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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Live and Learn

I've been knitting on Polka Dottie (pattern available at your favorite LYS in Chapel Hill and Raleigh!), that adorable dress pattern for Knit One Crochet Too yarns, and I got stuck.  Twice.  With the directions.  Man, it's been a while since something in a pattern made me go, "uhhhhh, wha????"

Maybe it's prideful of me to think that I've seen almost everything in knitting, and that I know a thing or two about a thing or two in regards to knitting.  But getting stumped (twice) made for some pretty funny behavior on my part.  I read the directions...something about wrapping twice for each stitch, and proceeded to think, "Oh, you mean a double yarn over" and then shortly thereafter realizing that nooooooo, that's not  what I'm supposed to do at all.  In a funk, I set the whole thing down and put it in a time out. 

I've noticed that when I am stumped by knitting, two things need to happen for me to work it out (usually).  Thing 1: Realize that all knitting instructions are horribly literal.  One of the many times when I flunked the Swallowtail Shawl knit, I kept seeing the YO symbol.  So I'd YO (Yarn Over, in case you didn't know).  Or so I thought.  After several shredded attempts, yards of mangled alpaca lace weight and on the verge of chewing my wooden knitting needles into oblivion, I lurched my way into Yarns Etc to ask for help.  It was so simple to fix it was embarrassing.  I was doing a yarn over, all right, but then I was immediately launching into knitting the next stitch, as though that is the full extent of how to do a yarn over.  Oh no no no, muchacha.  As you all know, a yarn over is where you simply bring the yarn.forward.  Full stop.  Stop. 

This brings me to Thing 2: Stop.  Put it down, walk away.  Leave it to simmer in its own juices for a day or three.  Let the solution percolate through your brain.  That's what it took for me.  About three days of scratching my head about it from time to time, feeling irritated about getting held up on knitting it, and suddenly, EUREKA!!

I got it!!  But of course!  Insert the right needle as if to knit, then wrap the yarn two times (duh hur dur) around the right needle.  Welllll, all righty then!  Moving on.

I was cruising along until later on in the pattern where I was told to do something that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  Not anything crazy.  It didn't tell me to take the hand knit to the scary part of town and dance with it in the moonlight.  But it did tell me to knit into the purl bumps of the row underneath!!!!  Say WHAHHAAAAAT?!?

Those patterns, that knitting stuff...remember, very literal.  So I did it, totally feeling my hair curl from anticipation and dread of ripping out whatever the heck I might be doing to my hand knit.  Lo and behold, it was totally fine, and my perspective on knitting got blown wide open.  It created an overlapping section of stitches so I could make a nice perky little button band.  Dudes....I had no idea y'all could do that with string!  For real? 

So here's what I've got so far, considering it's been fermenting in the "I don't understand" pile.  I will say that, if you are considering knitting this, it is totally sweet and fun, the yarn is great, but I would go the extra mile to make sure that you get two yarns that do NOT share colors in common.  It makes the color work rather pointless when you have a section where the lavender from one yarn matches the solid lavender from the other yarn.  Oh well, live and learn, right?

I'm planning another summer knit for myself, and I'm torn between breaking out my Breathless yarn ( in Loden) and knitting Multnomah with it, or using another pattern that I got from Yarns Etc, the Krista tee/summer sweater, and maybe doing both.  All I've been doing with my Breathless yarn is petting it and setting it back in its little home on the bookshelf...and that's fun, but maybe I might like knitting with it too, eh?  And the Krista tee shirt looks like it would be oh so lovely with a pair of dark blue jeans or a skirt...and it isn't gonna happen if I don't cast on for it already!  It may be spring, but there's plenty to knit, am I right?  What are you working on?  What have you learned lately?

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