Re-entry was, as far as re-entry goes, as epic as the time away was. I knew things were going to be decidedly bumpy when my plane landed at 1am, and by 1:30 I was in a 24 hour Sobey's with Joe, because I was totally wrong about Joe and Sam being perilously low on toilet paper. They were not almost out - they had none. (Sam was away with a friend, and her absence had allowed the toilet paper problem to reach critical.)
Since that horrible shopping trip (during which I was the absolute model of patience, only coming ever so momentarily undone when Joe suggested that since we were in a grocery store at 1:30am, we might as well nail the weeks shop, instead of just grabbing the paper and leaving) I've done just what I said I would. Moved slowly, moved deliberately, I've started cleaning up the house, moving from one room to another creating good, deep order out of chaos. Done right, I realized that I can dovetail my re-entry plans and my Christmas plans and have the whole thing come together faster than a teenager can spot hypocrisy - which is pretty damn fast.
I am not, however, off to a magnificent start. I was short knitting at Port Ludlow, but Port Ludlow was not short of yarn, and so I bought two skeins of a gorgeous grape coloured bison from Judith with a plan to make Lyrica Euterpe. (That second word is pronounced Ewe-ter-pee. I looked it up.) The yarn I got was Buffalo Gals 70% bison, 30% merino, and it's a two-ply a little thicker than fingering weight. Now, that pattern calls for 393m, and two skeins of my yarn came to 394m, and a metre of leeway seemed a little tight, especially when you're changing gauge and dealing with a hand-dyed yarn that it's hard to put your little hands on, so I panicked, grabbed one more skein from Judith, and scampered it back to the house.
Once there, I wound up one of my three, and started knitting. I knit fiercely, taking advantage of the free time at the inn, and then the free time in the car, and then the free time on the plane.
Somewhere over Regina, my first ball ran out, and I joined the second one. I knit quickly, thrilled at how fast it was all going, delighting in the fact that it was likely only going to take a few days to knit the beast. I knit all the way home on that dark plane- then all the way home in the car, then tucked it inside that pretty bag (courtesy of Leslie at Stash-ems, Mark-ems, by way of the goodie bags. No website, but she's heyillini on Ravelry) and left it there until the next evening.
That night, I powered through the rest of the first chart and half of the second (and last) chart, and felt pretty good about it too. I admired it often, checking for mistakes. Back into the bag it went.
Yesterday was Sunday, and I had time to knit in the daytime - such as it is. There's not a lot of daylight this time of year, and so even if you knit a lot, not a lot of it happens in good clear light - and I took the knitting out, snuggling up on the chesterfield with tea and good intentions. Two more days, I thought. I can be finished this in two more days, and I spread the lace out on my leg to see all that I had wrought. That's when I noticed.
Right there, just where the garter stitch began to give way the lace... an odd shadow. I peered at it again, not quite believing what I was seeing. For a minute, I thought that it was a mistake - that I'd somehow knit a line in, but as I looked closer I realized it was something far worse --- I moved over to the window and there it was.
A clear line of demarcation between the first and second balls. They are not the same dye lot. Not even close, and considering that it's all I can see now, I can't believe I missed it. Now that I look, I can see it in the picture of the skeins - now that I look it's the most obvious thing in the world, but oh no, it's winter in Canada and that means that it was too dark to tell for days, and now here I am, a few weeks out from Christmas with that scene on the needles. I checked the skein in the bag - the one I hadn't used yet, maybe wouldn't use, and it's the darker shade as well. That was disheartening, but before I ripped it out and started again, I sent the picture off to a whack of knitting friends - relying on knitter instinct.
Now, knitter instinct is a good thing. Knitter instinct does a lot of great stuff for us, like get you to grab that third skein, tell us (mostly) who is knit-worthy and who is not... but the best thing that knitter instinct does is get you out of ripping back. Ripping out work is the last thing your instincts want you to do, and even if yours is off kilter, other knitters will often be able to tell you that you can get away with it, or just rip back part, or come up with a solution. Heck, lots of the time other knitters will point out that it's only obvious to you, and that you're being that crazy person again, and that you can just keep going because the two dye lot thing? It's only you who can see it. So I sent off that picture, and I waited. I didn't even tell them what I thought was wrong. Maybe they wouldn't see it, I rationalized, and then I'll know. It's just me, and I don't have to rip back.
I sent the picture, and I waited. It didn't take long before I got my first response. I heard my phone ding, and turned it over to read:
"That is interesting and quite lovely. Why are you doing it in two colours?"
That sound you hear? It's the sound of heartbreak and bison in a ball winder. I've started again.