A distressing day on the knitting front.
I have continued to be dissatisfied with the Child’s Surprise, even in its ripped-back, re-started and improved version. Yesterday I abandoned it, and felt as one does half way through an exam when one realises one has attempted the wrong questions, or half-an-hour before a dinner party when you suddenly grasp that the recipe is too complicated.
I think I know what the replacement will be, after some frantic thinking and stash-searching. I am well-endowed with Lorna’s Laces in various beautiful shades of Shepherd Sock. I’ll ask the Sweater Wizard for a striped pattern, using the information on the ball band for gauge. Hope to cast on today.
What was wrong with the Surprise? Well, to begin with, the beautiful Fyberspates yarn is the wrong colour for a child’s cardigan. Secondly, garter stitch is demanding. I tried to keep up a rhythm and to think peaceful thoughts, but it kept looking like My First Potholder. Blocking would have helped, of course.
But the clincher was when I lost track of the Marked Stitch last night.
On my first attempt – the one I ripped out on May 31 – I centered the decreases, and purled the vital stitch on the wrong side. That makes it dead easy to follow the line and also, incidentally, makes the stitch itself sweep consistently on from the decrease section into the one where you are increasing on either side of it.
But EZ is emphatic about an uncentered decrease (slip 1, k2tog, psso), and can be very dictatorial for a woman so scornful of Blind Followers. So this time I did it her way, and it was my undoing
I had finished the first assignment: cast on 9K, decrease 4 stitches every other row down to 5K. I had started increasing back up to 9K. Then I carelessly increased on a wrong-side row. In trying to unpick and remedy the mistake, I found I had lost hold and couldn’t recover. In garter stitch, a stitch with an increase on either side of it is remarkably hard to follow the course of, or so I found it. I flung the whole thing aside with a wild cry.
There’s still plenty of time. It’s still early June.
The camera battery needs to be charged. I cannot illustrate disaster for you today.
On a brighter note, the Christine Duchrow books I ordered from the Needle Arts bookshop turned up yesterday – and sure enough, there are jabot patterns. I have found two already. (Fortunately, “jabot” in German is “jabot”.)
There is an English introduction to each of the books, with a guide to the chart symbols. Also, Judy Gibson has posted some highly useful information which I have printed out. Was she one of the great names of the Knitlist in the ‘90’s? or am I thinking of Judy Sumner?
The designs are mostly – obviously, not exclusively – doilies. They are beautiful. I would never knit a doily anyway, and contemplating them, I fear they would have to be knit perfectly. I couldn’t do that. My Princess – and, incidentally, I did a repeat yesterday – sweeps the eye of the beholder on with her sheer size, but is full of small mistakes.
I had some automated security calls yesterday -- a new experience for me -- from James’s credit card company. In the course of subsequent emails to and from Beijing, I discovered that the charges under suspicion were perfectly all right, and one of them was for a Kindle. He is about to spend some time in Washington working on an Economist special on Sino-American relations and hopes to find a Kindle waiting at his hotel. Foreign books are laborious and expensive to acquire in China: it makes a lot of sense. And he has always loved gadgets. Maybe he’ll let me have a wee go on it, when we meet in CT in July.