Saturday, September 22, 2012

Futility and the cure

I have been knitting like gangbusters lately, and despite a very poorly written pattern, I've completed one shawl that gave me fits.  I'm still so annoyed by it, I haven't been able to do more than cast off and throw it in a pile.  I hate it, though I'm almost certain that given a fair amount vicious manipulation with blocking wires, pins and moisture, it'll all work out just fine.  First I have to get past the hard feelings.  The pattern was going well until I got to the lace decreases, where it all came apart.  None of the numbers added up and none of the lace decreases were on the chart. Significant fudging was involved in the end.  Why I didn't just rip the damn thing out when I butted up against the errors is beyond me, but I persevered, did the clever short row shaping--which looks a little cockeyed to me--and finally cast off last week.  Yeah, hate is likely a mild verb to describe how I really feel about this pattern and the heap of lace sitting in the corner.

There will be no linking to that pattern from hell.

You're welcome.

Moving right along, I cast on The Yarn Harlot's Cloisone√© mittens.  I've owned the pattern since she first published, but until now I had not made them.  I have an enormous amount of colorful worsted weight yarn ends though (which is perfect for these) and thought the time right for something simple.  Except in my post-shawl mental state, it wasn't.  Simple.  The color work technique with this pattern was new to me, and my first attempt looked ridiculous, but I persevered with that, too.  Who would think that K4B meant to knit only one stitch into the 4th stitch below and not to knit 4 stitches in a row like that?  Only someone who had just finished FIGHTING with a poorly written pattern, that's who. I ripped out my first attempt, accepted there would be a learning curve and cast back on.  Things went much smoother the second time. When I finally reached a point I could try the fledgling mitten on, I realized I was off on gauge.  Really off.  At that rate, had I kept going, those mittens would have fit Andre the Giant. I ripped the second attempt out and cast back on again using smaller needles and I'm happy to report, third time's a charm.  This, no surprise here considering the source, is a superbly written pattern as long as you don't read too much into what you see on the page.  No need, really.

Knitting these mittens from this pattern is like a soothing balm after the battle of the shawl.  Now that I've got the hang of things, they're so much fun to make.  I hope all of my friends and relatives will be happy with their Christmas gifts this year.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

gosh i wish i could do that! they are beautiful! maybe i'll take some lessons this winter!

smiles, bee

The Bug said...

Ooh pretty! Sorry for the nightmare shawl. I sent my nightmare (giant red hat) to the UK where the recipient made people where it for pictures while she was at the Olympics :)

Stephanie V said...

They are so pretty. When you said they were too big, I was imagining how it might look felted.

The shawl sounds like it would put a lesser woman off knitting forever. It'll be lovely when it's blocked. Viciously.

Brenda said...

I am glad to hear I am not the only one who gets frustrated with something I actually love to do. I love the mittens. I have been making a few baby cocoons for my daughter's photography. We still need a baby to put them in so I see how they will look.

Rose said...

I've had that pattern for awhile too, but have yet to try it out. I'll let you do the interpretation for me :)

Gail said...

I love that color combination.

I fear I could not stick to it as well as you do.

Give me a crochet hook and I'll give it a shot. My favorite job growing up was working the old scraps sewn into one long string.
Then I would make rugs with that. Little did I know I was doing crochet.

I like big pieces to do myself like simple scarves, shawls, afghans but I absolutely adore doilies and cannot see the tiny thread and needle.

Rositta said...

I hate poorly written patterns and currently struggling with one myself. It's a cardigan and I've ripped back both fronts twice each. I am perservering because I am stubborn. It took me a while to figure out K4B as well by the way. It's a pretty pattern though. I keep wanting to try it on a cardigan border. Too bad about your lace. Block it and you may get a surprise...ciao

Loopylou said...

I hate that feeling when you've spent so much time making something. Hopefully, the mittens will be a soothing balm

sapphireblue said...

I'm sorry you had such a rough time with that shawl pattern.

I like that mitten pattern. I do like the colorwork on the cuff. It's a nice accent, so the rest of the pattern can be simple without looking too simple.

laurie said...

it is hilarious to me that you find that mitten pattern to be simple. hilarious. your skills know no bounds. even the shawl.

SkippyMom said...

I have been in a couple of different stores this week, eyeing a couple of different aisles of fabulous yarn and wondering about you, Sapph and Yart - and what your current projects are. These are really nice looking. Love the knobby wrists. And the color combination is special. So much fun when you can do it yourself, isn't it?

I read the title [at first] as FRuitility and the cure" - and I thought utility fruit? Huh? giggle

I think I need dinner and bed. All this gorgeous weather is affecting my brain.

BTW - Veriest of happy birthdays. I cannot believe you are 60. I look at you and think your my age. You look amazing and act so young! Hope it was great - and I also didn't realize we were born so close together. :)

Knitty said...

Hmmmm, I think Skippy has been sniffing the psychedelic yarn and began her reply to you and morphed into birthday wishes for me. If I recall, you (Rudee) are a mere child in comparison. ;-)

Perhaps you should share the shawl pattern's name so that one of us doesn't make the same mistake. The knitting group leader at my LYS has made entrelac mittens in Noro and in the Plymouth yarn that looks similar but isn't so bulky. While both pairs fit, the Noro pair looks huge. I like entrelac but I'm not convinced I really like the pattern (at least not this particular one) very much.