July 22, 2008

Classic Plotline

I chugged away on that "flow" top yesterday determined to finish it before tonight. This is partly because I think that if you're only going to make one summery knitted thing then you should wear it to a knitter thing and tonight is that gig at the Vaughan Library but my secondary motivation is that it would be a clean article of clothing and now that I'm this deep into the Tour de Fleece, it might be my only one.

This is a very simple knit. Very. The front and back are identical, it's seamed at the shoulder and sides and there's a reverse stockinette band round the neck and sleeves. Very simple. I I had the front (back?) done Wednesday night at knit night, and I cast on for the back (front?) and zoomed through. Last night I had only the armscye shaping and the neck to do, and considering how much yarn I had left and how I like my tops a little long, I opted to make the top longer than the pattern calls for by about 3cm (in the neighbourhood of an inch). I'd been leery to do that until I saw that there was tons of yarn to make that change, but there is. (The yarn is Berroco Seduce, and I bought all that there was in this dye lot when I was at WEBS. Usually I would buy an insurance skein, but there was only exactly six skeins there, so I was allocating carefully.)

As I sat there last night, I knew that this meant that I would need to rip back the finished front (back?) to the armscye and make it longer to match, but that didn't bother me. I don't mind a little of the old frog and tickle now and again, and I had time for a quick bit of a reknit. While I was knitting the armscye, I noticed that the decreases seemed to be taking a long time, and while I was puzzling over that I found an error in the pattern for the size 38. (At the armscye the pattern says you have 78 stitches, then you're to decrease two stitches nine times and then have 58 stitches. Since I'm pretty sure that 9X2 is still 18 - not 20, that should read ten times, if you're going to get 58 and have your ducks in a row for the neck shaping) and it occurred to me then, as I found and noted that error, that it was odd that I hadn't noticed it when I knit the front. (back?)

This should have been a big moment. This should have tipped me off that something was not right. This should have been the moment in this story where, metaphorically speaking, the operator tells me that the calls I've been getting from this tank top all night are coming from inside the house- or the moment where the guy who's been convinced that there's a serial killer at the party finally loosens up and admits he was wrong, right when the rest of the partygoers see the serial killer over his shoulder? It should have been like that, but I was knitting and it's a simple tank, and I told myself that the reason I didn't notice the error when I knit the other part was because I just decreased however many times it took to get 58 and didn't count, and since I am the queen of Didn't-count-it-land, that made sense.


I finished the back (front?), set it aside, and then turned my attention to the front (back) so I could rip it back to the armscye, add the same amount of length so it matched the back and reknit the shapings. Easy and quick. While I ripped back I thought about how now I only had to do the seams (not so many) and the tiny bands (not so big) and I would be wearing this badboy tonight. I may have cackled - perhaps even gloated for a second. I wound the yarn back up, put the stitches back on the needle and gave them a quick count to make sure that I hadn't ripped back too far. I got the wrong number of stitches. I counted again. It's not my best skill, so troubles often disappear with a do-over.

Not this time. This time, I had ten stitches too few. I scratched my head, I puzzled over the pattern book, I looked for other errors. None. I examined my knitting for the place where I had made too many decreases - but I was bang on. I simply couldn't figure out where I'd lost ten whole stitches... and then it came to me. Wednesday night I'd been puzzling over what size I had been knitting, and while laughing and drinking beer with my friends I'd worked out that I was making the third size and cast on. I remember that now because at least four of the people there chastised me for not circling my size on the pattern, or at least adding a post-it note or something. I realized, as I sat there with a finished back (front?) and a very nearly finished front (back?) that something may have been amiss there - that maybe I screwed up. Maybe the reason I didn't notice the error for that size when I knit the first piece was that I didn't knit that size. Maybe.... and I looked at it, and I knew it.

The two identical pieces of this sweater are not identical. A quick stitch count of the cast on edge of the first piece confirmed it. This sweater has only two pieces. The entire pattern consists only of knitting the same thing twice. Knit one, repeat. That's it. It's the whole thing. This pattern is - very correctly, I might add... rated "Easy" in the pattern book - and I have found the only real way to create an problem that can't be fixed quickly. I'm furious. Furious that I saw all the signs and kept on knitting, furious that I didn't count stitches back when it could have helped me. Furious that I wrote a blog post detailing my difficulty in casting on THE WRONG NUMBER OF STITCHES and didn't notice... Furious that I only have one skein of yarn left - so that means that I can't even reknit the piece that I have pulled back and make it as big as the finished piece, no no. I don't have enough yarn for that. I have to finish the unfinished piece, then rip back the finished piece and reknit that. Seriously. SERIOUSLY. I am thinking about eating the remaining skein of yarn, calling it roughage and turning the back (front?) of this thing into a potscrubber and taking endless delight in watching bits of cheese and zucchini from last nights casserole get stuck in it before I go out to tonight's gig braless and wearing a tank top out of Sam's laundry basket that says "I dress this way because it bothers youl" on it. Screw it.

A half bag of stale salted almonds could knit better than me. I'm having chocolate for breakfast.

Posted by Stephanie at July 22, 2008 9:27 AM