Sunday, June 13, 2010

And at the same time...

At this point in my knitting career, there are certain things I have learned and expect myself to remember and apply. Things like "knit a swatch." We all know that gauge lies, but failing to even make the effort is just throwing it in the face of the Knitting Goddess.

And "being careful not to twist." Unless you enjoy casting an entire sweater body's worth of stitches onto a circular needle and working four or so rounds before you discover that you have invented a wholly new--and probably impossible--geometric construct.

Oh, and "make a copy of your pattern" is always good to remember. I learned that one when I dropped my knitting magazine in the pool while we were on vacation, halfway through that complex lace sweater I was working on. Blowing a soggy magazine with a hair dryer for an hour does not guarantee a legible pattern at the end.

But by far the one that has burned me the most often--and the most viciously--is "and at the same time." You know what I mean: you're knitting along steadily, following the charts for cables or lace or colorwork, and all of a sudden you turn the page and read "and at the same time" and you feel all the blood drain out of your head as you learn that you should have started the decreases for the body 70 rows ago. And for a minute you wonder if anyone will notice that the fitted sweater you were knitting has morphed into a football jersey and that there is no left armhole.

We all know that you are supposed to read the pattern through from beginning to end to prevent this sort of thing from happening. In theory, at least, you will remember while you are knitting that there are some other things that are supposed to happen along the way--preferably before you knit those 70 rows that you're going to have to rip out. In my case, reality seldom conforms to theory, and so I have learned not only to read ahead, but to highlight the words "and at the same time" every time I come across them...even when I'm reading a book or newspaper, because you can just never be too careful.

So I am at a loss to explain how I could have forgotten, in working the right front of Spicy Tweed, that there is waist shaping that is supposed to be worked "at the same time." This failure is rendered more inexplicable by the fact that I had already worked this very same waist shaping on the back and the left front. But I never cease to amaze myself with my own ingenuity in finding ways to screw up my knitting. And so, gentle reader, instead of showing you two half-completed fronts of Spicy Tweed, I am showing you...nothing. You will have to take my word for it that I have been knitting diligently toward completing my WIP Cup project. I even knitted in the car today on the way to and from Julian with the kids fighting in the back seat and a hefty dog sitting in my lap. (The KH was driving. I'm a multi-tasker, but not quite that multi.)

Alas, tonight I will be ripping out all that knitting so that I can re-knit the waist shaping "at the same time."

Someone pass the chocolate and wine.


Unknown said...

You're supposed to read the whole pattern through first? Whoops. The root of all my problems? Perhaps.

Kristen Rettig said...

"and at the same time..." Arggh, the worst words ever, I never see it until way too late.

sophanne said...

Switch to smaller/larger needles is a good one too.

Jean Baardsen said...

It's because you're doing this sweater for the WIP Cup project. Probably wouldn't have happened otherwise....

Patty said...

I'm 'ARGGHHHHing' for you. I feel your pain. I wish I could throw you some chocolate...but I ate it already!

Knitting Diva said...

Please don't beat yourself up too badly. We have all had such "sad" knitting experiences. In the end,your sweater will still be beautiful.

Renee said...

..oh, I hate that! Do it myself far too often...

Strickmuse said...

Funny - I am sure it has happened to most of us.

MelRedcap said...

I have problems with a lot of patterns, so I have a tendency to go through and rewrite any "and at the same time" bits for my own use! E.G. if I'm supposed to decrease every 3rd row on one edge and every 4th row on the other, I write down:

rows 1-2 work as set
row 3 dec on L edge
row 4 dec on R edge
row 5 work as set
row 6 sec on L edge
row 7 work as set
row 8 dec on R edge
row 9 dec on L edge
rows 10-11 work as set
row 12 dec on L and R edge

...and so on :)