I suppose it’s unreasonable to expect that the things we make always go to plan. Even though I know things don’t always work out, I find myself surprised still that in the space of a month I can have great success with a beautiful doily churned out in a fortnight and then have a series of failures. I suppose that’s just the way of the world, isn’t it?
My Shetland Tea Shawl, as I mentioned in the last post, suffered a mishap and although it wasn’t a mishap brought on by lack of focus on the pattern, I still feel in some way responsible for it. I had made it through twenty-one rounds of the most complex chart in the pattern (which has thirty-six rounds) and was feeling like finally I’d found my groove. Through the knitting of it, I’d noticed a few times that the join between the cable and the point was wobbly. I had to push it back in a few times – it hadn’t come out – it was just a little loose.
Reader, take heed. If your cable is wobbly at the join, get rid of it lest what happened to me should happen to you. Late on Friday night the cable simply fell out of the join. Just like that. In an instant, a whole section on the left side of the work just dropped. Here’s what I was left with. Just a bare naked cable end and a piece of work that stands at approximately 570 stitches and was quite possibly ruined. I quietly wept.
I carefully placed the loose, floppy mass of unravelled stitches back on the needle and put it in a bag, knowing it was late and that I had a busy weekend ahead of me. Alice and lace work aren’t a winning combination. Over the last couple of days I’ve raged inwardly about it. All that work. Could I bear to rip it all back to the plain section and start that bloody chart all over again? Let me point out it’s a complex chart with lace on every row – no plain rows in between. And that I ripped out this section three weeks ago when I’d made too many mistakes. At that point, Drk and RoseRed and urged me to put in a lifeline.
I did not put in a life line. Pride goeth before a fall. We all know that. But in my defence I will say that I think lifelines are difficult in lace that has no plain rows. I’m happy for those of you more accomplished than I to correct me on that front.
Here’s the shawl as it looks today. You can see how very big it’s getting.
I’ve spent the last hour moving it onto another needle, a more secure one and examining the section where I’ve tried to pick up and reconstruct the fallen work. There’s been debate with friends in recent days about trying to be very clever and rebuilding it by pinning out the section and knitting painstakingly just in that section but on examination in daylight I’ve decided that it’s perhaps not as bad as I thought. I think two rows are affected by the incident but only in an area that runs across about twenty stitches. I think, as long as I’m happy to have a dodgy section that isn’t perfect, I can reconstruct it and keep going. I’m sure as hell not going to, at this stage, rip it out stitch by stitch. That way lies madness when it’s fiddly lace. But it’s not out of the question.
I had a vague notion that I’d like to enter this in the show next year. With a dodgy section, it won’t be possible but you know what? That’s ok. There are more lace shawls in my future this year. Maybe the next one will be a little closer to perfect.
That said, I should know within a round or two if the reconstruction effort is wasted. It might just be more awful than I realise. We shall see. In the meantime, that cable is now tossed on the floor and it’s next stop is the bin.
I did, for a few hours last night, consider tossing everything I’m knitting and starting over because it’s all just misery making. But I’m stronger than that. I can weather this knitting storm. I think as many have pointed out, the searing heat makes us all grumpy and unable to cope as well as we might.
In happier news, my squares from last week are now joined up and ringed (can you say ringed about a square?) with two borders. This, I can happily say, makes me feel like not everything is at a loss.
Isn’t it lovely? I feel so accomplished. My foot is included not as a joke or accident as my sister thought but for scale. I am going to send this off to the QLD Flood Relief project and Corrie or one of her helpers will make this top into a quilt for me. And pretty soon, I’m going to start another one because I want one to keep!
Right, back to my shawl and the air con.