As you know, I love the Old Testament. In the past few days, 2 Samuel 1:25 has had a particular resonance for my knitting:
How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Kay, thou wast slain in thine high places.
(OK, it doesn’t say “O Kay,” it says “O Jonathan.” Everything isn’t about me.)
The first few days of my extra-stripy version of Veera Välimäki’s True Friend pullover, using Euroflax Mini Skeins, were ecstatic. No exaggeration. I was so tickled by the novel construction of this pullover. I mean, look at this fun thing:
What you’re seeing here:
- You knit the neckband, in the round. Twisted rib, which is always fun.
- You knit the front, a rectangular bib, on one side of the circular neckband, back and forth, leaving the stitches live.
- You knit the back, a rectangular bib, on the opposite side of the circular neckband, back and forth, leaving the stitches live.
It was huge fun to knit those randomly striped bibs. My method: change colors when I felt like it, and choose the color by pulling out a new mini-ball of Euroflax without looking in the bag. No rhyme. No reason. Just fun with seeing how colors look next to each other. Pale sherbet-y orange against deep burgundy grape. Colors I would never consciously put together, together.
And then, I thought I’d figured out the rest: you pick up stitches all the way around, including the sides of the neckband, and you use increases at the bottom corners of the bibs, and you knit, knit, knit very blissfully and reasonably, in stripes, until you have a sweater (and you do a little fiddling around to create armholes, etc. etc.).
Where I Wast Slain in Mine High Places
Picking up along those striped edges was a bit fiddly, especially given my weird eyesight these days. (Several weeks post cataract surgery and with deluxe new intraocular lens implants, I can see things I couldn’t see before, such as signs on the street and leaves on the trees, but I can’t see things I could see before, such as the loops on the edge of a piece of knitting.)
But I could handle it. I’ve been knitting long enough that I can sort of feel my way to the correct loop to pick up a stitch along an edge. Not bragging. I just can. With a pair of Addi Rockets and some drugstore cheaters, anything is possible.
What I couldn’t handle (apparently) was the placement of the markers. Having misread where the markers at the shoulders should go, I started decreasing where I oughta been a-increasing. I found myself in a Nancy Sinatra song about knitting.
I really don’t want to talk about it.
This is what things looked like as I reckoned with my failure to read the pattern:
Colorful. Cheerful. A mess. Not likely to turn into a sweater.
The Moral of the Story
I think we’ve been over this before: READ THE PATTERN.
Read the pattern.
Read the gosh darn pattern.
In my defense: I really would have benefited from truth in schematics on this pattern. The schematic shows this as a top-down, in-the-round pattern. A bird’s-eye view showing this as a flat piece of knitting (albeit constructed in the round, like a pi shawl), and pointing out where the increases AND DECREASES occur on the beginning rounds would have helped me. My mental map was wrong. I could have used a GPS.
I take full responsibility. Over 500 people have knit this beautiful sweater without making the mistake I did. (Or admitting to it.)
Now, I’m happy to report, I’m down from mine high places.
I’m on the straightaway. It may not look much different from the previous picture, but my markers are in the right places, and I’m increasing where I should increase and decreasing where I should decrease. All is right with the world. I’ve reached The Fun Part.
C’mon needles, start knitting.