Thursday, September 23, 2010

A bad day of knitting....

Remember that bumper sticker that said, "A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work"?  Or "A bad day at the beach..." (wait a minute, is there such a thing?)  Well, that's how I felt yesterday about my knitting.   If I were to measure my progress solely on the basis of rows completed, then I had a net loss of, oh, I'm guessing about 97.  However, I'm quickly discovering that there's so much more to this craft than counting off rows and completing projects (actually, there's relatively little of the latter in my case!)

I had been looking forward to yesterday because my husband was scheduled for outpatient ear surgery, thereby providing me the perfect excuse to sit around for hours with nothing to do but knit, all the while appearing to be a doting and attentive and sacrificially loving wife.  As a bonus, since we had to go to Melbourne for the procedure, I asked Dan if he would mind leaving home 45 minutes early so we could stop at Jo-Ann's on our way to the surgery center, giving me a chance to check out their yarn department.  So the adventure began with an hour of knitting in the car while Dan drove up, followed some quality get-acquainted time with Jo-Ann's inventory.  I scored some beautiful chunky wool for a felted tote bag I want to make for Eddie's teacher, as well as a few skeins of mix and match sock yarn for when I finally getting around to trying my first pair.


Once at the center I had plenty of time to work on the baby afghan I brought with me, but the first thing I did was tink two rows, attempting to correct a wayward and disagreeable stitch.  Several rows later I discovered my stitch count was off and had been for probably 30 rows or so.  No big deal - I tinked a half row and increased one stitch right in the middle.  Stitch count fixed, problem forgotten.  Move on.  But despite my high hopes for a productive knitting marathon, I only had eight or nine rows to show for four fleeting hours of opportunity.

Later in the evening I had a rude awakening with another project.  I was finishing up the front of a little Knit for Kids sweater, when I finally had to face the facts.  I had thumbed my nose at gauge, as I am wont to do, believing that regardless of the size sweater I turned out, surely it would fit some little kid somewhere.  What I failed to take into account, however, was proportion.  I neglected to adjust the length specified in the pattern in order to correspond to my way-bigger-than-gauge width.  The outcome was a cute little sweater with a wingspan similar to that of a turkey buzzard.  This photo is misleadingly flattering to my "creation" and does not do justice to the ridiculous hugeness of the sleeves as compared to the squattiness of the body.

Rather than duplicate that piece for a back, knowing all along that the finished garment would have little chance of actually being useful to anyone, I frogged the whole thing.  Maybe I'll start over, or maybe I'll use the yarn for something else.  No regrets. (Especially after checking out the KFK sweaters on - mine's in a better place now, may it rest in peace!)

Spaghetti anyone?
Just to end the day on a good note, I cast on for that tote bag and whizzed through a few rows.  Ahhhh!  The feel of soft, thick wool in my hands....

I think it only fair that lessons learned the hard way should perhaps be spread out over several days or longer, rather than being flung at me all at once, but I'm all the wiser for persevering through my fits and starts.  A bad day of knitting?  Just like a bad day at the such animal.

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