Friday, April 13, 2007

Look Ma, No Stitches

It's not been a great 24 hours for the knitting efforts.

I've mostly being working on the basic garter stitch scarf Mk II which is coming along slowly but surely.

However, yesterday I got my new knitting book - Stitch 'n Bitch by Debbie Stoller - so I picked up my test piece to have a bit of an experimenty.

As the knitters in the audience will be aware, a piece that is just stocking stitch tends to curl in on itself, so I had the bright idea of doing a few rows of normal basic garter stitch before embarking on anything else. I could probably do garter stitch in my sleep by now.

This confidence may be the reason why the needles leapt from my hands, pulling several stitches off themselves, which promptly undid, due to me tightening my grip on the yarn as the needles dropped. I tried to kind of slide them back on but it just wasn't happening.

A few choice curses later, while I ripped the swatch apart, and I figured, hey, it was only a test piece, no biggie. So I cast on again to start trying to do what I was planning to do - some ribbing. Cast on, did some rows, rested, did some rows, showed it to Steve, who agreed it was coming out right. Marvellous. I thought about getting up to grab the camera and take a picture, but decided that instead I'd go to bed and then in the morning, try to make a square of it and then cast off.

Two rows into the morning, I'd somehow acquired an extra stitch (probably from not putting the wool to the front/to the back correctly) and was getting in one hell of a snarl-up where the yarn was unravelling and I think I must have shoved the needle through the yarn rather than through the stitch. I tried to undo it but with limited success, and just as I thought I'd got it, out plopped the right-hand needle again, taking the yarn with it.

This was the point at which I threw the needles.

I just don't get it. It's wrapping string around a stick, for pity's sake, how hard can it be? Also - how come I never stuffed up like this while doing the first scarf, the first casting on, the first zillion rows of garter stitch?

Anyway, I've cast on again, with the now rather battered blue wool, and I've done about eight rows of ribbing. Again. If it cocks up this time I'm going to cut the yarn and try again with a non-wibbly length. Or get stabby with the knitting needles, either's good.


erasmus (aka jiva) said...

cant go wrong? BWAHAHAHAHA no chance. I think I've ripped out nearly everything I've knitted at least once for a few rows. Lots of items I trash and completely start again with a new idea because I get frustrated including at least 3 scarves and 2 socks this year alone. Its all practice, and really the only way to practice. I only think it would be easier if there was someone to help pull it all back together. Sometimes I dread ripping back because it hurts loosing more complicated hours of work. Plus the more complicated it gets the more heart rending I find it because more hours and concentration have gone in to it. Although there is joy in ripping, its like knocking down a sand castle or a deck of cards.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I sympathise. Last year I was knitting like a trojan (OK, three things, but that's enough for me :-)) for my nephew-to-be.

One of the things I was doing was some cute baby shoes, in moss/seed stitch (like ribbing - alternates knit and purl - but first row starts with knit, second with purl and so on) on very fine needles.

All going swimmingly until I completed the second shoe. Which (you've guessed it) was 1cm larger, all round, than the first....

I did try to persuade by sister-in-law to have a good look on the scan to see if his feet were in fact different sizes, but fortunately Mum unpicked it for me (couldn't bear to do it myself!).

As for those sneaky extra stitches, I usually surreptitiously do a decrease and pretend it never happened. Unfortunately this only works with stuff you've have to sew together.

Mary said...

Thanks, girlies :)

You're right, there was a certain... I don't know... gleeful abandon? in ripping the pieces, kind of like running down a hill really fast.

I'm apprehensive about knitting baby stuff for any already-existing babies because, ok it's smaller, but then I'll be on a timescale. Like, if I'm going to knit a warm jumper for Pip's two-year-old Littlun, then it's best if Pip can tell me the school uniform colours of wherever he's planning to send the sprogling. Secondary school, that is.