Pride cometh before a frog…
I like to think of myself as a skilled knitter. I envision myself as having a fair amount of what I call “stitch intuition”—the ability to look at a pattern or work-in-progress and sense that something isn’t quite right. The experience needed to identify and adjust for a typo in a pattern, to adapt for a fiber substitution, or to look at a mistake and know how to fix it.
Yeah, you’d think.
Why, why is it always the simplest patterns that do me in??
I’ve been staring at the shape of this shawl, dismissing the growing sense that something didn’t look right. It needed to slope more gently, to be wider, to look less like a triangle and more like an arc. Still, I stitched happily along with my big, fast needles and my soft, drapey yarn.
Until last night. Now, yesterday wasn’t a particularly good day so you know the knitting’s going to kick you when you’re down. When you turn to your knitting for solace? Oh, that’s when she turns on you.
I stared at the shawl again, uneasy. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I catch the second sentence in the pattern. The entire pattern is only four sentences long, for crying out loud, it wasn’t like I was asked to absorb an encyclopedia. I’m a publishing professional; I should be able to handle four-sentence instructions.
There, tucked into the middle sentence, were the words “and end.” As in “increase 1 stitch at the beginning and end of each row.” I had increased at the beginning of each row, but neglected to catch on that I needed to increase at the end of each row as well.
We will not recount the nasty things I said as I ripped out a full half of this project. Sufficeth to say, it wasn’t anything soft or virtuous. Thank heavens these are big needles. If I’m lucky I can knit fast enough to catch up.