August 26, 2003
How can I put this? STEP AWAY FROM THE KIDSILK HAZE.
The last time I knit lace, it was a simple picot edging on the Brittany Jumper from Jil Eaton’s Minnowknits series, for my little friend Baby Rose. An 8-stitch repeat, over a couple of hundred stitches around the bottom of the skirt. First I had the terrible twisted-join problem, which almost made me take the pledge never to knit in the round again. I would only realize the mistake after knitting the lace edging perfectly and then discovering it was not the hem of a baby’s dress, but a Mobius strip. Eventually, I overcame this problem. But whenever I made the teensiest mistake in the sequence of yarnovers and k2tog’s, what to do?? Ripping back partially: not an option! (I didn’t then know Emma’s trick about threading a ‘lifeline’ through a row well below the mistake and THEN ripping back.) I must have re-started the thing a gazillion times. After that inch or so of picot trim, it was automatic pilot on stocking stitch, but it was a hard road getting there. But it looked ever so cute at Rosie’s citizenship ceremony when she wore it to take her solemn baby oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Is Birch really worth it?? Do you not fear, just a little, that when it is done and you have sacrificed the best years of your knitting life to it, you will throw it around your shoulders, put on a dashing striped Rowan beanie, look in the mirror and see….Mrs. Tiggywinkle?? Jemima Puddleduck?? Insert your favorite Beatrix Potter character here????
My advice to you, if you will not give up this madness and knit something normal: can’t you do a practice swatch of less than 299 stitches??? Just to get a little good at it before you take on the whole massive mess?? You could even do your practicing on something a little less wispy than the Kidsilk Haze, just to get the hang of it. Anyway, you know I wish you success. Godspeed, you freakin’ nut.
My last piece of advice, I promise, is that you not consider this project to be Car Knitting. This is sit-still, kids-far-away, good-lighting, just-had-your-first-cup-of-coffee knitting.