This is the blog post I wrote before my week went completely to hell. It is now a little out of date. Since writing it, I have finished the cats paw pattern and I got as far as the first few rows of wing before my brain melted so badly I could do nothing but garter stitch. Also, I wonder, if I had given into my initial impulse and gone to sock summit, would I have been spared this week, or was it so bad I would have had to call off the trip, adding another layer of bitterness on top of it all?
I have been knitting like crazy on Swan Lake, trying to power through the cat's paw pattern that goes across the back of the stole. I got through most of Charts E and F this weekend. I didn't want to get bogged down in this section (I get bored with repetitive patterns no matter how pretty they are) so my plan was to powerknit through it as quickly as I could before I had time to get bored. I was hoping to totally finish over the weekend, but I got distracted with some other things and I didn't quite finish. I think I'm something like 15 (right side) rows away from the end of the chart. Then, I get to start the wing. Intellectually, I understand that I have a lot of work left to do. Psychologically, I feel that I am almost done and I'm already casting an eye on other projects. I am pretty well settled that Flamenco is going to hop on the needles the second Swan Lake comes off.
In a fit of recklessness, where I hardly even knew what I was doing, I cast on and started the cabled collar for Eris. I don't know why I did this when I have plenty of other stuff that is not yet finished. Worse, I have so much that is NEARLY finished. I am only about half an inch of ribbing away from finishing the body of my featherweight cardigan. I gave up Swan Lake time to work on the collar. Also, I had forgotten...cable charts are HARD. By which I mean, they are hard for me right now. I had the same problem when I knit Shedir a while back - I just couldn't make the symbols make sense to me. About 3/4's of the way through the hat, I finally understood what the charts visually represented, and was able to do the cables without checking the key every time I came to one. I'm back in the same boat with Eris. The reason that it's difficult is that I can't interpret the chart symbol - I can look at them and see that the end result is supposed to be right-crossing or left-crossing, but beyond that I'm totally stumped, and I'm having to look at the chart key every time I come to a cable or twist symbol. This makes for pretty intense and concentrated knitting. I'm not really sure I'm happy with how it's coming out, somehow my stuff looks a little...pinchy, in places, but the stuff near the beginning looks less pinchy now than it did before there was space, so that's okay. I'm also not THAT familiar with short rows so that has also been an adventure. I knit through chart A and the first page of Chart B, and then I had to stop. I'm a little discouraged, but not too much. I have hope that if I keep going, it will make sense eventually. I had been thinking that maybe I could get through the collar and get the sweater to the mindless knitting stage, that it would be great to knit in the car while we are in Yellowstone next month, but I'm thinking that may not be realistic.
The house is still a mess, work is still crazy, and my knitting is the only thing holding me back from the edge. I fervently pray that I do not go home and find out that I made a horrendous, glaring mistake eight thousand cat's paws ago.
In the meantime, I have occupied myself with some other pursuits...mostly trying to get in the mood for the Yellowstone vacation next month. Looking for music, books, etc. I bought a new notebook. I was just going to use one I had, but I had a bad day so I went and got a new one instead. I used to spend a lot of time looking at blank books in bookstores, different journals and things that they had. I was less than impressed with the selection this time around, to be honest.
I am really bummed watching all the Sock Summit stuff go by without me, but I have found some consolation in the fact that Nancy Bush is coming to teach classes at my LYS. As a rule, I don't go to knitting classes. Beyond the initial lesson of learning to knit, which I got from a friend for free complete with yarn and needles to get me started, I haven't needed a class. I've been able to figure out what I needed to know by following instructions and using YouTube videos. But, this time, I may go ahead and take the class. Even though classes are expensive (I understand why they are, but that doesn't stop me from cringing), and I could probably figure out what I need to know on my own...sometimes you just have to go and bask in the presence of the master.