Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tears were shed.

May I introduce this weekend's two problems:

1) Flair

2) Poncho

Let me start with Flair...and I say this mostly for Sarah's benefit in an effort to save her some of the anguish I experienced this week. Hopefully you haven't already started your Flair (honestly I can't say that word without chuckling about my minimum 15 pieces of flair), though even if you have cast on already, you're likely not dumb enough to make the same mistakes I did!

So, friday night, this was my flair:
(image deleted)

It was exciting --I was four balls in and half done the body. I was literally just about to divide the sleeves off and really sink my teeth into finishing it. And then: hmmm, something appears to be weird with the front section.

Now in theory, knitting everything all at once is a great idea. Not having to seam anything in the end, I am ALL for that. But herein lies the intrinsic flaw with knitting everything all at once: If you make a mistake in ONE section, you can't just fix it. Every section becomes infected with the problem. And that was my problem: too many stitches in the front section. SO even though my entire back portion was half done, BOTH sleeves were half done, my three inches of edging and button holes were half done...I had 19 extra stitches in my two front sections. Everything had to be torn out. I literally felt like crying. Particularly when you're knitting everything at once like this, and each row is 300 plus stitches, it's incredibly frustrating. One row would literally take me about twenty minutes to knit across. And the purl rows? blech.

I have frogged it all and started over. I'm about one ball in again and feeling better about it. Much like writing, I chalk the starting over process up to being an opportunity to make it better the second time around. Even if I wrote the great American novel (Canadian novel?) and it all went up in a fire, I know that draft number two would still be far superior to the first, right?

More annoying still is that it's the pattern that threw me, right from row number one.

So here's my own version:

Row 1: do it the same as the pattern indictes with all the KFB's and blah blah blah. The part that threw me is that the very first stitch is a KFB then SM, which I will come back to.

Row 2: purl

Then the pattern says repeat rows 1 and 2 three times more. This is where it got a bit confusing for me. You can't just start off with a KFB, SM again like in row #1 because you've already created an extra stitch the first time around. And you know, I'm a realtively new knitter, so these things aren't always intuitive for me. So I just pressed on, doing my KFB as the first stitch on the front section every time. WRONG. This is why I had so many extra stitches.

So I present to you how those pattern lines should probably have been written (apologies to anyone uninterested in this pattern and already snoozing at this point):

Row 1: same as pattern indicates
Row 2: purl
Row 3: K1, KFB, SM... (continue on as row 1 indicates...)
Row 4: purl
Row 5: K2, KFB, SM...
Row 6: purl
Row 7: K3, KFB, SM...
Row 8: purl

This way your increases will at least always be in the right spot--this all becomes more relevant when you cast on additional stitches and place another marker that you should NOT be increasing after like all the others (the seed stitch reminder), though the pattern doesn't really indicate this. I also encountered another issue later on with button holes, where you're expected to start a button hole on the 14th RS row and then subsequent 12th RS rows. The confusing bit here is that RS rows are always odd numbered, and this indication therefore makes no sense. I'm basically just starting my button holes on every 13th row and hoping that this doesn't somehow bite me in the ass later on.

Archie did enjoy helping me tear it all apart though.

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OK, this post has already become a bit of a novel, so I will spare you the ├╝ber details about Poncho's emergency dental surgery yesterday (3! extractions) for my groggy senior who will heretofor be known exclusively as Gummy Joe. More hilarious was his initial visit to the vet on Saturday as 1) we didn't realize the St. Patty's Day parade was going on and 2) we had to park ten blocks from the vet and weave through the world's most obnoxious parade with a cat that was about to explode with fear. All to say that I think Poncho officially hates the Irish now.

In other knitting news, I've completed the back of the Alpaca Vest, and the new thing I learned here was the "t-wrap". Which I might add was impossible to find any info on, but knittinghelp.com calls it a short row with wrap so it's no wonder I couldn't find it. I did find a good written explanation for it here. I'm still not entirely sure that I did it right, and am just hoping that because that yarn is so fine, in the end it may not matter. As my mom said when helping me "why must you pick such complicated patterns?!" But in my defense I thought "It's a vest, how hard can it be?". As I read ahead I'm realizing that the ribbed V-neck portion gets somehow seamed back on which has the potential to be annoying. My current knitting mantra is "ignore the problem and it will go away".
If only.


Miss Muffy said...

Waaah! You're a brave soldier for ripping all that knitting back! I'm sure it will all pay off in the end. Sorry to hear about Gummy Joe - Teddy has also had 'extractions'. More like 'extracting' a whole lot of 'money' from my 'yarn budget'.

Reckless Glue said...

believe me, if I could have found a way out of ripping it all back I would have!

yup, between P's mouth issues and Archie's heart problems they are expensive little buggers! We just need to keep telling ourselves how much more expensive kids would be!