I never read ahead if I’m reading books. Well, I always look at the photos if there are any in the book, but that is usually non-fiction. When I read the New Yorker (rare), I always read through all the cartoons first, then read, read.
I was thinking about the stage of knitting where you just have to push through because you have inches to knit before the next interesting part, and thinking about ways to get past that without losing your mind from boredom. I think about other things, or calculate “time to knit”, or think about another project, or watch lots of TV so I can get through it. I’ve talked about doing calculations and planning and scheduling your knitting, but I’ve not talked about reading ahead, so today I’ll offer that.
I have borrowed photos from one of the participants in the BLC Knit Along on Ravelry.
I kind of laugh even contemplating this because I know many, many knitters not only don’t think about reading ahead, they don’t read past the first paragraph. It is entirely possible that I approach this differently because I am thinking a bit differently about knitting. I realized that when sewing was my primary occupation I always read the instructions first so that I could figure out the most efficient way to get through my project. I would make up a list of the order of steps to maximize my time at the machine, ironing board, work table, etc. There came a time when I wasn’t making projects from commercial patterns so I was writing out the instructions myself. When I was in design school, I created a workshop on how to write directions on how to efficiently construct a garment (along with tips and tricks).
But knitting is a little different from sewing. You can’t really be aggregating functions to maximize your efficiency. You have to make every stitch, in the order they need to be made. Which is where the boredom usually sets in. If you are knitting the Beginner Lace Cardigan, you may be in the midst of working rows that started with 380 (413) (446) (512) (545) stitches for the trim, then reduced down to 276 (299) (322) (368) (391) stitches. You are working on knitting 12 (12.75) (13.5) (13.75) (13.75)”. There isn’t really much you can do to change the need to work all those stitches, but you can read ahead.
What You Might Find Reading Ahead
If you are getting bored, and you read ahead, you would find that when you get through the Divide for Armholes you will work the Left Front, which is only 69 (74) (82) (85) (87) stitches. That should give you hope! Even the back is down to to less than half the number of stitches worked before the Divide. So if you get through this huge part, everything else is smaller, and will eventually get even smaller as shaping is added in.
You could look even further ahead and think about the sleeves. I have constructed these so there is a seam that runs along the edge of the saddle instead of the underarm, so again, you will have the length of the sleeve (elbow length!) worked over stitch counts similar to the back, then divided and worked in two pieces. So, interesting developments ahead! When the body gets too big to cart anywhere, you could start the sleeves as a smaller project. Or you could think about whether you want to work both sleeves together so they are precisely the same.
You know you are working the front bands as part of the body, so if you read past the sleeve caps, you will find that the neck trim can’t be done until the Body is finished, but–and you have to read almost to the end to find these, there are two saddle facings to make. They are the same width for all sizes, and worked to a specified length. These would be great things to knit when you want a break from that Body knitting. With the saddle facings done, surely you will want to finish so you can use them!