The pattern has two sections. Rows 1–12 produce a wide strip of fabric in which Braille patterns (hinted by the flavortext “feeling your way”) made by yarn-over holes encode ROW COUNT IN WALKER MOTIF:
Walker is Barbara Walker, who collected and codified traditional knitting motifs in her multivolume Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Knitted motifs are worked over a set number of stitches and rows, with the pattern repeating every n rows. The Braille should indicate to solvers that they need to identify some motif or motifs found in the Walker Treasury, and that they will need to find the number of rows per motif repeat. Where are the motifs to be found? Rows 13–36 of the pattern, which give instructions for a lace sampler.
It should become clear within a few rows of knitting that (1) the pattern gives side-by-side lace motifs (“paneled . . . riddled with mysterious patterns of holes”) and (2) the panels are separated by plain two-stitch columns of reverse stockinette. At this point, continuing to knit is not necessary, as solvers have enough information available to parse the pattern, separating out the instructions for each motif. Particularly enthusiastic solvers may wish to keep knitting to identify the patterns visually; if they do, they will obtain the following:
Given the number of stitches over which each motif is worked and the number of rows per repeat, solvers can use online resources like the Walker Treasury Project’s collection of pattern data to narrow the search space to one or a few possibilities for each motif. Pattern text can be compared with any of a number of online resources to make a conclusive identification; all the motifs used are pictured in swatches accompanied by pattern instructions at knittingfool.com.
Once the motifs have been identified, solvers should follow the Braille clue phrase, using the row count for each motif to index into the pattern name:
PEARLBARREDSCALLOP (12 rows)
RICKRIB (2 rows)
TRAVELINGLEAF (8 rows)
DIAGONALFERNLACE (12 rows)
FEATHERFAGGOT (1 row)
LITTLELACECHAIN (6 rows)
MINIATURELEAFPATTERN2 (4 rows)
FOUNTAINLACE (8 rows)
Solvers may read off SINN FEIN from left to right across the finished sampler.