I try not to worry about knitting instructions. I know, I know – that’s a grand and great statement, but the truth is that at this point in my knitting career, it’s been a good long time since an instruction knocked me down and left me bleeding in an alley while it partied with its skanky friends. (I admit it hasn’t been that long since one slapped me around a little, but that’s normal.) Part of this is experience, and part of it is that I have lots of resources, but most of it that I am frankly so stubborn that I make the mules the other mules hate for being obdurate look weak-willed.
This means that if I want to knit something, I don’t usually worry about it being too hard. I’ll figure that out later. If there’s something I don’t know how to do? I’ll look it up. If there’s something tricky – I’ll get the hang. Most of the time, I look at a piece of knitting, compare it mentally with what I imagine the study of statistical thermodynamics is like, and then sort of think "How hard can it be?"
Obviously, the answer to that varies. (See reference above to getting slapped around a little by yarn and it’s friends.) Knitting, I feel like I can handle. Knitting and me, we’re square. It’s with this in mind that I tell you the following. The little sweater is not done. This is because the last instruction on this knitting pattern is a hard one.
It says "Embroider." The first time I saw it it took a couple of minutes to hit me that it wasn’t knitting at all. It’s totally embroidery, which (while I admit to a brief but intense period of cross-stitch) is not exactly something I know a ton about – so we’ll see how it goes. If you need me, I’ll be the one cursing in the corner with McCall’s Needlework Treasury open to "chain stich."
I know they’re famous last words, but really…how hard can it be?
(PS. I knew I was saving a needlework book from 1964 for a reason. I am now officially vindicated in my decision to also save " Creative Hands" from 1966, which contains this lesson:
Some day being able to tell the difference between those two could be critical. I’m glad to have pictures.)