July 9, 2010

Dimwit knitwit

Sometimes I think I'm nuts. Really, I do. I mean, I like a challenge, sure. And I love to try new things, especially when it comes to all things crafty. But really, Gillian, why do you do this to yourself?

OK, back up. Remember when I decided I was obsessed with making a sweater? Well I haven't gotten over it. It was 103 yesterday and today is going to be "cool" at 91, and I'm hauling around a giant ball of wool to make a sweater. But since the slippers took me ages to finish, I decided that if I really wanted a sweater, well, I better get knitting. And I really want a sweater. Actually, I just really want this sweater. It invaded my mind, I couldn't help myself. Usually it's books that do this to me. I hear about them and then I can think of nothing else till I get my hot little hands on a copy so I can dive in. So this obsession with a sweater is interesting, to say the least.

The sweater in itself is no big deal. I've knit a sweater before, ok, it was for a newborn, but I'm not intimidated by the sweater portion, it's the cabling.

I've been avoiding cable related patterns since I started knitting again. And during my previous knitting stages I just flat out pretended they didn't exist. But they are just so darn pretty, and, although this sweater had instructions for a plain version, what really drew me to it in the first place was the oak leaf pattern up the center of the back. So in I dove.

Now if I had been smart, I would have tried some kind of simple cable first. A basic twist, on a mitten or something. NOT on a garment that requires 72 plain stitches on either side of the cable section. Or I would have gone to our knitting shop and had them get me started. But no, I just started knitting.

A few days later, when I'd worked my way about 6 inches up the sweater, I looked at my knitting, and then got online and looked at the pictures of the sweater (I only printed out the pages of the pattern with the actual instructions to save paper, not smart as it turns out) and realized that something was TERRIBLY wrong. Really, Really wrong. I'd screwed up somewhere, probably amidst the new stitches that I'd had to look up on You Tube (what did we do before You Tube?)

I knew what needed to be done, but I dreaded it. All that work, the long sides, it all had to come out. Drat. So after shoving my sad bundle of yarn and work into my bag in frustration and cursing a little, I pulled it back out and ripped it all out. All of it. Well, except for the inch of ribbing which I knew was right, I mean, I can knit 1 purl 1 at least. So yesterday I started again. And I learned that I am much better at following a chart - which had looked totally unintelligible when I started- than following the by the row written instructions.

I'm about two thirds of the way back to the point at which I stopped to rip everything out, and it's going much faster now that I have a firmer grasp on what I'm doing. You can even just barely see the beginnings of the pattern in my work. And a good thing too because if it had turned out badly again I think I would have chucked the whole thing out the window. As it stands, I might actually have the longed for sweater by the time the cool weather hits again (please cool off, please cool off)

And on another knitting related note, I'm actually using my slippers despite the heat. Our office has only one A/C vent and if it's shut off the room becomes unbearably hot within minutes. But the vent is directly in front of my toes and my feet have been FREEZING. Even while the rest of me bakes. So yay! for cozy warm slippers, even during the hottest July in my memory.