Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Slow knitting

Sometimes I think I should have a traffic sign beside me at all times that says Slow, Knitting, but this week it's been more like slow knitting because I have been sewing (but still with wool!) Sewing is fast and even if you only get an hour or two to yourself, it's possible to finish a new thing every day. It's tough to ignore the victory potential in that.

However, once I got my travel socks over the heel hump (yesss!) and back to mindless knitting status, I did make some progress on my Mariner sweater:

and learned that it's best not to put this project down and pick it up again unless you make very detailed notes about where you did the short rows last (there are three of various lengths I can never get right when I'm counting them out afterward, and then four regular ones) and what exactly your safety pin is marking.

Also, that even though slip1, knit1 makes a soothing rhythm of needle movement, I have to stay alert enough not to slip in a knit2. Best too if I can catch such a slip before moving three or four rows further on. It really does show, ahem.

In theory this sweater should be super fast, even to the point of pulling it off in a week if I had that traffic sign nearby, but I am noticing my stitches are uneven - odd considering how often I knit these days. I wonder whether this is partly the yarn, which came from the mill in snugly-wound balls a very long time ago, but it may also be that I am working on this project at jittery times. I know I'm choosing it when I don't have to do something else, not because it's all I care about knitting. That lack of notes problem is an effective roadblock.

Worse, I noticed I made a style error about 20 rows back from where I am now - letting my tension get ridiculously loose for perhaps 10 stitches and leaving a very visible gap of very tall loops. I do this sometimes, and I'm glad to know now exactly how I do it so I can catch myself or repair it because I hate how it looks, but I'm not sure how to fix it this time.

When I'm designing something from scratch I expect to have to frog and reknit three or four times at least, so I'm having to stop myself from pulling the needle right out, right now. I know that if I give in, I will have to figure out about where to do those short rows, and I'm not entirely certain I can. Or that I can face going back to the beginning to really get it right.

Maybe I should treat it as a battle scar and move on - what do you think?


heklica said...

Arrrrgh, short rows! My concentration is often not up to them, especially in the evenings. I had to learn the hard way they are best done in the mornings, in peace and quiet, and good light.

Mary Keenan said...

Oh I'm glad it's not just me ;^) I have to block off uninterrupted time to turn heels when I'm doing socks - I think that's why they take me so long!

Karen said...

One word: iPhone. I use an app on my iPhone to keep track of where I am when I need to count rows. Odd, but true.