One stitch. That’s all it took. One danged stitch.
I’ve knitted my entire life. I believe I even taught a few people along the way.
I stopped for a few years.
Quite a few years.
Like thirty years and three countries.
And as we all know, nothing stays the same. Even knitting.
So when I got itchy fingers and decided to knit again, it was more than a shock. It was a dilemma. A disaster. A catastrophe.
Needles were sized differently. US sizing makes more sense, I admit.
Terminology was different. Were we speaking the same language here?
There were more kinds of yarn than I thought possible. What happened to only 4-ply, double knit and chunky? And what the heck was bamboo and linen and denim and more?
Round needles? Really? Until I realized what a Godsend they were as I couldn’t possibly lose one between the sofa cushions never to be found again.
Back to knitting school I went, tra-la-tra-la-tra-la.
YouTube didn’t help much as in most of the videos the kind ladies knitted the “Continental” way while I knit the “English” way. It does make a difference if you are trying to learn something.
But persevere I did and spent many happy hours clicking and clacking away. (Still prefer stainless needles.)
Now my favorite kind of knitting is delicate lace. The more intricate the pattern, needing concentration and quiet (aka being alone), the better. And when I do lace knitting I always write out the pattern by hand as well. In an “easy to read” format. In other words, written out the way my brain works.
Oh yes, I don’t like knitting from graph patterns. It smacks of technology.
But knitting once again took a hiatus this past year when the writing/blogging thing took off. It never lurked too far below the surface as I continued to subscribe to some knitting websites.
No surprise thus when a cute project of a red scarf with silver beads caught my eye and was duly ordered.
I’d never worked with beads before. YouTube was no help but my Captain mastered the know-how of the “threading method” and I was off and knitting.
Six rows. The “not so difficult” lace pattern comprised six rows.
To be repeated until the scarf measured forty inches.
Anybody with any sense who has ever knitted lace knows the cardinal rule.
DON’T FORGET YOUR LIFELINE!
And all that means is that while all is still going well, no dropped stitches or lost “yarn overs” or worse,
“you thread a length of different colored yarn through a correct row of stitches.”
Thus, if a little while later:
you notice you have more stitches or less stitches than you should;
that the gaps and yo (yarn over);
that the skpsso (slip knit pass slip stitch over);
that the k2togtbl (knit two together through back of loops) etc.
weren’t where they were supposed to be, you only need pull out (or knit back) up to the lifeline. The last correct row you can identify. Not right to the start.
Obviously, you should have lifelines every couple of inches or so while the going is good
Anyone that’s ever had to pull out lace knitting is shaking their head in agreement.
But there I was. Knitting in company (how difficult can it be to listen and talk and concentrate on only six rows.) Also, no lifeline.
It took about two inches before I realized something was wrong.
Let’s drop a curtain over the fact that I pulled out and re-knitted six times before I waited until –
I was alone;
It was quiet;
Before I tackled the scarf once again.
Stitch by stitch. Row by row. There is absolutely NO room for error with lace.
The pattern? Yes, patterns can be wrong.
No. Sad to say, human error.
In Row One, two stitches from the end of the row.
I’d been making the same mistake over and over again.
I fixed it; wrote it out, threaded a lifeline and it’s at my feet waiting for tonight.
Okay, lesson time. There’s always a lesson, remember.
When you’ve tried and tried and tried. Advice from well-meaning friends. Demands from work and family and more. And no matter what you do over and over again, it remains a mess. Ring a Rosie without end.
Go where it is quiet.
Reach for your lifeline. Whatever that may be. Whatever helps you at that time.
Cyber hugs and blessings all.