Friday, February 27, 2009

Tales From the Knitting Basket

The time has come to 'fess up.
See those projects on the side bar? The "Things I'm Working On" progress bars?
Well, Nana's Shawl has had a bit of bad luck.
Don't worry, Nana, there's a happy ending.
I cast on this shawl, using the Waves of Grain scarf pattern from Knitty as my guide. Basically, I doubled the width to turn it into a shawl. But it's mostly a chart and I'm not-so-good with charts, so I translated it to written instructions and I really don't know what happened from there. There was this mystery stitch that kept appearing at the end of the row. I'd do a quick fix, like knit two together to "hide" it, and {poof} it would re-appear in the row the next time around. So, this thing was riddled with mistakes. Some of the yarnovers (holes) weren't quite where they were supposed to be and I had fixed a lot of small errors and...

It's wonky. Horrendously crooked. I don't think any amount of blocking could fix this. To top it off, I wasn't loving it. Lace can be forgiving - the untrained eye doesn't always see the mistakes. Blocking can hide a lot of errors, too. But I think the reason I wasn't loving it was the constant parade of mistakes and repairs. I had just completely lost my mojo. This shawl that should have been finished a month ago was not even halfway completed, because I dreaded picking it back up to work on it.
I have been knitting gangbusters for two years now. My first lace project was only, like, two weeks after I learned how to knit and purl, and it looks fifty times nicer than this foul thing.

It's laughable, really.

Last Friday, I took measures into my own hands. On a whim, I looked at Chris, lumped the amorphous red tangle of wool into my lap and said, "I'm frogging this."
He blinked a couple of times, knowing what that meant. The countless hours and tinking back and re-knitting I've done on this have all been for naught. But I was desperate. I turned to Ravelry and started looking at all the patterns and immediately found one that I loved. Actually, I couldn't wait to cast it on. Apologies: I will have to look for the link when I get home later. But here's a little preview:

While my camera didn't like the red color in full sunlight, you can still tell that it's got the prettiest wavy lines and little sprinkles of beads throughout. A touch of glamour. Just like my Nana.
Anyway, I reasoned, who wants a gift that was knitted in strife? Isn't it better to have something stitched together with warm thoughts and joy? So, before you start thinking you will never get this shawl, my dear auntie (I know this is confusing...we call my aunt Nana), know that I have nearly caught up to the 40% mark already, which is where I left the last shawl to languish. And I'm having fun with this one, which means it'll be done faster. Well, that reason, and also because I got two hanks of laceweight cashmere in the mail last week for another project. I have promised myself not to cast it on until I've finished with Nana's shawl. And my fingers are just itching to get that cashmere working.
And just to keep it real, I'm moving that progress bar back a bit to honestly reflect where I am with this project.
Tonight is knitting night* and I expect to have a bit more of it done before I go to bed.

*Jessica? I don't know if you'll catch this in time, but since you live awfully close to me, I wanted to make sure you know you're welcome to come to knitting night and hang out - it's tonight and every last Friday of the month. Even if you don't knit. Honestly, some of the girls just come for the cookies. Or, if you want to learn, we love to teach the newbies. Post a comment with your phone number or something (I won't publish it) and I can give you directions if you want.

DAILY BLISS: a Marilyn Monroe moment - skirt in the wind - that (thankfully) nobody else saw


Mary said...

Sorry about the wonky shawl...but congratulations on the lovely new start. I hope you got a lot done last night. We had our Girls In Stitches night. I cut out a bunny...that's about it...but I sure enjoyed the visiting part.

Amy said...

OK, this did make me laugh. I hate that you frogged it but I understand, sometimes you just can't go back. And for what it's worth I think #2 is gorgeous!

Jessica said...

Ahhh, that sounds so fun! Thanks for the invite. Unfortunately, we already have plans. . . but I'll definitely come to the next one. I would love to learn. Possibly just watch everyone the first time though :)

60ish and Glad said...

I don't think the photo does the new shawl justice. It looks bulky in the photo and it is very lacey and nice in person.

claibornes corner said...

Oh my - I love the new shawl but I hate that mine caused you so much pain and worry. Some things are just like your Nana - a lttle wacky!!!! I can't wait and I'll be there in 2 weeks! I have to learn the "Fox Stole" Thank you so much for not giving up...NANA