Thursday, October 25, 2007

If It Seems Too Good to be True

It probably is.

Yesterday's pick was the Huckleberry Ascot. I rationalized that I'm going to need multiples of it. Teachers (assuming it passes muster). Christmas Bazaar (which will just get more if the scarf doesn't pass teacher muster). Possible gifts for female relatives. Since I know my attention span will never stand up to knitting sequential scarves from the same pattern, I thought I'd spend the rest of the week knitting up this first one, then take a break and turn my attention to other projects - like my Saturday Slippers.

My initial reaction was stunned disbelief. I never knit anything this easily. I never knit anything easily, period. There are definite masochistic overtones to my choice of hobby and projects. Yet, there I was this morning, with the base of the scarf done and fantasies of churning these out by the dozen. All my short rows co-operated. I didn't loose track of where I was. The pattern was fun. Then I came to this direction: "pick up and knit 115 stitches along the short, flared edge." From these 32 stitches.

Now, I may have complicated this with my habit of slipping the first stitch purl-wise. But I know how to pick up stitches, from stitches or rows. I'll even do the math to make sure the number of stitches the designer asks for are distributed evenly over the foundation stitches. What I apparently don't know how to do is increase from 32 rows to 115 stitches. I tried pulling up multiple yarn-overs. Sounds fine until you try to knit into them and they have nothing to hold onto. I tried knitting into both legs of the slipped stitches, which turned them into huge, horribly distorted parodies of themselves. I checked The Knitting Answer Book. I looked into Knitting in Plain English. I paged through the stitch guides at the end of Interweave Holiday Knits. There was plenty of information on how to pick up fewer stitches. Nothing on how to pick up more.

It may be that I'm suffering from an annoying compulsion to wake up at 4:30 AM these days, but I could not figure this out. It surely sounded like the designer meant me end up with 115 stitches on my pick up row. I just couldn't for the life of me figure out to get there from here.

Should any of you be at the same skill level in your knitting that I am, let me share what I did when I finally gave up. I picked up 32 stitches. Into those 32 stitches I worked a series of variations of KFB. To get from 32 to 115 I worked out a pattern of 1 3 4 4 4 3 *4 4 4 4 3* repeating the pattern between the asterisks until I K1 into the last stitch, where 1 = K1, 4 = KFBFB and 3 = KFBF. It worked. At least I'm pretty sure it did. I have 115 stitches across the end of my scarf, and I'm pretty sure I followed my own directions. I could be wrong of course.

This, by the way, is how far one skein of Blue Sky Alpaca Melange will take you.

If there's an easier way, please let me know. Just not for a few days. Maybe next week. Or the week after. Just before I start the next one.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Well, doesn't that sound like fun. I'm pretty sure I would've gotten to that point and then uttered some choice profanities and frogged the whole thing. You are a better woman than I ;-)