Way back in September of 2010, I wrote about a shawl that I was knitting. At that point, I was about 40% done with the pattern - having taken the summer off from it - and speculated that I would complete the project by the end of October. Oh...how naive I can be at times.
I saw the pattern knit up at the 2010 Madison Knitter's Guild Knit-In. The sample, completed project was done with Irish wool which has such a stiff hand that the end-result was really crisp and beautiful. However, Irish wool is entirely too scratchy for me so I chose a sturdy but soft 100% wool from Galway, in a completely inoffensive mushroom color (of course.)
So, in September, when I blogged about this project, I was cranking away on the pattern and making great progress. It started getting tedious because the thing just grows and grows with each row so, by the time you're at the first bound-off edge, you've got about 350 stitches on the needles. My dogs loved it. They would sit on my lap and I'd cover them up with the work-in-progress. It was very warm and cuddly under there.
I quickly got to the first bind off, at which point you do a piquot edge and then pick up the stitches behind it and resume knitting the pattern for another 20 rows. In that second tier, the pattern calls for one more horizontal eyelet row in the middle of the tier. Yeah... Therein lies my problem.
|Perfect little eyelet rows|
And then there was the second tier.
Things seemed normal. There was no reason to think that anything was amiss. And yet, for some unknown reason, the horizontal eyelet row would NOT meet the center row correctly and, as soon as I moved to the next row, everything would be off by one - the center eyelet row would be shifted over, as if it had been hit by a car or something and couldn't line up with the rest of its brothers. Rip, rip, rip.
I tore the stitches back and re-knit this section four times. And, let me tell you, when you've got 400 stitches on your needles, it causes much gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands. Finally, in frustration, I gave the work to my dear blogmate, Cassandra the Patient (and Lovely.) She tore it back for me one more time and, at that point, we decided that it simply wasn't worth the headache to try to force that uncooperative horizontal eyelet row into the second tier.
|Second tier, sans eyelet row|
The Shawl Of Doom was finally completed on Sunday - and there was much rejoicing. Being able to wear and enjoy it now ALMOST negates the frustration that I felt while trying to finish it.
At the end of the day, the lesson is this - never, ever stick to a pattern that's fighting with you. Modify it, redesign it, make it your own but don't let the pattern beat you down to the point of wanting to chuck out months of work.
|Not blocked yet, but it's pretty nice, huh?|
- Alex the Willful