Thursday, July 13, 2006

Lessons Learned

Whew. Now that I have finally broken my psychological barrier against working beyond the 2nd pattern repeat (am 2 rows past it - woohoo), I am feeling reflective. Here is what Cozy is teaching me about so far:
  1. stitch markers. Sara Jayne suggested using stitch markers for every six stitches, in order to better be able to see where mistakes might be, and to keep up more easily with the pattern. Genius! This has radically simplified matters for me. Not only can I get in a better groove of knowing what comes next, I can see how I've screwed up and exactly where. In particular, I seem to have a thoughtless habit of forgetting to psso when I'm supposed to. With each section marked off, I can easily see the 2 or 3 places I forgot to psso b/c I'll have 7 sts b/t markers instead of 6 sts. When I go through on the purl row, I just fix the mistake. [Note to self: better yet, pay attention and quit making the same &*^& mistake.]
  2. lifeline. Sara Jayne and Meredith both reminded me I ought to be using a lifeline. I had every intention of doing so, honestly. But I'm, well, how should I say this, I tend to be, um, a tad lazy. And now is the time to confess something else. Since my last post, I have actually frogged one more time. I don't even remember now what the problem was, but I know what I did about it. I didn't have a lifeline in (was planning to put it in row 8, but I decided to frog after completing row 7), but amazingly I was able to salvage the first four rows (3 garter stitch and then the first pattern row). I went ahead and put a lifeline in at that point, once I got the stitches back on the needle. It goes against my natural inclinations - to actually prepare for potential problems instead of just reacting to them when they happen - but I'm glad I'm doing it.
  3. lifelines and stitch markers. Do not thread the lifeline through the 13 stitch markers. I learned this the hard way.
  4. toddlers. Toddlers and lace-knitting are an ill-fated combination. No wonder I make stupid mistakes. With silk yarn in my hands, a pattern on the arm of my chair, and two two year-olds throwing books and toys in my lap and shouting, "Read!", it's a little hard to concentrate. I also think they know that when my hands are occupied I am helpless to stop them from smearing blueberry juice on my pants. (hey, at least it's just blueberry juice)
  5. bandwagons. I tried to resist. Really, I did. I love my Addis dearly. I don't knit with anything else (except when it comes to dpns). But I'm tired of wishing for sharper tips. Especially as I try to work with this tweedy yarn (which, I have to say, has impressed me thoroughly with its ability to handle four froggings and countless tinkings). So I broke down and did it. Unfortunately, it will be at least a week or two wait. I hope they arrive before I leave on vacation!
  6. obsessions. I know I'm obsessive, and especially when it comes to knitting. But I am surprising even myself with the sheer number of times I find myself thinking of the yarn, the pattern, the future finished product, and the knitting itself. I'm also pleasantly surprised by my personal commitment to doing this thing really right, instead of just approximately right.
  7. distractions. Even my obsession with Cozy doesn't stop me from dreaming about future projects. And I know I am being completely unrealistic with what I think I can accomplish. But I can't stop thinking and planning, and Valley Yarns made things so much more difficult with the arrival of their new catalog yesterday. It included a ridiculously adorable pair of Daddy & Me Cabled Vests (scroll down and look on the right to see them) that I simply MUST MAKE for My Old Man, Little Buddha, and Tiny Dancer to wear at Christmastime. How do I really expect to do that, with my current to-do-list already approaching near-impossibility? Obviously, I have more lessons to learn - about realism, time management, and project management!

    1 comment:

    sara_jayne said...

    Your journey with Cozy has been tough but I hope this final battle is the last! I really do think you'll love the options needles - the money I'll save from these (by not buying Addis) will mean more yarn in the future! My knitting list is impossibly long and grows every day!