Here we go: a frank-’n’-open, quick-’n’-dirty, warts-’n’-all rundown on what happened with the finishing of the Inside Outside Cowl.
In short: it is not as easy at it looks, people. I am drying semi-tears of relief with this just-finished accessory. Mohair and silk are not very absorbent, just saying. Never have I come so close to the limit of my ability to complete a project due to my own ineptitude.
You may call this technique “Kitchener” or “grafting.” I call it “I am going to finish this because I’m too stupid to stop and I think this is how people end up running marathons because they didn’t realize they could just stop and call an Uber.”
Here we are right about the time I got tired of graygreen and fiery redorange.
I had unearthed a sizeable cache of Rowan Kidsilk Haze nubbins, so I went with that.
This green! Love this green. And the burnt siena is a great color, any time you have the chance to plug it in. The red needed taming, or maybe I was just ready to move on.
To recap: the yarn is Rowan Kidsilk Haze—pay attention to that word haze. Sometimes foreshadowing is all too easy to miss.
The game here was to create an (apparently) seamless tube of stockinette. You finish your tube, making it double the width of what the finished cowl will be. You turn the tube inside out—halfway—which puts the last round right up next to the first round of provisionally cast on stitches.
You take a tapestry needle, about ten feet of Kidsilk Haze, and start stitching the two edges together in a way that creates a final row of unifying stockinette.
In other words, you are knitting with a sewing needle. We should all stop a moment and thank our lucky stars that somebody figured out a way to manufacture knitting that does not involve a sewing needle.
Look closely: here’s me neglecting to do a CRUCIAL THING RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT. Can you tell what it is?
I stitched and stitched. Kitchener is no harder than anything else in knitting except for two things: 1) undoing a mistake and 2) forgetting where you are in the four-stitch rhythm. Also 3) Kidsilk Haze kind of sucks as a yarn. I mean, it’s one of the great yarns. Except when you are knitting with it.
However much I suck at Kitchener, there is no mistake like the whopper of coming to the end of it all and discovering that your stitches are totally out of whack. I neglected to count the provisional stitches when I put them onto the needle for the grafting, and somehow I was six stitches shy of glory.
This is where I called a Uber. I had to lie down.
Finally, after yeoman’s labourings, fudging the crap out of the last twelve stitches in a way that I can’t believe even vaguely worked, there was a meeting of the rails, Union Pacific style, and I … was … done.
It was a gnarly mess, to be sure, but nothing that some yarn-yanking and general futzing couldn’t fix. Sort of. I eventually threaded the final ends onto my needle, stuck it into the middle of the now-sealed-up tube, and said FAREWELL, SUCKAS!
The lack of edges really does make this an interesting piece. You can hide the red inside, or you can make it stripey all sorts of ways.
She said, shuddering in a corner, cowl over head.