Sunday, June 21, 2009

Learning techniques

Sometimes you have to try something you've seen someone else do. It's one way we learn things. It's especially nice to play around with it when there aren't really any consequences, when if you mess up, you have a backup plan.

Thus was the case with the sweater I'm knitting for the wedding in Iowa.

I messed up on the 4th line of the second section of the lace. I didn't notice this until I'd finished the section of lace and said to myself "Why do I have an extra stitch in the last repeat?"

Well, lookee here:

It's a sl1, k2tog, psso. Only I forgot the psso bit, so it just looks like a big yarn over and gives me an extra stitch. And because of it's yo-ness, it makes for an interruption in the nice triangular line of the lace.

I could have left it alone. It's going to be right near the side seam of the sweater, and no one would ever know but me. But the deal with knitting is that you get to make it as perfect as you want it to be. And see that red yarn? That's a lifeline that I cleverly (hah!) put in place after finishing the first lace section.

Nothing to lose, I thought I'd try a bit of lace surgery. Nothing as ambitious as I saw on The Tsock Tsarina's blog a while ago, but it seemed doable.

Step 1: Put all the other stitches on another lifeline - this one going through the stitch markers. It's a temporary needle, and if it worked, I didn't want to put the markers back in place.

Step 2: Take out the needle from the remaining stitches, except the last one. The little DPN marks where I'm thinking of ripping back to.

Step 3
: Thar she blows!!!

Step 4: Use those little bits of spaghetti to knit the rows again. I did it on DPNs just one size smaller than the regular needle.

Step 5: Realize that although the basic purpose of the repair was accomplished, there is still a problem which is unsolvable.
The lace is fixed, the triangle is restored, but somewhere in there the tension of the yarn got completely borked, and cannot be restored. I think there's also a weird, missing edge loop somewhere near the top, though how that happened I've no idea.

At this point, I say thank you to the happy red cotton yarn at the bottom of the panel.

What I learned:
I know lace surgery can be done, and I got really close, but I think doing it right next to an edge like this is a hazard. It's a scary process, fraught with the possibility of introducing new errors. I'll have to try again sometime in the future - hopefully not on this project since it's on a very firm deadline.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Yikes! I'm glad you had a lifeline! See you tomorrow :)