Knitting is, occasionally, a nasty little mistress. Every time you think you have the upper hand, she’ll turn around and beat the snot out of you. And it’s never over something you’d expect.
I’m plugging away at my Laneway which is, for me at least, an EPIC lot of green knitting. I rarely work with solids and when I have worked with a solid colored yarn, it’s generally been in something worked in stripes where I’ve changed colors after a short bit of knitting. While this sweater can’t really hold a candle to my cardigan in terms of mileage knit, it is still, for the most part, a lot of endless rows of green stockinette broken up with a simple lace pattern knit over 12 stitches. This is, of course, where the evil mistress comes in.
In the last few years, I’ve passed a lot of miles of yarn round my pointy metal sticks. As best I can figure, it’s about 3 dozen pair of socks, several hats and scarves, more dish cloths than I can reasonably expect to use in this lifetime, a few shawls, you get the picture. I’ve knit flat. I’ve knit in the round. I’ve knit garter. I’ve knit stockinette. I’ve knit lace. I’ve knit cables. I’ve knit combinations of all of the above. I’ve conquered fears, I’ve tried new techniques, in general, there’s not much that scares me off other than maybe a pattern that lacks resting rows where I don’t have to stare at a chart for every single row. Oddly, it turns out the patterns that require constant attention fall off my needles with much less frustration in the end.
Knitting along on my sweater front, I was feeling quite good about myself. I’ve put enough stitches over, under, around and through that I can do quite a lot of knitting without looking at what my hands are doing. I know the feel of the knit stitch purely from muscle memory. I can tell when a purl goes wrong by how the yarn tugs through the loop just a little funny. So as I’m mentally celebrating my awesome mad knitting skills, I realize I hate a problem. I’ve completely hosed my lace section. Twelve simple little stitches- just some yarn overs, some knit two togethers, a three stitch cable. It’s not hard. I’ve already worked these stitches dozens of times on the sleeve and back of the sweater. And I must know TINK back two rows plus thirteen stitches so that I can reknit them using the correct rows in my chart. This does not happen without a lot of muttering and, if I were a cursing girl, I’m sure you can imagine there would be a colorful explicative or twenty. And of course I AM a cursing girl, so I’m sure you can imagine how that went.
But I fixed it. Its the front of the sweater, not far off center, so the hiccup in the lace would be noticeable to me, even if not to anyone else. And I’m back on track. And I’m knitting. And I’m watching more Dancing With The Stars than I am my hands. And I’m not four rows further into the sweater when… DAMN IT! Here we go again. TINK back two more rows. Fix the stupid error, repeat. ACK! I HATE REVERSE KNITTING! I would probably have gotten through at least another half of the lace repeat (10 rows out of the 20) in the amount of time I spent unknitting and reuniting 4 rows Not because of the complexity of the pattern. Not because I was at all challenged by the project, but because my stupid cocky head got ahead of my fingers and screwed the pooch on reading my chart.
My friends, knitting has a funny little way of keeping you humble. And just about the time you start to forget this, well… If I can’t be a good example of what happens, please at least let me be your horrible warning.