Monday, June 11, 2007

A Small Mistake Almost Sunk This Kitschy Ship...

Yow, not one update for almost a month. (Some would call it a curse, while others insist that it's a form of genius that's closely related to procrastination).

To summarize: I was progressing well on my current WIP and getting a lot done at work...until I made a mistake. About halfway through the ridge-patterned section of my pullover, I must have gotten distracted by something (like my job) and instead of purling 2 rows, I only purled one and moved on. As I was knitting the next row, things didn't look right and I realized my mistake. No problem!, thought I. I'll just frog this row and that'll be the end of that. So I frogged the row, undoing the stitches one by one (they're so small that ripping them out will almost guarantee that some will get lost). My workday was just about over by the time I finished frogging, so I put my knitting away; I could go back to it the next day, right?

That's where things went painfully wrong (insert screeching violins here).
I didn't get a chance to knit at all the following week but when I started again Saturday morning, I was confident that I knew where I'd left off. The first ridge looked right but as I finished the second, I saw that the repeat didn't look right: the WS was on the RS, and vice versa. To say I was perplexed was an understatement. So I frogged what I'd done and set out to correct my mistake, a process that took almost 2 full days of knitting a few rows and frogging them again (stitch. by. stitch)! It got rather depressing after a while. I somehow finally managed to find the right place in the pattern repeat.

After that, things went smoothly until the "knit both sides at the same time" direction for knitting the neck. I'd initially thought that this meant keeping the work on the same needle and to keep knitting as usual. As I tried to knit on the other side of a bound-off row, the two sides became connected and I realized that there must be something else to the whole "knit both at the same time" thing. I looked up the term in my Vogue Knitting reference book, which cleared things up: each 'side' is to be knit using a separate ball of yarn. So I made another skein of yarn into a ball and things went merrily on their way.

Behold, the finished back piece!

I cast on for this piece on April 22 (Sunday) and finished on June 3 (Sunday); that's a little over a month. Not bad for knitting twice a week, plus a row here and there on weekdays.

A few detail shots:

A view of a shoulder and the neck opening.

Armhole shaping.

For the sake of variety, I decided to knit a sleeve now. My progress so far:

As suggested by Gloria, I've been writing out pattern instructions to prevent myself from losing my place (instructions like "decrease every other row 5 times AT SAME TIME cont. ridge pattern" or "*dec. 1 st each side, work even 3, dec. 1 st each side AT SAME TIME...." are just asking for it). Writing out the pattern repeat (k, k, p, k, etc.) and then adding whatever it is you have to do next to that row helps tremendously. I check off rows as I go and there's no chance of losing my place!

A (blurry) example of my notes:

This update is dedicated to a Mr. B. Franklin, whose aphorism I stole and twisted into what is now the title of this post. You rawk.


Gloria said...

Glad you recovered from your mistake! That's just what happens sometimes (I had to rip most of the back of my Nantucket Jacket, as you might recall).

And it looks like your notes are helping. I'm glad! Those instructions that have you do many things at the same time can be so confusing.

cristina said...

ooh man that sounds like a nightmare. i'm glad you were able to figure it out and move on. looks like its going to look pretty cool.