Saturday, April 26, 2014

Son of a Flying Fig!

I can’t write what I actually said, multiple times.

2014-04-25 17.02.12

This is my latest project, well other than the usual socks and the Never Ending Mitered Square Blanket. The pattern is Sunburst but I was swinging between calling the project The Shawl of the Blood Moon or Cruella (because there might be some dog hair in it somewhere).

But she is definitely Cruella.

This is lace. I am fairly experienced at knitting lace. This may be DK weight yarn but it is still lace and the primary thing that you need to know about lace is that you cannot just willy nilly frog it back and then pick up stitches. The yarn overs will not allow it or if they allow it they will make you pay. The way to get around that is to run a “life line” every so often. A life line is a piece of contrasting yarn that is run through the stitches as sort of a place holder so that if you do (heaven forbid) make a mistake you can pull out your needle, frog back to a certain point and pick up the stitches that are held in place by your life line.

Life lines are a very good thing. They will and have saved my knitting bacon on more than one occasion. Do you see a life line anywhere on that piece of lace?

You are right, there isn’t one. I said to myself as I knit along on this piece, “Self, this is DK weight alpaca yarn that is sticky and won’t drop stitches easily. We don’t need no stinkin’ life line.”

As Jan and Ellen say on The Twinset Designs podcast……I was bitten by my knittin’.

First of all, I KNOW better than to knit with black yarn in the evening. I can’t see worth a darn. And when you combine evening (even a well lighted evening) with black yarn AND an interesting movie…..cue the theme from Jaws. I am past the contrasting color section, moving into the final black section, in the home stretch. I do the first row of the last section of lace…..and my count is off by one stitch. There is one stitch less than I should have on the first half.

Dangit! Dangit! Dangit!

I go back and physically talk myself through the first half of this row. All the stitches are what they should be but I am STILL one stitch short. Hmmmmmmmm. I know! I will just ADD a stitch right there before the SSK (slip slip knit) and we will be all good. Done! I finish the second half of the row……and I come up a stitch short on the count. What the every loving heck? Did I decrease when I shouldn’t have on this thing? That must be it, I decreased when I shouldn’t have. I will just add another stitch right here by the other SSK and all will be well. I do the wrong side row, which was just purling, although there are double yarn overs on the front which means you have to do those fiddly “purl into the back loop” stitches which are hard to do on black yarn at the best of times but I pushed on through the fiddly stitch pain and made it to the end of the row. I get half way through row three of the first repeat…….and I am WAY more than one stitch off.


So I did what any sane knitter would do. I tinked back to the beginning of the row and put it down for the night and came back to it today. In the light of the afternoon, after a 4 mile walk and some cleaning (we have guests coming for munchies tonight) I sat down to solve this burr in my Sunburst saddle. I decided that the best course of action was to go back to the rows of garter stitch in the main color right before you start the last lace panel. But I had no life line…so that meant that I had to tink back 4 rows of black yarn that included a BOAT LOAD of SSK’s. Right about now, if you are not a knitter, your eyes are glazing over. Just know that to “tink” back just means that you slowly undo your stitches one at a time, tink being knit spelled backwards. We knitters are SO entirely clever with our use of language aren’t we. With an SSK, if you are tinking it back you have to re-arrange the stitches because they get twisted and tightened if you don’t. It is a laborious process. And each row had 200+ stitches to tink back.


And it was black fuzzy yarn.


But it was finally done and I took a moment to let Max the Magnificent out because he had been alternately staring at me and whining to go out and then retreating to his bed when I muttered under my breath. Once that was done I contemplated the work in progress and realized that I had missed two whole rows of garter stitch (and decreases) on the pattern. Well THAT explains it. So I did the extra two rows and then started back up with the lace portion…..

And the stitch count AGAIN wasn’t right.


I take a deep breath and then tink back the 100 or so offending stitches. Take some time to calm down and look at the pattern. And I realize that I missed the two set up rows (and the decreases that go with them). Dope Slap me now. Set up rows all taken care of I spend a minute counting the number of stitches that I am SUPPOSED to have and it is correct.

That is when I realize that the two rows of garter stitch that I missed the first time around….I did as stockinette stitch.


I am not tinking it back. I am just calling it a design element. No one will ever know. And if you say anything I am going to have to kill you with my sharp and pointy sticks.

1 comment:

  1. LOL! Dear lady, hie thee to this website:
    and procure the "Beam and Read" light (also known around these parts as "the old lady light thingy."). Seriously, I have mostly cured myself of knitting with dark yarn, although sometimes that's what's needed. My house has floor to ceiling windows where I knit, and during the day it's great. At night, though, they're like giant black walls--Captain Romance won't let me put curtains up--ruins the view, he says. But one of these days...


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