Friday, November 14, 2008

All Thumbs

Last night I got up to the thumb gusset on my cashmere arm cozy! Unfortunately, there have been problems... I am converting the pattern from being knitted flat into knitting in the round. This is the first time I have done this and I have had many, many, many problems. It's definitely been a learning process.

Anyhow, in the original pattern there is a selvage stitch on both sides, which I eliminated for knitting in the round. I also spaced out my wrist decreases into a gusset-like decrease instead of having all the decreased rib columns converge in the center. This completely messed up my counting for where to start the thumb gusset. I correctly did the math to compensate for the decreases but I neglected to factor in the missing selvage stitch! D'oh! The pattern says to start the gusset 18 stitches into the row. I figured out it needed to be 28 stitches in with my mods. That has me starting the gusset in the middle of a rib, but I was watching DS9 and didn't put the thought into it that I should have. So, I knitted along until my gusset had expanded from two stitches to 8 stitches when I realized something funky was going on and that I needed to shift the whole thing so that it started at 27 stitches in, between ribs. I didn't want to frog back 16 rows, so I decided to just drop all of the stitches in that portion and draw them up with a crochet hook. (BTW, recreating a K F&B with a crochet hook is a challenge I was very proud to conquer!) This fix probably took me longer to do that it would have if I had just frogged back, but it's always hard to predict that kind of thing in advance.

So, I knitted along until I had 13 stitches in my gusset. Frak. It's supposed to be an even number. I scanned down and saw clear as day that I had randomly knit into the front and back of the stitch in the middle of the gusset! Something really exciting must have been happening on the TV for me to make such a stupid mistake! So... not learning my lesson from the previous evening, I again dropped the offending stitches and pulled them up with the crochet hook. Unfortunately, taking that extra stitch just left too much slack and the stitches were way too loose. Part of me was tempted to just say "good enough" and forge on, but I always get mad at myself when I do that and end up with a FO has such an obvious flaw in it. This time I just frogged back the whole damn thing to the start of the gusset and started over. So, after probably 5 hours of messing with everything, I'm now back to right where I started. C'est la vie, I suppose. Just think what a breeze the left cozy is going to be now that I've made every possible mistake on the right one!

I've been making a lot of really dumb mistakes in my knitting the past several months. I think every project I've got on the needles right now has involved massive frogging at least twice. I've been an emotional wreck since July, I guess it's not surprising I can't focus. Maybe if I make more of an effort to really focus on my knitting it will rub off onto other areas of my life? My professors sure would appreciate that. It's settled. I must knit excessively in order to improve my studies. What a lovely epiphany!

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