Saturday, May 15, 2010

Proceed carefully

~Okay, I wrote this post over two weeks ago (looks like it was means for April 30), and when I posted it the middle bit was chopped out. I've been meaning to fix this post and rewrite it, but at this point I'm just going to fudge it.~

I always thought I was good at following directions and reading everything through clearly. Building bookshelves, a website, doing my taxes, catching important but minimally mentioned plot points, that's me.

Building a knitted garment, however, is not something my mind seems to want to do. Take for instance my early mishap with the Citron shawl. Having gotten through the strange 'knit a sort of square thing' with a lot of help from Amber (who says this cast on for shawls is used quite regularly) I jumped in. Knitting merrily along,

Row 1 [WS]: K3, place marker, p3, place marker, k3.

Row 2 [RS]: K3, slip marker, [m1, k1] three times, m1, slip marker, k3. 13 sts.

I get to the instruction Rows 3-5: Work in pattern as set, maintaining first and last 3 sts in garter st and working sts between markers in stockinette st. No problem. That means keep doing the pattern set up in Rows 1 and 2. I knit Row 6.
Row 6 [RS]: K3, slip marker, [m1, k1] seven times, m1, slip marker, k3. 21 sts. That instruction came after the section I had just knitted. Does this apply to the whole pattern? It doesn't seem to...but if I apply that to everything, then yes, the counts do come out properly. I ripped it out, started over, followed the instructions, and now I am much further along. Okay, further along for me. I am now halfway through the second section. Ok, that could have been a misinterpretation of instructions, but how about what happened last Thursday night?

What??? After this increase I am to have 21 stitches? I don't remember now now many I did have, but if I was going along increasing, starting with 13 stitches, plus 4, plus 8?, plus ??, so I had 40 or so stitches instead of 21. But I didn't notice that 21sts and I kept going.

Rows 7-11: Work in pattern.

By now I had WAAAY too many stitches, and I was looking at the counts, trying to figure out what I had done. A little further down in the pattern, it said


Note: In all directions that follow, “work in pattern” means to work in stockinette st, maintaining first and last 3 sts in garter st as set.

~Here's where the bit I wrote disappeared. Crucial right? Anyway, figured it out, thought either the pattern/pattern writer/myself was having a bad day. Ripped it out completely, started again, which gave me practice with the odd casting on for this project, and ta-dah! I am now halfway through the second round of instructions.~

By the way, the white strings are dental floss lifelines so that I can rip back to the beginning of the section if necessary.

I was watching the finale of Project Runway (disappointing) and decided to dig in and make some progress on Emmaline since I had one and a half rows done. I was stuck on the row with RLI - right lifted increase - since I knit lefty and need to reverse the way I do the stitch. The instructions say:

RLI (Right Lifted Increase): Use the right needle to pick up the stitch below the next stitch on the left needle. Place it on the left needle, then knit into it. 1 stitch has been increased. 

Using this increase helps give the bulky yarn structure. I refer to the close up photo of the lovely, tight raglan seam of Emmaline. It looks like two solid lines of stitches drawn diagonally near the shoulder. 

And what did I do? Not that. M1 instead, which leaves a gaping hole beneath the added stitch. R-i-p.

After searching out instruction online, I started again. I now have about 10 rows of Emmaline so far, and I still don't think my RLIs look like the picture, but I have to keep going. It's the perfect weather to wear this now, and if I don't hurry up, it will be too hot. Maybe I should spend the weekend knitting?

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