Sunday, October 28, 2007

Knitting Disaster

Andrea requested a daily progress report on how The Plan is going. Well, pretty poorly, in fact. I was awfully frustrated until I started thinking about how many issues I've encountered with this one simple, silly little sweater, and it's actually almost funny. Almost. So here goes.
  • Friday: I did finish the front of the sweater, and began the back.
  • Saturday: I knit to within one inch of the top of the back of the sweater. Then I panicked about the pattern's plethora of seam sewing and ripped it all out. (I hate to sew seams and I'm not very good at it. And why do it if you don't have to?) Surely, a redesign to allow for knitting in the round, a 3-needles bind-off at the neck, and picking up arm stitches was the correct choice. As I cast on with my trusty size US7 needles, I started to wonder if I even owned any size 8 circulars. (Only the first 2 rows are knit with 7 and then the pattern increases to size 8.) I checked. Nope, no size 8, 16" circulars in the house. It's now 8:30pm on Saturday night. So I think, "Hmm, the drape of the fabric was rather loose with the 8s, I suppose knitting the whole thing with 7s will actually be an improvement." But what about gauge, you ask? I need to cast on more stitches to compensate for smaller needles or the sweater will be too small. Never one to fuss too much about gauge, I make a purely random decision to cast on 100 stitches in stead of 90. I knit almost 3 inches before bed.
  • Sunday: OK, I should be starting on a sleeve this morning, but there's no need for panic. I have all day to work on this. So I knit. And knit. And knit. I knit while watching 4 episodes of Hero's that Kyle taped for me for just such an occasion. And as I knit, I vaguely consider at what point I should stop knitting in a circle and start going back and forth to allow for arm holes. The original pattern is 40 stitches around the arm at the top, decreasing to 30 at the wrist. Do I consider the size 7 needles? Nope. Do I take time to measure my gauge and calculate mathematically? Nope. I'm a scientist, but I'm also impatient. I make a gut decision - 3 inches. I will need arm holes three inches deep. I proceed. I knit back and forth while watching Lord of the Rings. I execute a most beautiful (if I do say so myself) and clever 3-needle bind-off at the shoulders, weave in my ends, and proceed to the first sleeve. I'm feeling good. I am a Knitter. A Knitter who can rewrite whole patterns on a whim! And it's only 2:30pm. I can surely finish the first sleeve today and be right on target. Hooray! I do realize, however, that due to the smaller needles, I've used more yarn than the original pattern called for. Not to fear, I'll pick up stitches for the first arm and then, when Kyle has time, get him to drive me to the yarn store (my sister has my car and I'm afraid to drive the scary manual transmission truck into town when it's busy). So I pick up stitches. 30, to be exact. Wait, only 30? The number that should be decreased to by the wrist? With larger needles? Uh oh. Can I pick up more? Nope - 30 is all I can squeeze. Hold on. Just how deep should a sleeve hole be for a newborn, anyway? Let me check some size charts on the internet. More than 3 inches? Like maybe 4? Oh No! I panic. A lot. I am very upset. I look at the sleeve hole long and hard. Yep - it looks small. Like, too small for a baby's arm, small. I don't want to rip down 4 inches on each side and start over. I panic more. I wander around the house dazed. I am a Terrible Knitter. I stink. Why did I ever think I could randomly adjust a pattern, willy nilly, and it would work? Arg?! It's now 3pm and Kyle offers to take me to the yarn store. Nope, I say. I am a Terrible Knitter and his cousin will be getting a Store Bought gift. There's No Way I have time to fix this. I mope. How did this happen? Things were going so Well. I sweep the floor (I clean when I'm mad). Fifteen minutes later I'm still muttering under my breath, and Kyle asks for a more detailed explanation of the problem. I demonstrate. He says, "So why don't you just take apart the very top and make the arm hole bigger from that end?" Hmm. Why didn't I think of that? Sure, it'll make the whole thing an inch longer, but that shouldn't be critical. The problem now is that the store closes in 20 minutes. The store is 15 minutes away. We RUN to the car (shoes in hand) and Kyle (my Hero) drives to get me there as fast as (safely, legally) possible because this is a Knitting Emergency. With 5 minutes to spare, we reach an empty parking lot next to a locked yarn store. Sigh. Kyle will try to pick up the yarn for me tomorrow, but given the last 48 hours, I am not hopeful for a happy outcome.

1 comment:

Glen and Andrea said...

EXCELLENT!!!!! You win my vote for the best post of 2007!! Hilarious.