Monday, February 21, 2011

Fudge

As usual, business first, fun second. I have been working along on Taygete and let me tell you, it has become clear that she does not love me as much as I love her. If I were the Yarn Harlot I would have a bunch of pictures to go along with my tales of woe - pictures of piles of spaghetti yarn, pics that show how high I soared, and then how low I was forced to go. But I am not the YH and I do not have the self-control to stop in the middle of my agony to document it through photography, so my tale of woe is entirely text based, up until the happy - well, middle. It might be nearer the ending if there was less woe.

As you recall, I made a happy start on Taygete last Monday when it was announced, and though work and life interfered and slowed my progress to a stall. I was full of happiness and enthusiasm, for what I would do with this wonderful, wonderful shawl.

I was slightly confused, however, because the pattern uses YO increases on contrasting colors for the shaping, and Romi's instructions for what to do at the end of this triangle contain the following:
Note: loops formed along the shaped edge of the shawl will be in MC, although the YOs have been worked in CC. The loops do not fall directly below MC rows.

My loops were clearly in my contrast color, but for some reason, I paid no attention and kept on going.

Then someone made a post on the forum that stopped me in my tracks. I didn't think much about that actual post, but it led to a discussion that revealed to me that despite the fact that Romi's instructions very clearly say to knit the first CC row and then increase on the second CC row - I had been doing exactly the opposite. Therefore, my YO increases were on the wrong side of the shawl.

Now, I am sure there was a way around this. I am sure that this situation could be fudged. There is only one problem.

I do not fudge. A fudged shawl is a shawl I will not wear, or even look at. A fudged shawl fills me with the rage of a thousand suns. I do not fudge. I frog.

And frog I did. The shawl starts at only a few stitches, and I had increased up into the mid-40's, but I frogged it anyway. I was pretty good humored about it. I had no one to blame but myself. It's simple garter stitch anyway, no big deal. I discovered this on Friday, so I had all day Saturday to make up ground. I'd be past that spot in no time, right?

So I knit merrily along and I was doing really well, back up into the low 40s. I was quite satisfied with myself, it wasn't even noon yet, and I was thinking about putting Taygete down when I got back to where I had been, and spending some time on the sadly neglected Fiori, when someone else posted a question to the Rav forum about the number of stripes v. the number of stitches you should have on the needles at any given time. Seemed like an easy thing to figure out, so I did the math. Already embarrassed by my previous foible, I went back to count my stripes and make sure that the answer I was giving her was correct and there, way down at the tip of my shawl, I saw - two sets of CC ridges in a row. My CC and my MC are so similar in this shawl that I have gotten confused a couple of times, but I thought I had already caught them all. Not so. I frogged again (this time with less laughter and more grumbling). This took me back down into the low twenties.

I knit like a woman obsessed, determined that this simple little garter stitch shawl was not going to beat me, not going to be the boss of me. I knit and I knit and I knit and I finally got back up to where I had been. Then I had dinner, took a break to block Sevillano (more on that in a moment), and sat back down, thinking I might be able to make it to the center point of the shawl before bedtime.

This proved to be a slightly ambitious goal. I had just decided to give in for the night when I stopped and counted my stitches and my stripes. Then I counted again. Then I gave them to my boyfriend and made him count. There was no escaping the sad mathematical truth. I had one too many stitches on the needles.

Absolutely floored, I stopped and looked at the shawl, desperately seeking the traitorous little yarnover that must have slipped in there somewhere, wondering if it was somewhere where I could just drop it or if I was going to have to frog back again. And there was...nothing. absolutely nothing. I could see no stitch out of place. Everything looked fine. Nothing stuck out. I couldn't find anything. Finally, waaaaay down the shawl, about the length of my hand up from the tip (the entire shawl being about the length of my forearm at this point and wider than the length of my hand), I saw a little jog, just a teeny little kick out in the previously straight line that was the non-increase side of the shawl. I felt a sinking in my stomach. I was sure that was it. I inspected the stitches and the row closely and came up with nothing. I couldn't figure it out. I couldn't see the extra stitch.

I went to bed. A few hours later, I got up and I went downstairs and I picked it up and looked at it again, and there, in the dark of the night, I made a decision.

I will fudge.

This shawl's construction makes it very important that you have the right number of rows. The right number of stitches isn't that important. I decided to continue, since there was no problem with my rows, and somewhere on the other side of the shawl I will just randomly decrease an extra stitch. The little jog from the addition/subtraction of the extra stitch will not be noticeable in the finished, blocked product (and probably really isn't noticeable now, except to me and the people I keep obsessively pointing it out to, and let's face it - they don't care). I mean, really - can you see it?

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It's on the right hand edge of the shawl. I'm sure you can, now that I've said something about it, but otherwise, you totally wouldn't know. (Lie to me people. I'm a woman on the edge.)

I think part of the reason I'm having issues with this shawl is that the colors I picked match a little too well. Though they are distinctly different when separate, there is pink in the purple and purple in the pink, and as you can see from the picture below, there are times when they stand out significantly, and times when they blur together. I've decided I like the effect, though, it looks kind of antiqued. Not as graphic as the people who are doing more solid, heavier contrasting colors, but I've always been a low-contrast kind of person (I present as evidence - just about every beaded item I've ever knit).

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It's very humbling to get my butt kicked by this simple little garter stitch shawl that I should be able to knit in my sleep. Fortunately, I now have this to remind me that I do not actually suck at knitting.

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Pattern is, of course, Sevillano from Romi's pins and lace club - now available to the public for purchase!. Yarn is Schaefer Andrea in colorway Barbara McClintock. This was a match made in heaven - couldn't have been more perfect! I did two extra repeats of Chart D and had about 26 g of the yarn left over.

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