Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I feel like a knitting idiot.

I have been working on the same "simple" pattern for three days now. It's a simple lace scarf. It should be simple. Everyone else says it's simple. I understand the stitches.

And yet I can't get the freaking thing to work correctly. Somehow everytime the stitches end up screwed up. Sometimes I have too many. Sometimes too few. And based off my understanding of math (given, I only really understand calculus, comprehension of arithmatic still eludes me) these things should not be happening. I have plotted the stitches out. I have drawn pictures. I think i know how this thing should work, but apparently I don't, because it never looks like the picture.

I have knitted and unknitted this project 4 times in fluffy MOHAIR. If you are familiar with this, you know its a bitch to do. I then decided to practice on my wool yarn - and I have knitted and frogged that piece 3 times.

I'd like to get this piece done by March. It shouldn't take that long. I may have to have someone else look at it and tell me if I'm either doing it wrong or doing it right and think I'm doing it wrong.

Update: Indeed, I am an idiot. It took me a long time to figure out what I was doing wrong. A ball of yarn may have been thrown across the room. But I figured it out. It was my bad. I was yarn-overing wrong. For every yarn-over, I was yarn-overing AND knitting the stitch which always brought my stitches out wrong.


Emily said...

It took me three weeks to learn how to purl. During one memorable Blue Jackets game (at the arena) I invented several new and interesting purl stitches.
That being said starting out with lace using mohair is pretty ambitious. Do you know about the dental floss trick?

ev said...

Well, normally I wouldn't be even attempting it yet, but I'd really like to make it as a gift for my advisor. I thought a month should give me enough time (although, it took me an hour to do about 5 rows last night)

No, I do not know about the dental floss trick, but I think I need to look into it...

Emily said...

The first lace I used mohair for was the "Airy Scarf" from Last Minute Knitted Gifts." It's a great beginner pattern for first time lace/first time mohair knitters and it's basically just knit, purl and YOs. It also knits up very quickly. I think it was a 10-row repeat pattern.

The second lace pattern I attempted was "Branching Out" from Knitty. http://www.knitty.com/issuespring05/PATTbranchingout.html

I didn't use the mohair version though, the silky wool was quite nice to work with and I can get a little frustrated with mohair. Again, I think there's a 10-row pattern repeat with Branching Out.

I used the dental floss trick on both projects. When you get to the end of the pattern repeat (the last row) use your darning needle to work a piece of (non fuzzy) dental floss or a thin piece of yarn in a contrasting color through that last row. Then, if you mess up your stitches anytime in the next pattern repeat, you can just frog back to your dental floss, re-insert your needle and start the pattern repeat again.

I'm decent at un-knitting something, but frequently, I'll twist stitches when I put them back on the needle. This save me from having to worry. Also, while the airy scarf pattern might be simple enough to un-knit (or tink) with relative ease, the Branching Out Pattern is much, much harder to find your place in. It's not that hard, but I would consider it Big Girl lace knitting. I would consider the airy scarf a pattern I could knit while talking. I couldn't do that (at least at first) with Branching Out. I think I have pictures of both on my Flickr and my Ravelry page.

Good luck!

ev said...

Thanks - I'm definitely going to try the dental floss trick. I'm knitting "Wisp" for my advisory, but without the side eyelets. From what I could tell, it is a fairly easy lace pattern (not much counting).

I'll check out your Flickr page...

Thank your for all your help!