Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Knitter Triumphant

Dear Rachel,

I have done the amazing, the unthinkable. I have averted tragedy. I have... tinked lace!

It was Friday night. The Tigers were losing. I was knitting Cozy. The game was going downhill. I looked down at my hands, and *gasp*!

Do you see how the pattern basically consists of staggered stacks of two pairs of yarnovers? This is possibly the simplest lace pattern that exists. Please don't get me wrong. I love this pattern, I love the way it looks, otherwise I wouldn't be knitting it. But it's simple. Yet I managed to screw it up -- and not for the first or even third time.

Rachel, remember when I was trying to knit this pattern in the purple alpaca and it just wasn't coming together? That yarn just did not agree with this pattern, and the mistake kept happening. Instead of two stacked pairs, I came up with three stacked pairs. When it happened in the alpaca, it happened early on, and I just frogged the whole thing. Because I didn't know how to fix it otherwise. After I did this three (yes, three) times, I decided to use the alpaca for something else.

I didn't give up on the alpaca just because of my ineptitude, though. I saw how it came out in stockinette for Lena's sweater, and loved how it looked and felt. But for the lace, even though it was soft, it was hard to see the pattern of the yarnovers and the leaning decreases, and I wasn't "reading" the lace to see the logic of how one row builds on another. I was just blindly following the chart, and using my feeble brain to remember which row I was on, and thus ending up with three stacked pairs.

Now in this new yarn, I had repeated the mistake. The Tigers had lost the game. I was angry, tired, and I just wanted to go to bed. When I woke up the next morning, I was fresh, and I had the smallest idea in my head to try to salvage the situation. I figured, if I mess up, the worst that can happen is I'll have to frog the whole thing, and if I don't even try, I'll have to frog the whole thing anyway.

I carefully pulled the needle out, slowly ripped back the offending rows, then re-inserted the needle one loop at a time as I pulled the final row out. I made sure it was a purl row; no psso or k2tog to complicate things. I wasn't positive that I got all the loops oriented the right way, but at least they were all on the needle again. Then, after I counted and re-checked the chart, I carefully put the thing down, stood up, and did a little dance. The dance of triumph! The dance of successful lace tinking! Andy was so -- well, I like to think he was feeling supportive, although he was probably feeling more relief that he wouldn't have to deal with crazy mad yarn lady frogging out this project and starting all over again.

The yarn I'm using now makes the lace much easier to read than the fuzzy alpaca. I can actually look at the fabric and say: knit, yarnover, knit, yarnover, knit, double decrease; oh, that was row 7 and I purled back, so I'm back on row 1. Makes me feel like I actually kinda know what I'm doing. Weird.



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