Sunday, June 14, 2009

No Knitter Avoids BIG Mistakes

Well, well well. Even when you know you are a pretty good knitter, you can over-estimate your abilities. That happened to me yesterday!

I spent a long time at the yarn shop, because my husband was at a meeting and one kid was out of town (the other was happy at home playing guitar). I got a LOT done on Aeolian. I finished the yucca pattern, having completed 14 repeats rather than 12, thanks to my inability to correctly figure out where I was when I'd had to frog a bit earlier in the week. I merrily forged ahead into the transition section and loved how it looked.

I felt so smug.

Then I got to the first nupp row (and by the way, no matter how you pronounce that word, someone will correct how you say it, which is getting really tedious: yes, I know Standard English would require a short "u" sound, and I also know that Estonian pronunciation requires a long "u" but you have to say it SOME way). That row was the last row I did at the shop, and I knew I was a bit tired, but I wrapped as loosely and consistently as I could and hoped for the best.

Then I came home and looked at the shawl. There were a lot of nice looking nupps. There were also some really messy looking nupps. And there were two where I had "missed" a wrap and little loops were waving merrily at me. I thought, well, I'll have to fix those and live with the others. Then I looked from a distance and a thought came to me. You know, I don't LIKE the way nupps combined with beads looks! In my opinion (and this is just me, OK?) I think the beads detract from the subtle texturizing of the nupps.

I thought, well, it's my shawl. I should make it look good to me, not someone else. I rummaged through my bead collection, and guess what I found? That would be a vial of size 6 beads that were the same color as my size 8s, only shiny and not matte. I know it is very common to replace nupps with beads, as an alternative way of emphasizing spots in a shawl. How fun would it be to use these similar, just slightly more noticeable, beads for the nupps! OK! Yes! Let's do that, I thought.

Uh, well, that would mean something had to be done with the nupps that were glaring at me from my knitted fabric. I reminded myself how well it had gone when I frogged an entire repeat plus earlier in the week. Shoot, I am a very good lace un-knitter! I can do this (I thought)!

Oooh, was I wrong. Those nupps did not want to come out. They were knotty and rough. When I pulled them out, they disturbed a couple of rows down. In to places they were hopelessly knotted. At least this all happened at the end of a skein, so when I did re-start, I had the same number of yarn joins. I got pretty upset. So, my dear husband took me out for sushi, which was delicious.

When we came back I just took a deep breath and erased some more. I got to one of the simpler rows, and eventually got those 600+ stitches back on the needles, sort of. One thing I actually am good at is recovering stitches on the needles, so I got it looking pretty good. Or so I thought. This morning I found two missed stitches, which I had to surgerize with a crochet hook. Honestly, if you could have seen the mess I had when I started, you'd think two missed stitches wasn't a bad outcome at all.

I guess in hindsight I should have made the "no nupp" decision before putting some in. I certainly hope that there are NO more frogging episodes in this project.

Anyway, in the photo you can see one of the shiny beads near the top, to the right of the t-pin I used to try to keep the shawl straight enough to photograph. The other shiny ones were hiding. When I stretch the lace out, the beads replacing the nupps look pretty nice! I think it will be OK. If not, well, it was a learning experience.

PS: My husband had to leave suddenly this morning to take his dad to the hospital. The stubborn old goat would not leave the farm until forced, and was all dehydrated and weakened from a flu episode. Lee had talked to him Thursday and he didn't even admit he was sick. Grr. Please think of Lee's dad!


  1. What a nightmare! The fact that you came through it successfully proves your knitting prowess. Best wishes for the FIL!

  2. Gee, Suna, what a terrible story. I'm fighting with a shawl too. Started a Estonian one from Nancy Bush with Habu bambu and to be honest, I don't like the result. Waiting for a good idea...:-)
    I'll think of Lee's dad.

  3. I think you may have scared me off of ever attempting lace. Eek.


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