Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The agony and the ecstasy

First, the agony. (Why not get it out of the way first.)

Sunday evening I found myself with the unnerving problem of not having any current knitting I could take with me on our visit to my parents' place. My mom's Christmas socks? Well, obviously she'd be there; can't work on those in front of her. My daughter's birthday blanket? Ditto. My husband's birthday socks? See above. So I pulled out my Elizabeth of York vest, stuffed it into my bag, and went on my merry way.

Flash forward to right after all the kids had gone to bed (they sleep a little at my parents' so my husband and I can have a little bit of adult conversation time, and then we all go home), and I pulled out my knitting. I chatted and knitted, and, just as the time rolled around that we needed to start packing up, I triumphantly finished off the last row of the chart I was working on. I knew what I needed to do next, but just for giggles I peeked at the pattern...and got a very nasty shock.

Turns out that, for those five chart rows, I'd been doing the wrong thing.

Did I mention that each row has about 500 stitches in it?


To explain: this is a border that goes up one side of the vest's front, around the back of the neck, and then down the other side of the vest's front. And when I started doing the chart, I didn't bother reading past the "work row 1 of Chart D x number of times" part, because of course I knew what I needed to do. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, work Chart D across the entire border, it's so obvious, let's just get going," was my thought process.

Which of course is dead wrong. Because when you have the same texture pattern going all the way along the fronts of a vest and you wear the vest, the motif will be going in the same direction on both fronts, when what you want is for the motif one one side to be the mirror image of the motif on the other side. So although I had blithely done Chart D all across the damn row, what I was supposed to do was work Chart D to the middle stitch, knit the middle stitch, and then do Chart E (mirror image of Chart D) all the way across the second half.

(I'd wondered why I had an extra stitch at the end of the first row of Chart D.)

The next question was, of course, can I live with this imperfection? Me being me, the answer is no, not very well. But the thought of ripping out five rows of about 500 stitches is really, really daunting. I'd like to avoid it if at all possible. So...what to do?

I'm going to try unravelling just the wrong half of the stitches, and re-knitting them correctly, hoping like heck the whole time that my gauge is extremely similar to the first time I worked it so I don't either run out of yarn or end up with too much yarn at the end of it.

Wish me luck. (Although admittedly the prospect of doing this is so unpleasant that it's really likely I'll procrastinate for a long time on starting the fix.)

And now, the ecstasy. More than one, actually, which is nice.

I finished the edging on the Muppet Roadkill blanket! Just gotta weave in the ends.

I finally finished these socks!


Completed, 'in action'

To give you an idea of why I emphasized the word "finally" in the above sentence...I started these socks when DD2 was small, and finished them completely except for the weaving-in of the ends. I procrastinated on that so badly that they now fit DD3, who is four years DD2's junior.


Also, I got to work on a new design idea. This took a very unexpected twist when I saw how the fabric of it was knitting up and decided to make a completely different kind of garment out of it from what I'd originally intended. I really like what I've come up with, already have a pattern writeup pretty much ready to go, and I know where I'm going to submit it. I just have to wait for the issue I have in mind to open up for submissions. So that's a fourth design either submitted or more-or-less ready to be submitted. Now onto #5...

And in surprising news, I have actually managed to resist the call of New Purple Socks For Me (margieinmaryland, your complimentary remarks about the yarn so did not help ;) and the ball is still virgin in the stash. But I may treat myself to it after making good headway on whatever design #5 turns out to be.


Anonymous said...

can we see a picture of the finished muppet roadkill blanket?

Carrie K said...

Argh! But fixing half of it shouldn't be that.....well, it will be, but it's better than frogging the whole thing.