My knitting ability seems to have taken a backwards leap lately. I never used to have to rip/frog my projects. But almost everything I pick up these days seems to need ripping back twice its amount in yarn before I end up with a finished object (FO). It’s very disconcerting.
After salivating over the very lovely colourwork being shared on Ravelry as a result of Ravelympic and Knitting Olympic endeavours, I decided very naughtily to start WIP no.4, and project no.3 of 10 in 2010. Even naughtier when the project is one of the ‘maybes’ and not on the official list. I was suffering from FO envy and my project folder was looking decidedly anaemic!
I started working on the Heritage Cardigan by Sharon Shoji from Interweave Knit’s Winter 2009 issue. It’s an easy chunky knit, and the colourwork is my favourite kind – stranded.
The pattern is a sideways knit. Ie., you start at one front, knit across the back, and then end at the other front. Each side has one panel of colourwork.
I was very pleased. After only seven hours of knitting time, I had got all the way across the back and was in the home stretch on the final front. Then disaster struck. It’s karmic vengeance for being so impatient, abandoning my other projects and wanting immediate FO gratification, I tell you!
After completing the final colourwork panel, I stepped back and examined my work with pride. Great tangled balls of wool! How did I manage to get the pattern wrong!? Cold sweat broke out across my forehead. It didn’t match the repeat order of the opposite panel! I wondered if anyone would notice. I seriously considered just carrying on and finishing it, for the joy of casting off. But I knew I couldn’t live with it like that. I want to wear it after all. And I’d hate myself for producing something shoddy. So I ripped it back, and started again.
I’ve now ripped it back THREE times. My humour is beginning to evaporate. Seems that working in reverse order and sideways (you work the right front mirroring the left front) can do weird things to one’s head. Like deciding:
1) to read the chart backwards (left to right when it should have been the other way).
2) confusedly, to start at the wrong point in the chart.
3) in total despair about one’s chart reading abilities, that it might just be safer to ignore the chart and follow the order of stitches on the physical left side, as it was exactly the same, just in reverse. So she reads it from the bottom end of the garment and not the top as she was meant to, repeating mistake no.1.
Then I looked at the armhole edge and realised I had one too many rows of white, which would make the fronts uneven in width. How did I manage that!? Aaaargh!!
I’m now on to the FOURTH or is it fifth?? attempt, and this time, I’d better have it right. She says, anxiously checking each row against the other side and against the chart to make sure.
On a happy note, I am very pleased with the yarn I have chosen – Little Wool Co.’s 100% naturals in 12 ply. The colours look very lovely together. The dark chocolate is so dark and so stunning against the creamy white. And the yarn has been very patient with all my ripping. In fact, it has softened but kept its structure, and not pilled or frayed at all – boding well for how it will behave once blocked and worn. This will be one very snuggly and hard-wearing vest after it’s done!
So maybe, after a wee bit more concentrated effort(!), I may just be able to finish this in time for the weekend?