Monday, August 16, 2010

Up From the Heap and Down to the Frog Pond

Ever since I got back from vacation I have been on a knitting treadmill with the Jali Cardigan [ravelry link] pattern.  I am vastly enamored of the combination of lace and cabling, the concept of a layer showing through the lace, and the silk-bamboo yarn I found to make it with.  I'm not sure whether my obsession is a good thing or a bad thing, though, because just after I took this picture:
it was time to divide for armholes and I discovered the pattern had sneaked around and was off as much as 8 stitches in some areas.  Crap!  There is just no way to fake or finagle that big a miss.  So merrily I frogged away clear down to the middle of the first repeat.  FOR THE 6TH TIME.  Mind you, I didn't get so far the first 5 times, but still...

This has certainly taught me something about my approach to lace knitting, which is that I don't do well just reading off the chart.  I need to learn the rhythm and proportion of the pattern so that I can work without the chart much of the time, knowing what to expect and where stitches are likely to get lost or created.  Apparently, at least in this case, I am a very slow learner.  Add to my trouble the fact that I'm working with black, which hides problems in all but the best light.  This will certainly be in my favor with little glitches, but I've got to do better than my previous tries.  What keeps me going is the two (plain stockinette) sleeves already made, the forgiving strength of the yarn, and the fact that despite it all, dammit, I still am fascinated with the pattern.

But I took a little break to complete an item from the Heap of Malfunctioning Rubble and regain a little of my self-respect and sense of accomplishment.  Aided by the discovery of the tiny ball of yarn I needed to finish sewing up my Dancing Vines sweater made, I dimly recall, out of Elann's denim yarn in a currently-not-available light blue.

Also visible in the picture is the poisonous jolly fairy ring of fly agaric mushrooms that have sprung up around one of our birch trees, just one of the features of the mushroom farm our yard has become as a result of the rainy rainy summer.  I guess the rain is a good reason excuse to stay inside and try (again) to knit the Jali cardigan.