Sunday, November 4, 2012

Slippery Short Rows




I decorated my hat with a flower I made from I-cord and a vintage
button I'd bought at a yard sale last year. 


Last Wednesday afternoon, after a long doctor’s appointment which included the discomfort of having blood drawn and receiving two other vaccine injections, I sat down at home to work on the Lucy Hat, a pattern found in the latest Knitscene magazine.  I cast on the requisite number of stitches, joined them in the round, and, as per the instructions, purled four rows.  I then began the short row shaping—a technique I’ve only attempted a handful of times—used mostly when I’ve made socks.  I consulted the notes at the beginning of the magazine and set forth—but ended up with a strange-shaped and bumpy brim—one which is supposed to fold up in a neat curve on one side in the manner of Peter Pan’s jaunty topper.  My work, however, resembled a round with one side featuring a lumpy flap with a concave dip.    

I knew that the local knitting store was having a Lucy Hat class the following Saturday, but figured that I really didn’t need to spend any more knitting-related money this month.  (An unplanned visit to Tangles on Main a shop in a nearby historic Waxhaw, had set me back a bit.)  The hat pattern did look pretty straightforward—despite the short row shaping—so I’d decided to persevere to discover where I’d made an error.  I began by searching for assistance on Ravelry, where others who had made the same garment had posted comments.  As I read “such a quick straightforward knit” and “super easy knit” and “no trick; this is done already!” my ego rapidly deflated.   Overcome with a sense of my own unworthiness as a knitter, I cast my project aside, exhausted from the entire process of knitting and frogging and reading and also probably from my visit to the doctor with its shots. 
I bought a kit to make this Noro wrap from Black Sheep and Ewe at Vogue Knitting Live last year.  I love this yarn  I actually finished the
wrap tonight, but it's wet right now, so I'll post this picture for now. 

Later that evening, however, I had a brainstorm.  Reread the pattern! I thought.  When I did so, I realized that I’d misread one line.  I wasn’t supposed to repeat three rows 27 times, just one!  Rather than tear out my rust-colored hat again, I decided to use some inexpensive gray Patons  yarn I had lying around and try the hat again.  If it worked, I’m knit up the rust one.  With the instructions amended in my mind, I quickly made the hat, although my typical overthinking caused me to experience a few difficult spots.  My stitch marker denoting the beginning of the first round was on the side of the hat, so when one part of the instructions read to knit “to the end,” I didn’t know if I was supposed to knit to the marker or back to where the current round began (about halfway around from the marker).  I went with my gut, and I think the hat turned out just fine. 
I had to show an up-close view of this pretty Noro Bonborri yarn.

On another note, my semester is hectic.  Grades are due Tuesday, my sons’ athletic events are going strong, and my evening web page design class is exhausting me.  I have some ideas for knitwear to design and blog posts to write, but finding the time . . . and the energy to post more than once a week right now is difficult.  I’m still knitting strong, however, as this activity provides a therapeutic escape from my busy schedule right now.  
I like my hat, but might give this one away and make another one for myself.  (My friend's name is Maggie.  She loves when I take the time to sit still for a moment in the back yard.) 

3 comments:

  1. It looks lovely - well done for persisting. I think you were right about the exhaustion from work getting in the way of your knitting skills - and this winter darkness does nothing for the energy levels. I would love to have the pattern (as you so kindly offered recently) but not at the moment, - I'll get in touch again towards the end of term when the work stress is off. I'm returning to school today after half-term and not looking forward to it - lots of things to organise and fiddle about with even before you think about the actual teaching. Looking forward to the weekly blogpost! Judy.

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  2. I think that we all have patterns that challenge us in that way every once in a while, but you conquered it and now you have a super pretty hat. I really like the black stripe detail. I hope that life settles down for you soon, I feel like November is already slipping by just as quickly as October did. I hope that you can find time for your design soon!

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  3. Your hat is fabulous! What a wonderful pic of you in it with Maggie at the end of your post! I love that Noro yarn too - it will make a beautiful wrap. Looking forward to seeing it when you've finished it and have time to post it. Don't overdo it - it's such a busy time this second half of the autumn - just "Keep calm and carry on knitting!". E x

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