I surprise myself

So way back in January, when I was working on deciding what to knit for the quinceanera and Little Miss O’s birthday, I was very stressed out by the choices that I had made. I mean, to make a *lace* shawl and a girl’s shrug – all by the end of March – on top of school…bible study…church…work – was a fairly ludicrous notion.

And yet.

And yet I met both challenges, and both with p.l.e.n.t.y. of time to spare.

Sometimes, I surprise myself.

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the river in Egypt

I have heard of cases where a knitter is knitting their first sweater and is so far off gauge that she could fit 3 entire people inside of the thing, and the knitter just keeps on knitting in the hopes that something, somewhere and at some point in the sweater’s construction things will just magically work out.

I’m at that stage.

I have decided that my dreams of making an extra-large Whippoorwill were ludicrous. It was folly of me to think that I, being a reasonable, logical person could do math and calculate exactly how many stitches it would take for me to do this. I’ve taken Calculus and Statistics – I’m a computer programmer, for goodness sakes! I AM LOGICAL!

And I had a plan. I had confidence that this task could be done and I set forth believing that this dream would come true.

But I am now realizing that this was egregiously erroneously bad thinking. Doesn’t the bible say “pride goeth before a fall”? (yes, it does…I should know.)

I have 573 stitches on my needles. The last “check” in the pattern for the large-sized shawl is 403. So I am 170 stitches and at least 30 rows beyond the point of where I made my bad decision. I’ve gone over the math so many times that I now have no way of knowing which end is up. I’m confused and I’m angry. And I keep repeating the mantra “there is no crying in knitting….there is no crying in knitting”. *sigh*

In my current situation, these are my options:

  1. Frog. This is my first inclination, except that I’ve already invested so much energy, thought and other stuff into this shawl that I can’t turn back now.
  2. Continue on with the pattern, even though I won’t be able to go through the repeats and come out even. This is appealing to me because of all the math I’ve done (I’m not saying that my math is correct, I’m just saying that I’ve done some math) indicates that I *should* come out even and only knitting the *!@#$%* thing will tell me in the end how “off” I really am.
  3. Re-do my math, maybe inventing some create new way to do “knitting math” and hope that I can figure out what I need to do to get back on track. Even if this were possible, I fear that it would require too much from me because if anything, it would mean that I would need to continue knitting until I get the correct number of stitches on the needles so that my repeats come out perfect, and I just can’t really stomach the idea of doing this. It is too depressing (why? because I’ve already done this 2 times now, believe it or not. See, I had a plan, and when that plan first failed, I “re-did” the math and came up with a new plan. Then I had to come up with another new plan because the previous new plan didn’t work out. So this would mean that I would need a new plan for the last new plan that was for the original new plan and see, now I’ve gone and confused myself with how many new plans there really were or are. This is what makes me depressed).
  4. Place the shawl in time-out, forget about it for a while, and let things cool down in the hopes that when it comes time to pick it back up again things will instantly become “clear” and I will know what needs to be done.

Number 4 sounds the most appealing to me, so I think that’s what I’m going to do.

Now I need to figure out what I’m going to work on next!

too good to be true

Yesterday and today it has felt like spring. The temps have been in the low to mid-60s and I noticed that my tulips have started to peek up through the ground. This has been an unusually mild winter – only 2 mild snow falls of about 5-6 inches each with a few more that were merely dustings. It hardly seems like this could be the sum total of our winter this year…and this is what makes me wonder what is yet to come. Will we get any more snow…or has spring truly begun? Only time will tell, I’m afraid.

Now that my big push of the 2 projects are finished, I am once again knitting on the Whippoorwill shawl. I have 571 stitches on the needles right now and I’m running out of needle space – which means that I need to purchase some more…oh rats! 🙂 I will need to make a decision soon as to which yarn I will use for the contrasting eyelets, but I figure I have about 10 rows left before I have to make that final decision – and at 5:70+ stitches and growing, it will be a while yet.

As to health news, I am finally starting to feel better. I’m still congested, but the coughing is under control. I’ve often wondered if you could give yourself a concussion from coughing too hard – there were times that my brain hurt because I was coughing so hard. Well, that has subsided for now, thankfully.

Now that my first lace project is finished, I have a hankering to make another. the problem is choosing a pattern. So many to choose from. I may even decide to be really, really brave and design one of my own. Maybe.

check one off

My #1 New Years Resolution Goal was to finish a lace shawl. I am pleased to announce that this is finished. CHECK!

I’m not sure why being sick on Saturday and choosing to stay home to rest (I didn’t get out of bed until 10 AM!) apparently paid off. I set to work on this shawl, moving my lifelines up appropriately, and when it got to about 8 PM I had just finished the 3rd chart, which meant that I had one more chart to go. So I decided to go for it. I had it done by 9:15 PM.

This is what the lacework looks like pre-blocking. Just a small, undefined blob of knitting. The next step is to soak the shawl so that the fibers are nice and pliable for the stretching and shaping process.

Those wires at the top are my blocking wires. Next comes the time-consuming part: wiring up the thing.

I did the long edge first and had one side done and was working on the third side when I realized that the sides were scalloped, so I had to take out the 2nd side and re-wire it to bring out the scallops. I’m still not convinced that I did this right, but there you go. I checked it this morning and it was almost dry.

So yesterday, while the Mystery Shawlette was preparing for the blocking process, I decided to finish this little thing up:

And it also took a little bath:

And went on the blocking wires.

The directions for this shrug said to block the center section, leaving the ribbing alone so that it would retain its stretchiness. Once this is dry I will fold in half lengthwise, pick up the  stitches on the edges and knit a little sleeve (or two). I think Little Miss O will like this, no?

So I now have two items finished up and are happily being blocked.

I’d say it was a good weekend.

Just wish this cold/congestion/bronchitis/muck would go away.