Monday, May 11, 2009

Successes and Failures

On Saturday night, I was sitting on my bed with my nicely cast on stitches, purling away and listening to the sounds of a rehearsal for our theater company's production of Arsenic & Old Lace going on in my living room. I turned and actually started working the first lace row of the pattern (it starts on a wrong side row) and actually had the thought "Wow, I had no trouble casting on for this!"




I would like to say, in my defense, that I only THOUGHT this. I did not say it out loud to anyone, not even to myself or one of the cats (Nyssa was watching the rehearsal, Chiana was hiding from it). How the knitting gods heard this blasphemy I do not know, but they sure as hell did.

Within five minutes I hit one of my many markers and realized that I was a stitch short. No problem, I have these markers every 3-4 repeats so I never go too far without realizing I've made a mistake. So I raveled back and found a weird spot in my knitting. I could not initially define what this weird spot was, only that it was weird and it somehow caused a stitch to be lost. I looked at it for a very long time and did a number of interesting experiments with dropping loops, picking them up and turning the knitting in various ways. None of them worked. I finally came to the conclusion that in my purling of the first row, the knitting had gotten twisted on the needles and I had not noticed and just purled right on through. So the knitting was now twisted. A tiny twist, which would probably not be noticeable. But it was there. I stared at it awhile more, then put it away for the night.

The next day I sat on the sofa looking at the knitting and decided that I could not start out knowing that their was a mistake so near the beginning of the dress. I'll allow for the possibility that there'll be mistakes down the line which will get ignored or worked in, but now? When I hadn't even finished 3 rows. Couldn't do it. Frogged the whole thing. Cast on again. Purled VERY carefully this time with no twists. Started working the first lace row. Got to the final section and realized that I was short two stitches. Figured it must be a mistake since I'd counted THREE times to make sure there were enough stitches. Asked my mom to be quiet while I counted the stitches again. Yes, I was talking on the phone while I was knitting. Listened, with perhaps less than good grace to my mother's suggestion that doing something else while I was knitting the dress was perhaps not the best idea in the world. Pointed out, rather testily I admit, that I'd made the mistake BEFORE we got on the phone, hence it was not the phone which was the problem. Gave up again. Finished call with my mom, trying to be a bit more polite to her. After all, it was Mother's Day.

Once we'd hung up, I cut off the twice knitted beginnings of the dress. Cast on for a third time, trying to achieve a quiet, Zen-like state. Counted each section VERY carefully 4 times. Purled the first row, being very, very careful not to twist. Began knitting the first row. Made it about 2/3's of the way through when a very mischievous part of my mind tried to point out how well things were going. That part was quickly shouted down by the rest of my mind reminding it that Pride goeth before a fall and also that the second mistake was in the LAST section of the row, so it wouldn't do well to count our chickens before they were hatched, etc. Made it to the last section and knitted the last 18 stitches literally holding my breath.


I purled another row just to be safe and then put it down. Doesn't pay to temp fate.

So at the end of the weekend I'm left with this:

And, rather sadly, with this:

Which I'm keeping as a monument to pride.


  1. Is it okay that this made me laugh?

  2. Enough time has passed that I can see the humor. If you'd tried laughing on Sunday, I'd have cut you.