Good Intentions vs. The Plague
Despite all my good intentions, I haven't blogged for a while. I have had The Plague for over three weeks -- don't ask. But I think I am finally getting better.
My camera is still dead (as is Generalissimo Francisco Franco), so still no pictures. They would be a sorry sight if I had any.
Maybe it was starting the sock when I was coming down with The Plague. Or maybe it was sheer air-headedness. At any rate, I knit a whole toe-up sock with the exception of the Afterthought Heel I was going to put in, and found it was too small. I swear, I tried it on multiple times as I was knitting it, and I thought it was firm, but not tight. (Something I wish I was.) Well, it was tight. I could just barely get the ribbing over my instep.
No problem, I thought. I'll just undo the cast-off and redo it more loosely. I did this, with a bigger needle. Still too tight. So I pulled it out once again, and, with a much bigger needle, knit another inch on the leg of the sock, finishing off with a looooooose bindoff. It still only barely made it over my instep.
Still no problem, I thought. I'll put in the heel, then see how everything fits. I did this, and the sock was very tight over my instep (I have high insteps, but I usually don't have a problem with this style sock).
Still no problem, I thought, smiling hopefully through gritted teeth. I carefully snipped one thread in the instep (a la Elizabeth Zimmerman's Afterthought Pocket method -- check it out, it's cool) and unraveled it almost all the way across the instep in both directions. I'll just put in an instep gusset, I thought with uncharacteristic optimism.
Well, maybe it was the fact that I was into the full-blown Plague by this point, or maybe it was that I'd already been working on the sock all day, or maybe it was simply not thinking it through well enough. But the instep gusset looked more like an instep growth. I tried it both with short rows and with increases, but it still looked like a tree fungus.
Fine, I thought. I'll steek the sock up the front. What have I got to lose at this point? This is where I should have stepped away from the knitting. Surely I was fevered at this point because I really do know better; when you do a steek, you have to secure the edges in some way, e.g., with a facing. (Not, I think, Fray Check). Once I'd made the fatal cut, I realized my error almost immediately.
OK, I thought, I will just cut off the foot of the sock below the heel and re-knit it on a bigger needle. This would have worked, except that after a few rows (having cut off the foot) I realized I was sick of the yarn, sick of the sock, that I hated it and never wanted to see it again, much less wear it. Most certainly, I would never knit the second sock. So, into the trash it went and good riddance too. (See my previous post for discussion of same.)
After the sock incident, I swore off knitting for a few days while I took to the couch with blankets and tissues. Then, yesterday, my confidence back, I thought I would finish a bolero I'd been knitting for my favorite five-year-old. I'd started it in the fall, and figured I'd better finish it while it was still the season to wear it.
I'd left off when I ran out of yarn from the previous ball, so I picked up the new ball and picked up the armhole stitches, then knit about two inches on the sleeve. And realized the new ball of yarn was a different color than the rest of the sweater. Not just a different dye lot -- a different color. The sweater is a heathered brown. The last ball was a solid chocolate.
Being a calm person, I decided instead to work on a spring bolero for the same child. She'd been asking, just that morning, when I was going to finish it. I quickly located the project, but the pattern was nowhere to be found. I flung some yarn tubs about looking for it, and succeeded only in tiring myself out and hurting my back.
No problem, I thought. (Do you detect a pattern here?) I will just start the Schaefer Victorian Baby Jacket that I need to make in preparation for a class I'll be teaching. I cast on 188 stitches in Anne (a fine fingering weight made by Schaefer) on size 3 needles. The first two rows went swimmingly, since they were stockinette. The third row, the beginning of the lace pattern, did not go well. I ended up with two extra stitches, despite handfuls of markers and careful attention to the pattern. I tried to identify my mistake, something I'm normally quite good at (especially with simple lace patterns like this one), and couldn't find it.
No problem, I thought. I will just tink back and surely I'll find the problem. I did not find the problem, but I succeeded in dropping a few stitches while undoing the Slip 1, K2tog, PSSOs. These dropped stitches went all the way down to the cast-on.
I ripped everything off the needles, broke off the used yarn (this same section of yarn had been used for a previous project I'd abandoned because I didn't like how the lace looked in the particular colorway, and it was looking pretty tired.) I was pretty tired myself and took to the couch with blankets and tissues.
Moral of the story: If you knit when you're sick, and it starts going all pear-shaped on you, stop. Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. Lie down and watch reruns of I Love Lucy.