Thursday, November 09, 2006

Map, Please

I'm in that semi-stunned state that follows finishing something, kind of like what I experienced with the red scarf. I don't know why it takes me by surprise. If one knits, one will eventually reach the end of a piece. It follows that if one then continues to the next piece, one will complete that one, too. And so on. So here I am, a bit bemused because all five pieces of the Doctor's Bag are done.

I'm in some difficulty now. I suspect the book is intended for more experienced knitters than I am. So, much as I like the projects, the instructions sometimes baffle and frustrate. "Bind off in pattern." This is apparently a piece of knitting lore everyone knows but me, since I can't find an explanation for it anywhere. The pattern calls for *k2, sl2wyif* for the right side, *p2, sl2wyib* for the wrong side. Should I have bound off in 2 passes? Knitting to bind off two stitches and slipping and then purling the slipped stitches to bind off 2 and slipping on the return trip? And what about that "wyif" and "wyib"? I worry about this now, because my bind-off stitches are decidedly wonky, even for me.

It's all well and good to blame the slubby yarn, and that may in fact be part of the problem, but maybe it's my failure to "bind off in pattern."

Then I have to "pick up and knit." I'm assuming they mean to pull loops through the edges and then knit a row. But what if their idea of "pick up" is of the thread the needle through without pulling up a loop variety?

There are instructions for the three-needle bind off I'm supposed to use to assemble the pieces. It's just not quite the way I learned three-needle bind-off. This makes me leery of making assumptions. Like the one I'm making about the "pick up and knit" part.

The word "blocking" does not seem to appear anywhere. Since I hope blocking will help resolve my bound off edge issues, I'm not taking this as an indication that I can skip that step. I'm going to try the pin and squirt method because, on the plus side, the pieces match up, even unblocked. The front and back have an extra repeat to allow for the wooden rods that give the bag part of it's structure. The side is supposed to be even with that little lower edge on the front, and it is.

That the edges of all five pieces line up encourages me. I must be developing consistency in my knitting. I had at times envisioned 5 pieces that bore absolutely no relationship to each other. In that case, I planned to call the bag "art."

Time for a deep breath. The knitting may be done. Now I have to put it together. With any luck, as long as I make the same mistakes, I mean, decisions, in all phases of the assembly, I'll be okay. One can hope.

Uncharted territory, here I come.

1 comment:

diane h said...

Did you buy the yarn locally? You could take the project in and ask advise. I just always bind off in knit, not pattern. I will be interested in reading any more experienced suggestions.