Knitting Just Kicked My Butt
November 26, 2013
In ten years of blogging, I don’t think that we have ever had a simul-botch. There’s a first time for everything.
LOOK AT THIS THING:
The other day, you Instagrammed a photo of a woefully twisted piece of knitting. My thought was, Empathy. Been there. My second thought was, I am having such fun getting started on my Carpino Sweater by Carol Feller, featured in the new Wool People 6.
It is a top-down sweater. Getting started on a top-down sweater is one of the fiddlier moments in knitting: the search for stitch markers, the quixotic quest for the 16″ circular size 5 needle, the joy at realizing it’s going to take a trip to the yarn store to get a needle that perfectly and exactly meets the requirements of this pattern. The searing challenge of getting out of the store without getting sucked into the Isager Vortex. You finally settle down, dig into the pattern, and begin.
Top-down sweaters require you to think like a bird, looking down on the sweater. I am not good at being a bird, I guess, because I have to draw a little schematic of the neck hole so I can visualize where increases will come. I also, everlastingly, will never get M1R and M1L in my head, so that goes in there too. I also need the lace chart right there in front of me, so in this case I MacGyvered that onto the page with the instructions. (I like a tight pattern layout–flipping through ten pages is a lot of flipping for me.)
I started out with the stitch markers that were closest to my person:
These soon offended me greatly both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. Plastic. Bulky. Ho Jo colors. How did I ever buy these dire markers in the first place? (OK, so I distinctly recall buying these with a fair amount of glee, at some distant moment.)
I remembered that I had laid in a store of the stitch markers of my dreams to give to you as a little present.
These are from Fringe Supply Co. These accomplish so much with so little fuss: Thin. Metal. Antiqued brass finish. When I need to mark the beginning of the round, I just put two on the needle. They’re so great. Love your gear, right?
Unfortunately–for you, I mean–I decided that this project was never going to work unless I used these dreamy stitch markers instead.
The instructions for this Carpino pullover pattern say “Join for working in the round.” I was joking yesterday about how the instructions do not say “Taking care not to twist, join for working in the round.” They do not say, “Join to work in round, making sure not to twist.” They trust that a knitter is not an idiot. I was pleased to see Carol Feller resist the impulse to nag me into doing the thing that any clever knitter automatically knows: do not twist before joining. D.U.H.
I TWISTED. I was being so careful! I even kept track of the increase rows with little check boxes:
I guess I now have evidence of the exact moment that I realized that I suck at all this–embarrassingly far along.
I don’t know the lesson here, except the classic Pride Goeth Before a Fall. Measure Twice, Cut Once. Close Cover Before Striking. Make Sure Not To Twist Before Joining.
Mostly: LOOK UP.
PS I feel kind of bad about using your stitch markers. But honestly, they are the only thing that is working with regard to this project at the moment.