Missing a Two-Foot Putt

MEMO TO SELF: You will never be such a good lace knitter that you can cavalierly neglect to check pattern and count stitches, and if you get cocky enough think you are, trust me, you will pay!

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After a brief delay, during which I set my Way of Life Stole aside to try in vain to win a contest in the KAL group for my Sky Drama, I happily returned to work on it.  I’m terribly addicted to this stole, and was definitely feeling withdrawal symptoms. I can’t imagine what I’m going to do when the project is complete, but I’m hoping something else will grab my attention with equal force.

So anyway, as I got to the seventeenth and last repeat on the 23rd row of Clue 6, which is the final pattern row for the clue, I realized that there were supposed to be six stitches left to knit plain, and I had just four. I tinked that repeat and tried it again, but still had only four left, so I looked at the next row down. There was nothing wrong with the pattern, but there were also two stitches missing at the end of that section. I got a weird little prickly feeling and decided it was time to turn off my audiobook. The design area looked perfect for the entire repeat, but there was clearly something wrong somewhere. I’ve not left any other mistakes in the piece, and I didn’t know how an adjustment might fit into the future clues. It took me a good while, but I finally found an errant decrease at the beginning of the solid edge – 22 rows earlier! How could I have managed to be so self-confident that I’d not been checking how many stockinette stitches were along that edge for that long??? And when had I dropped my obsessive double-checking? I watch every single repeat carefully, and if I get to the stitch markers wrong – and for that matter, often see the error based on how the previous row is lining up – I stop instantly and am able to fix the error quickly. How then did I let myself get clear to the end of a 309 stitch row and space out on the last couple of stitches? It struck me very much like the skilled golfer who hits the ball to within two feet of the cup with his first swing, then, knowing he’s home free, misses the putt. In other words, I sure felt dumb!

I toyed with just taking out a few stitches down to that spot, but although I could tell it was there, I couldn’t find the other mistake, and with all the decreases and YOs playing together over 22 rows, a much wider section of stitches relied on one another than could be worked that way. I finally realized there was nothing to do but the unthinkable…

I’ll leave my expression and tension level during this frogging to your imaginations. I’m quite sure you can get a pretty good picture of what was going on here, and if not, suffice it to say it wasn’t pretty. 18 stitches wide by 22 rows… sigh…

However, a miraculous 2 hours and 3 podcasts later…

All I can say is that I totally amazed myself with this repair. I’ve been knitting lace for 11 months now. One of my few major goals for myself this year was to master lace knitting. I still have a hurdle I’ve mentally placed for myself, which honestly isn’t going to happen before the end of the year, but I realized last night that I no longer find that last step the least bit intimidating. I’ve grown more as a knitter in the past 12 months than in the entire – ummm… well… in my entire lifetime. It’s been a very exciting trip, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next!

And may I just add that it’s going to be a very long time before I forget to check the end of row treatment again?

So, Clue 6 is finally done, and just an hour or two before #7 was posted! Not sure how long this is, as I can’t begin to stretch it out on my 30″ cable, but relaxed, it’s now 17″ wide, with three clues to go. I have the advantage of having seen the next clue as I’m writing this, and I’m terribly suspicious that the last clue might have something to do with an edge treatment…

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Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 10:47 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It is exquisite and I fear you have more nerve than I, not to rip all the way back! I have long loved lace knitting best. BRAVO! Your Irish Dreamer friend.

  2. Thank you so much! Faced with the option of either trying this, whether I succeeded or not, or just frogging back 8 hours of work, I figured it was at least worth the gamble. This time it paid off. :o)


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