Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Famous Last Words

Last Wednesday, I was planning on casting on 44 stitches on my trusty 10.5 US needles, work a few inches, check my gauge, and forge ahead on the right front should the gauge be appropriate and the fabric be acceptable.

It was, and I did. I forged so valiantly that before the weekend had arrived, I was working away on the back of the Spinnery Jacket. Being the good knitter I am, I decided to check my gauge on the back after a few inches, because one's gauge may change when working on larger pieces, in different situations, etc. The gauge was 15 sts/4", and not the 16" it was supposed to be.

I looked hard at the back, and remeasured. Same incorrect gauge. I looked over at the right front (the right front that I'd cast on for 3 times - barely begun once, almost finished once, and finished once) and it sat there quietly. Too quietly. I measured the gauge on it once more. Yes, I've not learned my lesson that remeasuring gauges doesn't cause them to change. There's a reason for that ... sometimes, they DO! Lo and behold, the right front had a gauge of 15 sts/4".

I made a face at my knitting, pulled out my poor neglected size 10 needles, and continued working on the back. The first 2 inches are knit on a different size needle, true. But the cardigan isn't going to the State Fair (even if it were technically perfect, there's not a lot of technicality in it to execute perfectly, especially compared to an Aran, which would be in the same category) and the county fair has a judging system that's beyond my ken, and besides ... I have hips, and thus unwittingly used a larger needle to provide more room for the jacket to sit nicely. As I worked on the back, I thought about the right front. Paul had a thorn in the flesh. I had a right front. Unlike Paul, I did not pray for deliverance from my thorn. I connected one end of it to a ball winder (after finishing the back), and cranked away. Then, immediately, before I could get started on the left front, I reknit the right front on size 10 needles. I thought about using 10.5 for the first 2 inches, but decided not to.

And then, the right front was FINISHED!

Or so I thought. I cast on for the left front yesterday en route to the movie Amazing Grace (grand movie, by the way!) and had about 8 inches finished when the movie was over. Tonight, I finished the left front. As I compared the two front pieces, I noticed something.

No, I did not notice I'd made two identical pieces. I watched out for that error Very Carefully. Previous events had conspired just enough to make me think that a very real possibility, so I guarded against it assiduously. I made sure that the neck shaping was not on the same side of the piece as the armhole shaping, and kept checking just in case one or the other of the shapings decided to move.

What I did notice was that I had somehow - I have no idea how - managed to do the shoulder shaping backwards on the right front. I'd made the armhole edge higher than the neck edge. It boggles the mind how it happened. It was an easy fix, though ... remove improvised stitch holder (sock yarn), rip, pick up, reknit with the short row in the correct place, and voila ... ready to join to the back.

I've only used 3 skeins of Peace Fleece so far, which means I should have enough. If the entire body takes 3 skeins, surely the sleeves/collar/button bands will take less than 4?

March de-stashing project is complete, and served to counteract the yarn acquisition which took place on Thursday when we visited not one, but TWO yarn stores in the cities. One store to return extras from the Lady Eleanor stole (two knitting books bought), and one store to get a skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot to replace the skein with a split dyelot personality. I choose Steelhead, which will be jumping on my sock needles as soon as I finish the Tofutsie pair ahead of them in the queue.

Does it count as my stash reduction project if my daughter makes mittens from my stash?

The great thing is, if one can stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions in one's "own" or "real" life. The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one's life.
~ C. S. Lewis

1 comment:

Pensguys said...

Oh MY! I don't know if I would have had the patience...but I'm getting better at it. I try to look at the bright side....I get to knit more. :)

Can't wait to see it.