Monday, April 2, 2007

Oh Horror!*

I've been knitting happily on a sweater for the baby in Knit Picks Crayon, held double (not as difficult as I'd feared). I've been cranking away on the raglan decreases during my scant knitting time over the last two days, and was pretty excited today because I could tell I was getting close. After I read over the instructions for back neck shaping, I started to figure how many sleeve stitches I needed to keep on the needles, and (oh fateful moment) count live stitches.

There were four more stitches over the right shoulder than there were over the left, an odd number of back stitches (when I started out with an even number), and three fewer stitches in the left front than the right front. Snot.

While I was sleeping, those darn stitches went out dancing, and failed to put themselves back properly. I just knew it. They were probably drinking, too. Reprobates.

So, I started trying to figure out what went wrong, and where.

From p 73 of Knitting Without Tears:

"Now mark four points where the body and the sleeves join. Place safety pins at these four points. . . . Put safety pin markers in the 1st and 84th stitches of back and of front."

I used stitch markers, thinking that the methods used for the top-down raglans I've knit for two of the other children would work just as well for a bottom-up raglan. I should have never dared dally with the heady pride that seduced me into thinking that I know better how to knit a raglan than Elizabeth Zimmerman. I realized after a few decrease rounds that I had worked the decreases slightly differently at the front left marker than elsewhere. I thought I had fixed it, but obviously I was mistaken. Sadly mistaken.

So, I knitted back to the offending spot, and proceeded to rip back the rows over the misplaced decreases. It looked like fuzzy periwinkle spaghetti found in an old cottage cheese container in the back of the fridge. I did my best to knit it back up, and thought quite a number of times that I really needed to snap a few shots for the blog (for this was definitely a blogworthy knitterly event). But I just couldn't bring myself to go get the camera. Or, more properly speaking, I couldn't get myself to put the poor thing down.

Just a few minutes ago, I knit up the last row of ripped stitches and surveyed what I managed to get back together. You can see for yourself:

The decreases are now reasonably placed (the sleeve stitches are within one stitch--which fudging I could handle). But they're chop suey. Uneven stitches (cotton yarn, anyone?), strange holes and decreases that slant outward. K2tog isn't supposed to slant left, but I managed to do that here. I really offended EZ's guardian angel, didn't I. {sigh}

I've been so excited to finish this, and wrap the baby in this cloud-soft cardigan. It snowed today, and blew and blew . . . . . the prospect of frogging That Much Knitting is a little more than I can bear right now. Knitting that much cotton again.

It's clear from the picture that I either need to frog the entire decrease portion, or try ripping back those decrease stitches yet again and seeing if I can't somehow "fix them better" this time.

Any ideas?** I'm all ears.

Meanwhile, I'm going to go start some socks.

*Uttered by Frederick (Rex Smith) in the cinema version of The Pirates of Penzance when he realizes that he must betray the father of his beloved Ruth. One of the most hilarious musicals ever made--but sadly not yet available on DVD. Head on over to Amazon and put in your email to be notified when it's available, would you? It's like a vote towards getting Amazon to pursue offering a DVD version for sale.

**I'm fully aware that I don't have any readers yet. (Well, Vern has a feed, but he doesn't knit. ;o) So, I figure I'll just pretend for now, and someday when I have blog readers, they can read my archives while they knit on stockinette they can't avoid.