Happy 2014 everyone! Did you pop champagne bottles? Set off fireworks? Watch Carson Daly and think, 'Wow, I'm old, and I wish this was TRL'?
I celebrated the new year with some friends in an all-day knitting, eating, and chatting session. It was good times. We had fruit, veggies, chips, dip, and for dinner we did baked potatoes with all of the fixings. And, of course, I baked something for dessert. Stay tuned for that recipe coming soon.
It's always nice to be able to spend some quality time with fellow crafters. Especially when you're facing some frustrations with your WIPs. Because as sympathetic as non-knitters may be, they just don't understand what it's like to be a few rows away from finishing a shawl, only to discover that you need to rip it back to the halfway point.
Yes, unfortunately my Fruit Loopy Shawl has suffered a setback. I was finishing up the final section, all of the gussets behind me, when I decided to check and make sure that the end was shaping up symmetrically to the beginning. It wasn't. After doing some digging in others' project pages and the comments, I discovered that the Coquille Shawl pattern has an erratum. Well, it's an erratum if you were expecting it to come out symmetrically, which I was. Basically, the shawl is constructed with short row 'gussets' that turn out kind of like ruffles (here's a picture from when I first started):
For the first half of the shawl, you are also added stitches on the rows between the gussets. Then for the second half, you are decreasing at the same rate. The problem is that the pattern has you including these increases for the center gusset section. When you do that, you end up with four more stitches then you should have. So your second half ends up being a fatter wedge than the first, and when you are working the final section to get back down to three stitches to cast off, you have to work several additional rows, resulting in a longer length from final gusset to tip than you have from cast on to first gusset.
Would the shawl still have been fully-functional and 'fine' had I just accepted this asymmetry? Yes. But it would have irked me, and taken away from the happy feelings I wanted to have every time I looked at this colorful shawl. It didn't need to be perfect, but this was too much. So I bit the bullet and ripped back to the halfway point so that I could reknit the center gusset sans increases.
What adds insult to injury is the sneaking suspicion I have that if it weren't for the extra four stitches across the entire second half of the shawl, I might not have needed to buy extra yarn, and this shawl could have been done not just in 2013 but at least a month ago. Grr. But I'm taking deep breaths and letting it pass. This way, I know I have plenty of yarn, and I've gone ahead and done the two gussets on either side of the center that I eliminated the first time around in order to try and conserve yardage.
Just so you don't think I'm a crazy perfectionist, I have another project that I'm nearly done with which had it's own unexpected results. And this time I didn't respond to it by redoing the whole thing. It's for the Jane Austen swap, so I can't give you too many details. But suffice to say, it involved some colorwork and for some reason my gauge between a swatch of just plain knitting and the actual knitting with the colorwork was different. The image I was aiming for in the colorwork is fine, but the item itself is a bit larger than I was hoping.
Thankfully, I have my mother, who has a lot of experience with knitting fixes. She picked up the stitches on the shawl for me, and she's helping me reconcile the dimension issues for this project. Then I just have to quell the voices in my head that start to pipe up anytime something turns out even mildly disappointing. I know that in the end it's still going to be amazing, and that my spoilee will love it. At least I hope she will. I think it's a good sign that I'm still really excited to be able to show it to you all.
So my 2014 crafting didn't necessarily start off on the best foot, but I think the bright side is that I faced them all with relative calm and without any tears of frustration. After all, it's not about the problems you face, you can't control those. It's about how you face them.
Before I turn into a Hallmark card, I'll send you on to Tami's Amis for more WIP Wednesday posts.