Saturday, April 09, 2005

An expensive and time consuming knitting mistake.

I made a beautiful moebius wrap. It was supposed to be lacy with a lovely geometric pattern and I bought a great denim coloured variegated mohair yarn to knit it out of. I cast on for the largest size wrap, 236 stitches, and increased one stitch at the beginning of the next round. Then I knot and purled my way through the beginning of the scarf - which ends up being the simple looking middle of the wrap. After a few rounds, following the instructions, I started knitting the lace pattern and I knew I was in trouble pretty early in the program. I couldn't seem to remember where I was in the pattern; so I ripped it out to a sure place and started again, several patterns later I was lost again. I decided to go with the flow and let it work itself out. On the third round of pattern, I wondered that I was making two increases and one decrease per pattern which means with a gain of 1 stitch per pattern execution, maybe 20 extra stitches per round added. The math became boggling as I tried to work out number of increases x patterns per round x number of rounds. Who says people don't use Algebra in real life? I checked the book several times to make sure I was following it correctly; I even checked the website to see if there were corrections; I trusted the pattern.

I should have NOT TRUSTED MYSELF because, of course, I had misunderstood the directions for one set of stitches. The book said SSK and in the back (yes, I had checked) it explained that this meant to slip two stitches knitwise, then slip them back and knit them. The part I missed was that I was supposed to knit them together which would decrease a stitch leaving an equal increase and decrease by two for each pattern.

What did this mean? Well the pattern looked beautiful, not geometric and orderly but lovely and organic and not random looking or chaotic. Unfortunately every round started to take forever to complete. My hands cramped from the pressure of knitting against purled stitches. I got lost again and again in the pattern. Yarn disappeared onto the circular needles at a tremendous pace even though the knitting itself felt slow-slow-slow.

I finally started to bind off since I was worried about running out of yarn and I was so tired of knitting on this project and I secretly hoped to wear it to an event this evening. Binding off took several hours. I ended with 2 feet of yarn left.

The completed scarf is 90" from beginning to beginning (moebius joke). 45" long when folded. It has wonderful slightly wavy edges and the colour moves in eye catching ways. It feels lovely and snuggles against my neck.


it wraps around my neck 3 or 4 times or twice (and droopily at that) around my shoulders or once across my shoulders with a dip in the back that exactly frames my ass which does not need that kind of attention. I cannot wear it tonight and I don't think I can unknit it because the yarn gets those tangles from having its fibers rubbed against each other.

(sigh) It was a lovely pattern and a lovely colour of yarn. And really pattern I ended up with is very nice.

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