Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sweater - 1, MeBeth - 0

I decided to start a blog today because my knitting experiences were so traumatic that they could only be understood by fellow enthusiasts, and I needed to share.

I joined the Union Square KAL just a week ago, and my yarn has been less than gauge-friendly, to say the least. It looked like I was going to have to use size 000 to get even remotely close to the suggested gauge with my chosen yarn, and I wasn’t ready to abandon the alpaca. I decided it was time for some numbers….

I spent the entire morning swatching away diligently, doing all sorts of complicated math to be discussed at a later date, if necessary. Finally, finally, I determined that I should cast on 166 and divide the pattern numbers by 2/3 to get something that fit. The hellish waste yarn cast on made no sense to me, the last few stitches constantly slipping off the needle and necessitating endless recounting. I cursed the yarn, the needles, the latest poncho-heavy issue of IK, convinced that demonic possession was behind all of this. I offered up a sacrifice to the knitting spirits in the form of a Stella Artois, slowly and reverently consumed.

I joined (without twisting!) and knit around the first two looong rows. Things were humming along smoothly when something struck me as a bit odd. I remembered Deb mentioning that using fewer stitches would certainly make things go faster, yet each round was agonizingly slow. I took a look at my six stitch markers (carefully placed every 50 stitches, with 16 between the last two). Hmmmm…five times 50 plus 16…I had cast on 266 stitches, not 166.

I sincerely contemplated just continuing on, thinking about how my father might look rather fetching in a Union Square Market Pullover. After all, the colors were fairly masculine and maybe with some wooden buttons he could pull it off? Common sense and daughterly compassion prevailed and I frogged the whole mess, including satan’s favorite cast on.

Undaunted, I resolved to begin again. I thought perhaps another sacrifice was in order but when I opened up the fridge there was nary a Stella to be found. Curses! In an unprecedented move I dug into the secret whiskey stash. Secret only because we have very little kitchen space and it has to be stored behind the food processor and next to the never-been-used Belgian waffle iron, so if one were searching for libations it would be difficult to unearth. Unfortunately the freezer had been left open (please let the delicious jalapeno sausages be ok) so the ice was melty and uncooperative. Then I cut my hand on the ice tray. I did not take this as an omen to avoid the drink, but rather a sign to cut out knitting for the night and start fresh tomorrow.

1 comment:

--Deb said...

Oh dear, 266 stitches?? I feel your pain! I didn't mention that, not only had my gauge changed yet again, but that I'd twisted the stitches when I joined my round, too . . . although, that's actually salvagable. Did you know? You drop the stitch at the join, drop it down to the beginning, untwist the knitting and then pick up the stitches again. It leaves the tiniest twist at the cast-on, but really, that's such a minor thing compared to reknitting the entire . . . well, really, does that even matter? I have to reknit everything again, anyway!