Thursday, January 15, 2009
She's a Super Star
There are just some kids that are loved, no matter how much trouble they cause their parents. And there are some projects that turn out stellar, no matter how much cursing, muttering and bitter recriminations they inspire.
This was, by far, one of the most frustrating knits I've created in recent years.
Mistake #1 - using the magic loop method instead of buying a 16" circular needle in the right size or using dpns. The fact that I was working hard to control the tension of the floats on the reverse side of the fabric made tightening up the "seams" on each side tough.
Mistake #2 - using the wrong size stitch markers instead of buying or making smaller ones. Compounding the problem was the fact that they were open rings, which meant the yarn was constantly getting caught in various markers and pulling them out of the fabric.
Mistake #3 - not reading the pattern instructions closely enough and getting myself off on the decrease rounds right from the beginning. I was supposed to work 2 rounds of the pattern before doing a decrease round but I decreased right off the bat. That made my chart off by one stitch right from the beginning. Trust me, the idea of tinking back with this rather grippy, snarly yarn, over-sized open ring stitch markers and the magic loop method was not something I wanted to attempt. So I just forged ahead with the pattern, adapting the pattern as I went and being complete surrendered to the idea that this was just a "teaching" piece and it didn't matter how it looked when I was done.
Mistake #4 - attempting to perfect the two-handed Fair Isle knitting technique with all the above handicaps in place . . . and a Stupid Finger, to boot.
Mistake #5 - not stopping and taking measures to correct any one of the above mistakes in mid-stream and forcing myself to continue to the bitter end with all the moronic handicaps that I'd created for myself. Sometimes I can be just a tad too stubborn for my own good.
I hadn't looked too closely at the tam when I cast off. I wove in the million or so ends, sought a proper sized plate for blocking and finished stretching it out for steam blocking before really looking at the finished product.
It was a "WOW" moment. In spite of all the difficulties and awkwardness in knitting it, it turned out very pretty. The "seams" are not all that visible (a loose looking stitch here and there is all) and the float tension issues seemed to block out beautifully with a good burst of steam.
When Peeps saw it, she immediately fell in love with it and claimed it as her own - which is a good thing because it turned out pretty small. (Being the theatrical little lady she is, she couldn't resist hamming it up for the camera a little.)
Harley was even impressed.
Then again, maybe he just wanted me to pay attention to him, instead of staring, entranced at the wonder I had wrought.