Friday, March 26, 2010

Puttin' Down the Dog

(Or should I say the Alapca?)

Let me start right off by saying no, no beloved family members have been "put down" or are in danger of that happening. So relax.

If you've been following, you know I am trying to knit my first lace work. I decided to stop working on the brown mohair/silk piece, and devote myself to getting the blue alpaca/silk piece done. Shortly after I took the photo above, I noticed there were some Problems, making me wonder if I needed to rip the whole thing out and start over. Dang! It hurts to type that. I mean, this shawl and I have spent over twenty hours together, and we bonded.

So I took my lovely alpaca/silk friend to the Doc at the knitting store where I purchased the yarn. She complimented me on my fine work, looked it over and asked me what the problem was, which was a good thing. In other words, the mistakes aren't that glaring.

There are four problems, with one being minor. The minor problem is that I used plastic markers to mark every nine-stitch repeat. I noticed after I knit about 15 inches that the markers were leaving spaces where they were, as a result of me not compensating for their presence and pulling the yarn a bit as I knit past them. You can see the horizontal lines running down the center of each large diamond:

When I found out that was happening, I removed all the markers and instead tried to pay more attention since I was going to have to count off the entire pattern in my head, no helpful markers guiding my way, telling me if I were off. While there's no way to fix the damage, it will probably be much improved after I finish the piece and block it. Probably no one will ever notice.

But the next thing does need repair:

Yes, a big, ugly hole. I must have dropped a stitch and not realized it. I'll have to go back and patch it carefully so that it doesn't show. AHHH!!!!

The third mistake was that I knit an entire ten rows on the purl side (and purled on the knit side) as I was speed knitting and not checking each row when I was done.

Finally, I think this piece is going to be a bit on the skimpy side, so that I'll wind up with a mal-nourished shawl. Grrr!

Have you ever gone to the Vet with a beloved family member, wondering if it was time to put it down? I have. The Vet always does the same thing. He or she will never give you a definite, yes or no answer. They give you the facts and let you make that awful decision all by yourself.

And my knitting Doc was no different. She asked me if this shawl was a gift for someone, or just something for me. Of course, I could never give a less-than-perfect item away. While these flaws aren't devastating, I'd be the one to decide whether or not I could live with them.

I thought about it, and don't think my shawl will have quality life, knowing I will always view it as flawed. I can be lazy and just finish it since I'm over half way done, or I can do the much more difficult thing and start over and do it right.

So I took my alpaca/silk fellow home, caressing the incredible softness in the car on the way home. I'm going to start over from the other end of the ball so that my friend can see, as he is unraveled, how perfect he'll be in his new incarnation.

Sniff. Sniff.


Deniz Bevan said...

Oh, you *are* brave! I hardly ever undo projects, especially when I`m as far along as you. Good luck!

Lottery Girl said...

Thanks Deniz! Yeah, it's a bummer, but I know I'll be happier in the end, fifty years from now when I get this thing done! HAHA!!!!

catsmum said...

you'll be glad you did ... ask me how I know LOL
and as for the size - believe me it wil G-R-O-W when you block it,
Would it be helpful if I blogged about the way to block lace ?
[ although I'm pretty sure that others have done so already ]

Lottery Girl said...

Dear Catsmum,

It took me days to do it, but yes, you are right. I am glad I tore it out. No sense in not really liking your creation.

I've finished the center panel on my new version and am putting on the lace border.

I'd LOVE to see the way you block lace. I've read many versions, and discussed it at the knitting store, and find that I learn something new each time I hear about it. So yes, PLEASE! Thanks!