Thursday, August 01, 2013

Let Me Count the Ways

I've been working on a shawl, "Branching Out", since New Year's (okay, a couple days before New Year's).  The beginner went super.  Usually does with top down shawls.  Then I worried that my mixed blend Paton's "Lace" would not block out much, so I added repeats of some of the charts.  I'd work on it for a few days, then get to a new chart, or get an order, or sidetracked somehow, and it'd sit for awhile.  And I have the pattern on my tablet, and although I can mark where I am on the pattern, sometimes I have a hard time finding saved/downloaded items on it.  So, the shawl had been languishing on and off.  We have been having a "staycation" with my husband's American relatives, and that meant driving around playing tourists, AND my youngest's skating lessons are now over an hour, so I thought this would be a good time to get back to it. 

I was starting the very last chart on the weekend.  Because I had done extra repeats earlier, I knew I might have trouble.  However, the previous chart is only a 4 row repeat, and I figured it should actually be easy to start the last chart (figuring each half of the shawl increases by 2st every RS row, so 4st over those 4 rows, and the new chart had a 12 st repeat).  I started the new row 1, but it didn't seem to line up right with the previous row.  The previous chart was only a 4 st repeat (I think...), so the new 12 st one should fit nicely, shouldn't it?  The strange thing is, all along the shawl, the yarn over of the previous knit row is treated as a single knit stitch--never part of  a decrease.  The row 1 in this chart took that yarn over and put it into a decrease.  I did not like that and it seemed to be creating a problem.  The following rows did not do this either.  So, I opted to knit that first stitch, and then start the pattern, lining up a centred decrease so it fell on top of a group of three stitch from the last knit row. 

Once I did this, it was going well.  I got to the middle, and the chart says that now you work across the middle, not doing the YO, k1, YO that had created the centre spin up till then.  I had to fudge some stitches to get that centre k1 to line up nicely with the new pattern, then continued on my way, fudging the end of the row to get it to end properly.

Did the purl row.

Started the next knit row.  Went well, until about 1/3 way across.  I investigated, and found an error in the previous knit row.  Argh.  Ripped out that knit row, the purl row, and 2/3 of the knit row below :(

This set me back a bit.  Got the row re-knit (if the pattern had kept the centred spine, I could have just ripped out the two rows from the mistake to the centre!).  Got the purl row done.  Got almost 1/2 way across the knit row....again, something wasn't right!  This time, I decided to just rip out the two rows.  While this was faster, I did end up with a little bit of the yarn I had unravelled left.  Hard to describe--I had unravelled from the middle to the end, two rows; but I had already knit across to the middle.  So, I re-worked the two rows using the long strand that was attached at both ends...when I got to the last stitch of the purl row (meeting up with where I had left off on the next knit row), there was a bit of yarn left, in a loop.  Theoretically, I should have used it all up to re-work the stitches it came from!  As well,  I somehow ended up with the yarn from the ball in between the (circular) needles...I can't even describe it.  Had to slip the stitches off onto another needle, free the yarn, then slip them back (or knit them off actually). 

So, I got back on track, and now that the pattern is (correctly) established, it's smooth sailing, and the last 14 rows are flying by.  Well.  Flying means 25 minutes for a knit row and 17 minutes for a purl row.  I'm going to count my sts and rows at the end...

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