neck top-down construction, a perfect storm of things happening in on-demand sync: you are increasing at intervals along where the sleeves meet the body segments and also at the neckline edges. The great thing is that once the increase areas are placed, you are basically doing the same activity over and over according to a schedule. The not-so-great thing is unless you put it on a couple of needles or string and pin it out flat, maybe you’ve never seen what a Yoke looks like from above because it looks very different smooshed up while you’re working on it.

j-hammI’ve made this type of sweater so many times now, the shape of a raglan yoke is part of my brainiac repetoire. I go on auto-pilot and the wheels on the bus go round and round, especially after the thing is joined in the round for the body section, especially when I’m watching this guy on TV.

But I digress! When this series first came out, we got some emails about the processes that were taking place. No matter how it was written, the fact that all this was proceeding together was lost. We saw online postings where it stated that the moronic designer just had to use the phrase And At the Same Time to get this done, marveling at why we even wanted to use a words like Simultaneous or Concurrent because the other phrase was most often used in patterns.

And we agree! Why fight it? It’s a phrase that although we knitters cringe a little when we see it, we also Pay Attention. Which is the whole point. It’s the ultimate walking and chewing gum at the same time. Once it’s unwrapped, you can relax and let the wheels go round and round, just like they’re supposed to ;p

Here’s something I’ve found that helps keep all those numbers managed well.


It’s a Peg Counter. It’s old school (is there an app for that? I haven’t looked but I don’t have an iPod, sigh.)


I’ve lost a couple of the original pegs (comes with 8?) but this baby is really useful to keep track of all those shaping numbers.

Top Left: my raglan sleeve line increases. Bottom Left: my v-neck increases. Top Right: stitch counts of total raglan shapings. Bottom Right: stitch count of one Front piece increment each row if necessary to stay on track before I hit that wonderful place, the Join.

knitting patternsknitting patterns  18 Comments   |  Permalink Bookmark and Share knitting patternsknitting patterns

18 responses to “And At the Same Time October 27, 2009”

  1. Renee says:

    Oooh, I need to get one of those peg boards. I use endless note papers and write everything out.
    I love Jaeger anything yarn.

  2. aliceq says:

    When I see “at the same time” or one of its synonyms in a pattern, that’s my cue to pull out some graph paper or charting software and chart the relevant section. In this case, I would chart the right front and then flip it for the left front. This is especially useful if there are different rates of increase or decrease.

  3. Susan says:

    Cool! I want that peg board counter! I haven’t seen an iPhone app like that yet, but I’m hoping somebody will put one out there.

  4. Nancy says:

    Absolutely I cringe to those words. So often when the pattern reads that way it is not correct, anyway! That is an even worse scenario!

  5. Barbara-Kay says:

    Perhaps if “at the same time” were printed in red to catch the eye sooner, all would be well. Heck, I’d even suggest printing that picture with the pattern…so helpful!

  6. Natalie says:

    Of course there’s an app for that:
    Free iPhone app:

    For-pay BB app:

    Me, I have a peg counter & don’t use it often, but it never needs recharging.

  7. Patty says:

    I’m “at the same timing” right now on Miss BB and yes…it does make me pay attention! I have that same peg counter. Maybe I should take it out and give it a whirl!

  8. Seanna Lea says:

    At the same time doesn’t bother me, but I have a tendency to read the entire pattern through before knitting it. Unfortunately for me, sometimes my pattern reading is months before I have started the pattern, but normally the work unfolds relatively seamlessly… at least until I need to do the finishing work. I really don’t enjoy finishing work.

  9. Catarina says:

    I love the sweet, acoustic (i.e. Not electric) practicality of your counter, but for the iPhone there are free and low cost versions of an app that does row counting. They are StitchMinder and KnitMinder. The latter supports infinite counters – with labels you choose – for any number of projects.

    No, I don’t work for the company in question. But everyone in my knitting group who has an iPhone is sold on these apps.

  10. sue says:

    I have one of those peg counters. It was my grandmother’s. She died in 1988. I always thought it was an appropriate stitch counter for her because she loved to play cribbage.

  11. stacey says:

    I’m making the mondo cable cardi right now and I have no where near the amount of stitches I’m supposed to have at the end of my increases. I have no clue where everything went left though so I think I’ll have to start over. Oh how I hate “at the same time” LOL

  12. Bonne Marie says:

    Seanna Lee, I’m like you in liking to read a pattern through before starting. I really relish picturing the *puzzle* I’m going to be concocting and I read a pattern through as if it is the most interesting novel I’ve ever found.

    Then I read each segment/section through before starting (or proceeding). More than once. Some people are dedicated line-by-liners but this doesn’t work too well for me because a lot of information is too interdependent on those pesky before and after lines. (Learned this the hard way, but of course.)

  13. MaryLou says:

    BTW, there is an app for that. It’s called StitchMinder, available in the Apple App Store. (Oops, just noticed the earlier comment above.)

  14. meg says:

    I wish I liked the pegboard, I just can’t take it anywhere – thus it looses the appeal. Sticky notes, that’s what I use. Highlighters, too. My patterns always seem to get highlighted, in multi-colors if that’s what it takes!

  15. rachel says:

    i do better with a visual, so i just sketch out the sleeve & neck decreases, double check my math, then knit on. that peg board and i would not get along.
    i’d love to see you when my schedule settles down in about a month!

  16. Debi says:

    I tore out my mondo because I could not wrap my brain around when the neckline shaping was?, Now I know and will cast on again.

  17. Bonne Marie says:

    YAY! You got your groove back, Debi! ;)

    And wootheHoo, there’s a blackberry app and I have a blackberry — ha

  18. Stacey says:

    Thanks so much for pointing me to the pattern revision! I started again and now my stitch count is dead on! :)

knitting patterns
knitting patterns

©Bonne Marie Burns
All Rights Reserved
Unauthorized reproduction in any form prohibited.

Site Design: BigBrain Multimedia/Bonne Marie Burns

"ChicKnits" and "Chic Knits" are the ®Registered Trademarks of Bonne Marie Burns of Portland OR