Tuesday, March 29, 2011


It's very sad. So sad. So very, very sad. You know how things seem to come in waves? Or maybe it's that I get caught up in enthusiasm. I was, well, still am, mostly, so excited about my current knitting. This particular project is large, so there's not a lot to say, even if I had the time to post as often as I want. "I knit another 120 yards and changed skeins again" is not going to grab the reader after the ninth or tenth time you've written it. Bumps in the road, snags in the project, now, those make for blog fodder, so here I am.

First, let me state, unequivocally, irrefutably, categorically, that I despise novelty yarn. It's a pain to knit with. It's near impossible to read. And just try finding a couple or five lost stitches in this -

when your combing through 664 of them. Or maybe it's 665. Or 668.

One might be justified in wondering how I, the queen of stitch markers, tumbled into this pit of despair. Too clever by half, that's how. That, and a complete refusal inability, oh, let's be honest, refusal to heed the tell-tale signs of imminent disaster.

The Princess and I are knitting up semi-matching afghans a la the Lorna of Lorna's Laces Book. When I last posted about this project, I determined to finish it off. I was so close, just that last bit of one and then the eyelash yarn. I figured it wasn't ambition, it wasn't that competitive streak, it was a slam-dunk.

Like all primrose paths, the going seem sweet and easy until I got through several rows of the (now known as) Truly Deeply Annoying Eyelash Yarn and began to consider how irked I would be if I ran out before finishing the bind-off (yes, that's how close I was). Which is when I remembered an old Yarn Harlot post on -- at about the same time HRH proposed -- the no-additional yarn crochet cast-off. Basically, all you do is pass the stitches over each other using a crochet hook.

Except I'm a tight knitter. A very tight knitter. I doubt I was more than twenty stitches into it before I noticed a complete lack of elasticity. No give whatsoever. Another twenty or so and I noticed the afghan seemed to be puckering. At either of these points, I could have easily reversed direction, but no. I had to decide to finish an edge. Then I had to decide to round a corner. Then I had to hide from myself for a bit before I could acknowledge that I had to go back and undo.

I found it a lot harder to reverse that bind-off than seems reasonable. It was so simple to perform it in the first place (I'm blaming the yarn here). In a flurry of dramatic activity - truly, it took forever, but in retrospect it's all a blur - I ended up with between one-third and one-half of the stitches live. With what I thought was exquisite care and patience, I replaced them on the needle and then I counted.

Well, there we are, back to the start of the story, with possibly 664 stitches, but more likely 663, or maybe 667. I sat down with it again this morning and all I know for sure is that I do not have the same number of stitches on each side. Really, I don't think I have any option now but to frog all that eyelash yarn and re-knit.

Or I could frog it and just use it for the bind-off.

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