Starting Over

This weekend I cast on for a shawl. I know what you’re saying: “Wait a minute! She’s finally going to write about knitting in a knitting blog?”

This shawl is worth writing about because I’m actually re-knitting it. Not making a second one from the same pattern; re-knitting the same shawl with the same yarn. A few years ago, I cast on for this shawl. (Should I look up the exact date? You really want me to look up the exact date? Really? FINE. I will go to Ravelry and be right back.)

On April 6, 2012 I cast on for this shawl. (Are you happy now?) I had wanted to knit this pattern, Traveling Woman, for some time and I had just the yarn to make it with, an Araucania fingering weight wool in tonal teal. It’s not an overly complicated pattern really — it goes from fiddly to tedious to Pay Attention To Me — but I was working other projects at the time, and from my project notes on Ravelry I can see that I made my fair share of mistakes. Because of the pattern repeats in the lace sections, though, I could usually tell when I’d goofed up somewhere, and I could un-knit those stitches, give my knitting a little more attention, and re-knit the section.

This worked until I was (if I recall correctly) about two rows from The End, Completely Done, Finito!, and Off The Needles. Somewhere in that row I made a fatal mistake. (I was probably tired and knitting with my eyes closed. This doesn’t work very well, as you can imagine, and it’s a particularly bad technique to use with lace.) It was probably a simple mistake because I don’t have enough technique to make complex mistakes. What made it fatal is that I couldn’t determine how I’d made the mistake. That meant that every time I tried to undo it, I was actually making things much, much worse.

At last I realized the truth — I couldn’t go forward because I couldn’t fix the mistake, and I couldn’t go backward because I couldn’t fix the fix to the mistake. So I did what any good intermediate knitter would do. Somewhere around the end of August I sent the whole project to time out. And because I was so frustrated with it (really, with myself) I actually sent it to that special farm Up Nort where old dogs go to romp forever in sun-bathed grassy fields. I told it that it wasn’t its fault (I lied) and that my friend Brandy would take very good care of it and maybe fix it (I lied), and I sent it packing.

On January 1, 2013, I sent a text and asked Brandy to take this project off the needles, pull it apart completely, and wind the yarn back up into a ball. She texted back: “Are you sure?” (Actually, there may have been a 24-hour waiting period imposed. Brandy really wanted to make sure this wasn’t an impulse decision.)

I was sure. A few months later it came back in a box as a humungous ball of yarn.

I wanted to do things differently this time. I wanted to give the shawl more time and attention. I wanted to be monogamous with it. (Knitters, you may laugh heartily now.)

So this weekend I cast on for a Traveling Woman shawl. It’s the only thing I’m working on right now. It’s coming along just fine, so far.

And it’s actually part of a very, very small knitalong. Brandy is making one, too.

This particular shawl is knitted starting from the center back.

This particular shawl is knitted starting from the center back.


My, how it's grown! This is after 38 rows. I start the lace charts after 68 rows of...this.

My, how it’s grown! This is after 38 rows. I start the lace charts after 68 rows of…this.


Published in: on October 20, 2014 at 11:13 pm  Comments (2)  

Scarf complete

It’s done, folks, my Series 12 Doctor Who Scarf is done. Just need to add some fringe and it’s perfectly complete. Right now it’s very busy keeping my neck warm and trying to stop my sniffles.

Yes, I’ve come down with something, but I’m happy to have a nice long wool scarf to make me feel better.

Let’s see if I can show off a little.

Doctor Who Scarf 10/23/08

Doctor Who Scarf 10/23/08

My goodness, it appears to be letting me put a picture in.

Well, what else is there to talk about? I have a day trip to the house tomorrow, to help pick a new real estate agent, shoot some pictures for a possible magazine article, and have a mini meetup with a Ravelry knitter. Then we’re off to pick up the kids and get them back home too late to go to their school Halloween party. That wasn’t the original intention, it’s just probably the way it’s going to work out. My daughter asked me this morning why we “never go to Halloween parties.” Sorry sweetie.

Last Sunday we dressed the kids up and took them to their great-grandparents’ house for a practice trick or treat. We ended up with a World War I flying ace, Little Red Riding Hood, a skeleton, and a cowboy. And no cameras. Sorry! I hope they will allow themselves to be the same things again at another time. They looked good.

I’m a little under the weather right now, but have the perfect piece of mindless knitting to work on. It will probably be someone’s Christmas present, but I don’t know whose yet. I was working on it last night at a Girl Scout (okay, Daisy Scout) meeting and a five year old came up, stared at my hands, and said, “Will you make one of them for me?” She was a little scary, but I offered to teach her to knit and she said yes. There’s a “big brother” of one of Tom’s daycare classmates who’s also watching the progress, so now I may have sufficient social pressure to complete the project.


Pastel Triangle Shawl

Pastel Triangle Shawl

I like working on this, but now that the Scarf is off the needles I can finish the socks and the Christmas knitting.

However, this morning I learned about NaKniSweMo, National Knit a Sweater Month, in November. Do you think I can do it? Do you think I should try? I already have the pattern, the yarn, and the needles.

Published in: on October 24, 2008 at 8:38 am  Comments (5)