Monday, October 5, 2009


I intended to make a grand post about my vacation and all the places I knitted, with a grand finale of my finished Yellowstone shawl and - well. Circumstances maddeningly beyond my control have made it so that I won't be able to do that for a while.

So now we will simply say that vacation is wonderful, I love my shawl, and coming back to earth has been a process. I was fine the first couple of days, and then some kind of lag seemed to set in and I was tired all the time. Also, I have had really strange dreams ever since I got back.

But, the worst thing has been that I have had some kind of wierd knitting malaise going on. I'm satisfied with none of my projects. I thought I knew the answer to this problem - obviously, I need a new project. So I cast on for Hanami (since I found the charts for Flamenco, but not the actual directions).

It didn't work. I'm not interested in knitting any of it. I'm restless and annoyed because I want to be knitting, I just...don't want to be knitting any of the stuff I have. I worked on the Moody Blues sock some, and that was okay, except that when last I left it, I had either made some type of mistake or dropped stitches or something, and so my stitches were all wonky on the needles. I thought I fixed it and I worked merrily up the heel flap at a speed that was astonishing (when you have been working endless rows for months, anything shorter than 500 stitches feels like it flies) and then I went to turn the heel and - it didn't work. I was puzzled, because I really thought I had the heel turn formula memorized, but it totally wasn't working. I consulted More Sensational Knitted socks. Still didn't work. Decided there was something different about those directions and initiated a search for Sensational Knitted Socks, which was finally located under the couch. Directions still didn't work. Bitched and complained and fumed and finally realized - I'm an idiot. I had 32 stitches in my heel flap, which is correct - for MY socks. For the SO's socks, I use a 72-stitch cast-on which works out to a 36-stitch heel. When I tried to do the heel turn for the 36-stitch heel on my 32-stitch heel flap, it didn't work out too well. Apparently whatever mistake I had made before unbalanced the number of stitches on my two circulars so that I had 40 stitches on one needle and 32 on the other, instead of 36 stitches on both. Curses.

So I reknit the heel flap and turned the heel and got to the foot of the sock and complained because it was BORING. I, who have been happily knitting fifteen miles of garter stitch for the past two months, was bored with this plain stockinette sock. All my options seemed equally boring. I had the collar featherweight cardigan which would be a 1x1 rib, which wasn't much better than stockinette (I did knit some on it just to be sure) and I had Veronique which is plain stockinette and I had the three-scarf ruana which was plain stockinette and WHEN DID I BECOME SUCH A BORING KNITTER, Y'ALL?

I have finally come up with several reasons why I have not been able to get back into my knitting:

1. It's all stockinette or equivalent. While this did not bother me when work was a living hell or while my mind was being otherwise stimulated on vacation, it's become a problem now that work is slow and I am just sitting at home watching reruns of mythbusters or vacation-nostalgic shows such as "The Yellowstone Bison."

2. It's all lightweight yarn. While that was great for the summer, we're coming into autumn and there is a bit of a chill coming into the air now and then, and I think this is why the lightweight options are feeling so unsatisfactory to me right now. While I have knit lace in the wintertime before, it was wooly lace, and what I have now is mostly silk blends. The boring sock has been the most satisfactory thing to knit out of all my stockinette options because it is wool.
So, obviously, what I need to do is cast on a heavier-weight, more autumny project, right! So I went to ravelry and I poked and thought and hmmed and then thought of some patterns totally unrelated to what I was working on. I got out some of the VY Colrain* I bought before we left on vacation and I was ALL SET to cast on the braided pullover from Interweave Knits when I discovered that - I had no size 6 needles free. CURSES. On top of that, the shortest cable I had available was a 40". WHY DOST THOU MOCK ME SO, CRUEL FATE?

I ran to ravelry to check my projects and see what I could possibly have on my size 6 needles and - it's the collar to the Eris pullover. I had actually attempted to pick this project up already, but I couldn't figure out where I was in the cable chart, because I am an idiot who thinks she is smart, so I didn't mark my spot. I can only assume I didn't mark my spot because I had just knit one of the rows after which you are supposed to place a marker, so I must have thought I could just pick it back up with no problem. When I actually went to pick it up, though, my rows didn't match up and I was really confused, and I was afraid I had made a mistake and was going to have to tink back. I put it back down and went to the sock instead. When I couldn't cast on the braided pullover because the collar wasn't finished, I went and looked at it again, and I found that I had TWO markers on the collar instead of just one, meaning that I was at the second point at which I was supposed to place a marker, not the first. So I felt stupid all over again and went to do the next chart. I made really good progress and found that this project was exactly what I needed, just challenging enough and just seasonal enough - and then for some unknown reason, I went back and checked the instructions (I guess to see how many more charts I had to go through) and found that I had actually been knitting...the wrong chart, woe. Seeing that I was done with Chart C, I just went trucking right on through Chart D, when actually for the size of sweater I was knitting, I was supposed to go from Chart C to Chart F.

Ever hopeful, I compared chart D and chart F to see if maybe I didn't have to pull out EVERYTHING I had just done, no avail. They are different from the very first row. I pulled the needles out and frogged back to the marker which indicated the end of Chart C. I was able to get far enough into F to use up all the yarn from the frogged section, and then some...which is mildly annoying, because given how much progress I made, I'm pretty sure I could have come close to finishing that side of the collar if I hadn't made the mistake. Oh well, such is life. The important thing is, I have found a project that will work for me and I am no longer down in the knitting dumps.
I do think I'm going to buy another set of no. 6 needle tips, though. One likes to be prepared.

*To follow up on an earlier post, I did go measure the guage of the actual sweater, and came up with 18 stitches and 27 rows per 4 inches. Clealry, my swatch was flawed.

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