Monday, October 16, 2006

Trial by fire

As a new knitter I have found the most scary thing is to make a mistake that you don't know how to fix yet. In the past week I've run into several problems that I've had to fix. The first two really stressed me out, but over all I guess it was good for my growth as a knitter.

Problem number one:
I got the bright idea to put my knitting down in the middle of a row and ignore it for over 15 minutes. In the past I have always finished a row before setting down whatever I was working on. Later I picked it up and started knitting again only to realize my stitches looked horribly wrong. Oh no!

Did stitches jump off my needle while I was gone?
Are these those twisted stitches I've heard about?

I fiddled with it for about ten minutes tinking back and re knitting only to reproduce the same problem every time. In my panic I just wasn't thinking straight so I took over cooking dinner so that I'd have to think about something else for awhile. In the middle of cooking I realized what I had done.

I had forgotten if I was on a right or wrong side and had turned my work in the middle of a row.

Lesson learned: Whatever needle has the yarn tail hanging off of it is the one that goes in your right hand.

Problem number two:
While talking with friends and knitting I got distracted and threw in a random cable twist much too early. I tried to tink back but dropped stitches right at the twist, and they slipped away before I could catch them. I know there are directions for picking up dropped stitches, but I didn’t have a crochet hook.

I rashly yanked my needle out before I remembered my fear of frogging and needle reinsertion. This resulted in panic. I had visions of the whole scarf unraveling before my eyes. I rushed to a computer so I could watch a video on needle reinsertion that can be found at Knitting Help. It took me several tries but I finally got my needle reinserted.

Then I had to watch the video on twisted stitches, so I could tell if mine were twisted or not. Every single knit stitch was twisted, so as I knit I had to un twist them.

Lesson learned: How to reinsert and recognize twisted stitches.

Problem three:
There was a messed up bit of yarn in one of my skeins, it was less than a centimeter long. I just kept on knitting and it ended up at the back of the work, so I decided not to mess with it. Later it worked its self to the front of the work and it was a very obvious eye sore. I had to rip out several rows to get to it.

Now what to do about this bit of yarn? I was close to the end of my skein, but there were still a few rows left after the messed up bit. With only that small amount left it seemed silly to use the knit in join I have been using, but I didn't want to waste the yarn.

I tried felted join the first time I was going to have to add new skein to my IHS and it failed miserably. It looked nice but when I tugged on the yarn it snapped. I tried it again this time fraying the ends at least an inch and I rubbed it between my palms for longer. I noticed the yarn looked a bit more thin in the join area than else where so I was a bit worried, but I tugged really hard on it a few times and there was no snapping. Now I just need to decide if I want to trust it or not. It feels a bit risky to me because of that first felted join experience.

Lesson learned: Don't trust the messed up bit of yarn to stay at the back of your work. Save yourself some time and cut it out now.

HIS Progress: Today is my projected finishing day. I don’t think it is quite long enough yet. I’m a little bit behind schedule, but even if I wasn’t I still think it would be too short. We’ll see when I get there I guess.

No comments: