Monday, June 26, 2006

Defeated by the Knitting

Sometimes, the knitter and the knitting dance, with lovely yarn and a satisfying pattern, and a project just flies through your fingers onto the needles, pleasurable progress.

This is the week the knitting kicked my ass.

Orangina is killing me. I just can't get the lace right. It is a simple, 9-stitch pattern. Easy to memorize. And I keep messing it up. Over and over again. I have ripped it countless times this week, casting on again, only to be defeated yet again by simple yarnovers. In my first few attempts, I did use stitch markers liberally to keep me straight, and it did help. But about four inches into the piece, I realized it would be too big. So, I ripped it out, and with hope and excitement, cast on for the smaller size, knowing that it would go even faster, since the rows were now shorter.

I decided to forgo the stitch markers this time, since I had memorized the pattern, and seemed to be moving along without trouble. The stitch markers are a pain in the ass for this project as the lace shifts over one stitch every row, so instead of simply slipping a marker, you must slip a stitch, remove the marker, slip the stitch back to the left hand needle, knit it, and the replace the SM. This seemed to be slowing me down, I thought, and pressed on.

And then I spent the rest of the week wading in the frog pond, missing a YO here, or a K there, and throwing off the whole pattern. I think I have ripped out the first three inches of the back of this sweater 6 times now.

This weekend, we went down the shore. I brought Orangina and little sister's crunchy granola Trekking sock with the intention of knitting the sock in the car, and Orangina in the house when I had some free time. See, sister's crunchy granola Trekking sock has been boring me to tears. Gray. Cream. And every possible variation of gray. And Cream. And these socks are knitted on US0s, so progress has been slow going, to say the least. I have been studiously avoiding said socks, but decided to buckle down and make some real progress before the Sundara and the Lorna's Laces arrive, never mind the two skeins of STR, a few hanks of koigu and other lovely sock yarns just screaming to be knitted. It is time to get the dull Trekking socks out of my life, once and for all.

200 miles round trip in the car would get me through the cuff of the first sock. I was convinced. And while I ended up doing the driving on the way down the shore (if I cannot knit while driving, Mr. S cannot Blackberry while he driving either), once I again ripped Orangina on Friday night, having been again vanquished by simple lace, I was truly hopeful that this weekend would see a finished Trekking sock, with the second sock being cast on immediately. The sock would come along on my overnight anniversary jaunt to NYC with Mr. S, with lots of progress. I even imagined my Trek Along With Me post, with my humble gray and cream crunchy granola sock logging many miles with me -- Rhode Island, down the shore, NYC...

Things were looking good. And then, Saturday night, I tried one on. At least, I tried to try one on.


Now my sister has lovely narrow feet and delicately slim ankles and calves. But this sock would not go over my heel. See, I picked a slipped-stitch ribbed pattern, that gave wonderful definition to the ribs, but the combination of both ribbing and slipping stitches made for a too-tight cuff.

So, the 6-inch long cuff got ripped, and now I am knitting the ribs without the slipped stitches.

And I am trying to knit Orangina with the only stitch markers that were available down the shore.

Please please please let this be a better week.


Ann said...

Liz! What a week! You Can Not have another knitting week like this! All the frogging ... the socks ... the lace ... and those stitch markers ... oye!

Repeat after me: Last week was bad, this week will be better ... and remember, slow is good!

And have a blast in NYC!

aija said...

Whew! Sending you beter week vibes!

Anonymous said...

When stuff like that happens to me (which it doesn't, because I don't knit), but if it did, I would make a pot holder. Or maybe try fingerpaints. Or something. Make something real quick so you can say, "Look, I knitted this neck warmer in an afternoon!" and then get on with it. Know what I'm sayin'?

Anonymous said...

It's Monday. Maybe you better keep those needles in their bag until Tuesday.

Hope it's a better week!

Don't forget your hair de-frizzing stuff. Damned humidity!

Dorothy said...

Urrgghh! I do hope you have a better week than that. At least the paperclips can be moved without all that slipping.

Martina said...

Argg!!! Definite frustration!! Here's to a better week!

Anonymous said...

time to put the knitting aside and do something else - read, take in the scenery, take photographs.

refresh your spirit and you will come back to the sock and the lace reinvigorated and with no more frogging!

anne marie

Francesca said...

With perserverence like yours, it's bound to get better. And the reknit Orangina looks beautiful.

Thanks for your very Philly support on the voting front. Really -- that made me smile SO much.

Marnie said...

UGH. I hate yarnovers. I can never ever ever knit something unflawed when yarnovers are part of the equation.

and double ugh on the sock. Orangina, I feel pity but I keep thinking "why?" so you're not getting a TON of sympathy there. but the sock? oh. yuck. hideousness.

couldn't it have become a somber kneesock for someone more elfin in stature?

Teresa said...

So sorry to hear that none of your knitting is coorporating. Between the yarnovers and slipping stitches. Hopefully the rest of the week will be better.

iSeL said...

Oh, poor you. :D
I feel your pain. I've been struggling with my Jaywalkers for the longest time...and now I am booored to tears.

I hope you'r knitting woes go away soon. Also, have a great time in The City!