Sunday, October 14, 2012

Missing

Ahem.

No, I wasn't abducted, nor did I fall terribly ill. Yes, I did start back at work again at the beginning of September, and yes I have a full teaching load, but they're all classes I've taught before, so I'm not feeling any particularly heavy pinch in terms of work demands - that being said, I can definitely tell that I'm working, because suddenly time that doesn't need to be spent either working or keeping up with some basic housework is very precious to me.

I'm also suddenly feeling very much like there just aren't enough hours in the day, and I'm thinking that training myself to require less sleep might be a good thing. Cognitively, though, I know better than that, so I won't be trying to tinker with my sleep habits.

When knitting time gets sparser, however, something weird happens to my knitting mojo. I suddenly feel like I need to be working on something that is worthy of the limited time available. This time around, I had a few things on the go when this struck, and I irrationally decided that none of the current projects were truly worthy. Not that I suddenly disliked them - I'd look at them, and recognize the appeal of each one, and appreciate the pretty of the yarn involved, but I couldn't actually pick them up and knit them.

Instead, I knit a hat - hats are quick, right? And then I flailed about trying to find something that was worthy. The Geodesic Cardigan didn't fit the bill, since it's getting colder by the day, which means I likely won't wear the finished garment until next spring. My sister's Popler + Elm cardigan - or, well, the front that I started - also got deprioritized, because this reduced knitting time has made me selfish. The two socks I had on the go also seemed less appealing - they're both second socks.

Sigh.

But then, the Deep Fall Knitty was released, the 10th anniversary edition, and I saw Amy Swenson's Mr. Bluejeans Cardigan, and it just looked so incredibly cozy on the model, and deep somewhere in my brain, a little voice said, Yes. Then that voice grew louder, and more insistent, and about fifteen minutes after having seen the pattern for the first time, the voice was a scream, YES YES YES.

So I dug some worsted weight yarn out of my mini-stash and cast on.

And it felt good. So good that I actually found the strength of character to go back and finish one of those semi-abandoned second socks. As for the sweater, I've just divided the sleeves from the body, and things are still cruising along.

Well. Except for the setback I had a couple of days in. I was motoring along, doing the raglan increases and neckline increases as dictated by the pattern, but there were rather a lot of stitches on the needles by this point, and so I wasn't too careful in my counting. I was approaching the moment for the divide for the sleeves, and some intuition buried deep in my mind told me to double check my numbers. So, one increase repeat short of the divide, I stopped and counted.

And came up one stitch short.

I recounted three times, each time coming up short, and then started to look at each section more carefully. Since this is a cardigan, there are two front sections that should match, two sleeve sections that should match, and a back section that would have an even number of stitches for the total stitch count to work out. I tracked that missing stitch down to one of the sleeves. There were no dropped stitches anywhere, and I'd used markers in casting on, so I knew I hadn't started out one short.

I sat and stared at this for a little while:



And then I saw it. Do you see it? Here, I drew a map:



I missed one of my yarnover increases. Right there on what I think is the fourth row.

How does that happen? Well, when one decides that she needs to rethink her knitting technique because the way she's been doing it for the past six years suddenly feels clumsy and awkward so she hauls off and teaches herself a new technique in which she carries the yarn in her left hand instead of her right and is paying close attention to how she tensions the yarn and moves the needles to form the stitches - yarnovers can be missed.

It's okay, though. It's just knitting. I ripped it all out, knowing that that missing eyelet would bother me forever more, and restarted. It also gave me a chance to undo some of the mildly wonky tension that came with the new technique.

Now, I've got the sleeve stitches on holders, and I'm approaching the short row bit, which promises to be a good time, and it just feels good to be knitting something that can be pressed into useful service right when the blocking's done.

Hopefully, my next post won't be another month and a half away. I've got a finished hat to show you. And some socks. There's a bit of a story to the socks. But this post is long enough - the story can wait till next time.

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