Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mind like a Siv

You may be wondering why there are no pictures of my current project on this blog. After all, I’ve been working on Siv from Elsbeth Lavold’s Viking Patterns for five whole days. SURELY, there should be enough progress to take a picture, right?

Well, ordinarily there would be. But people, I am having the worst time with this sweater. Seriously. You’d think the pattern was written in Icelandic. It is not. It is written in very clear English.

And yet, I’ve had to tear out nearly everything I’ve done on Siv – twice!

The first time I’d mistakenly done ten rows even (all three cable panels the same) when it was supposed to be “offset” – on the center panel, you do rows 1 and 2 ten times (hold onto that thought, attention to certain small details become important later), but on the side panels you just charge straight on in and start cabling like mad.

So I ripped it out and started over, dutifully starting the cable pattern on the sides right away, and when I got to row 10 I started the cable panel on the center.

Let me say that again: Instructed to do rows 1 and 2 ten times, I proceeded to do ten rows and then start the pattern.

Two rows, ten times. Ten, times two. Does this equal ten, Tama? Does it?


So I tore it all out again.

In public.

Yes, that’s right! I didn’t discover this glorious example of math-impairedness in the privacy of my own Den. Oh no! I had to realize it while sitting there in front of God and everybody at gymnastics.

For a long, long, long moment, I thought about pretending it wasn’t so. Calling it a ‘design feature’ that the cable patterns were badly cattywhumpus.

But I knew I couldn’t do it. It looked wrong, and no amount of squinting could make it look right. @*^&@.

Briefly, I considered just putting it down and not knitting. You know. Just, sitting there until the gymnastics experience was over.

In two hours.

Yeah. Right.

So I sat there, right there in public, and tore out a good three hour’s worth of work, muttering unsavory words under my breath as I did so.

AND THEN, I had to be all mature about it when one of the kids asked what I was doing. Well, you know, when you make a mistake…you just pick yourself up and do it again, right? Ha ha, yeah, that whole ‘practice makes perfect’ thing applies to knitting, too.

@*^&@^ing practice.


As I’m going on with the whole experience here, I’m now really scrutinizing my work. Because I will lose my mind if I have to tear this thing out yet again. So as I’m approaching row twenty at long last, I flip over to the picture to make sure it looks about right. Does it look about right? Because the second pattern will start here, so the first center panel…the curve on the…the curve…wait…where’s the…what the…

I’m doing the wrong chart.


I had a moment of vertigo.

I believe I may have had a miniature anxiety attack.

For a few wild seconds, I wondered if Silky Wool would burn well. Perhaps I could set the whole obviously Satanic project ablaze with the cigarette lighter in the van…

But then, as I regarded the cables clearly shown in the picture and compared them to the cables I was actually producing…I realized…

I like MY pattern better.

Well, shoot.

I’m not @*^&@ing it up.

I’m customizing it.

So I carried on.



Got quite a bit of ground regained and felt darned good about it!!

Eventually, gymnastics was over and we came home and I took it upstairs and was getting ready to take a picture of it.

And then…

!!!!!GOD HELP ME!!!!!

…I noticed I blew the first cable on the sides. Instead of over/under/over, it goes over/over/over. It is so obvious a mistake that I am absolutely beside myself with wonder that I didn’t notice I was doing it at the time I did it. About an hour and a half of knitting time ago.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Or whether I’m going to actually find out how well Silky Wool burns. I don’t guarantee I won’t actually burn it. Ceremoniously. With sage, cedar and sweet grass.

Then again, perhaps I will just say, “Only Allah is perfect” and leave it the @*^&@ alone.

Sleeping on it is probably best at this point. Because with ‘attention to detail’ issues this intense, it is entirely possible that I could burn the whole house down while attempting a simple smudge with a stick that ordinarily won’t stay lit no matter how carefully you tend it.


{stomps off to sulk and obsess}


becky c. said...

Aw man! I hate it when that happens. Hang in there - silky wool might burn, but the $ you spent on it would go up in flames as well.

Moorecat said...

But you've seen this tutorial by the Harlot, haven't you?

All about how to fix a cable without frogging.

My pleasure :)

And, yes, I have ripped out knitting three or four times before I read the pattern properly...

Anonymous said...

I went looking for a pic of Siv and found this comment on A Stitch in Time's blog
I’m pretty happy so far and am enjoying the pattern a lot after an initial misunderstanding withthe directions that involved me doing some math to figure out the real meaning of the instructions which were translated from the original Swedish publication.
So it doesn't sound like it is actually straight English.

Kris said...

Oh how horrible!! I've totally been there. Sounds like the project needs some jail time ...although I would totally understand the death by flame ;)

Jessica said...

Man, that totally sucks. STUPID KNITTING!! STUPID!! There. I helped you. heh.

Anyways, at least you ripped it out. Sometimes I am too lazy to do that. If I really mess up a project, I will cut my yarn, and just THROW AWAY the messed up project. Yes. Nice, beautiful, silky, lovely yarn. IN THE TRASH. (I showed it, didn't I?!? That will teach that yarn to MESS WITH ME!) Then I spend more money to buy replacement yarn, wait a week or so, and start over. After a cooling off period. STUPID YARN!

Unknown said...

Hokay, first of all, you are hilarious. I spent the last 3 days (in between bouts with the copier and discussions with the boss man about why, when following his strict instructions to the letter, I still did it wrong) reading all of your archives. Back to the very first post.

And I spent most of those days trying not to laugh too loud, because I work in a cube.

Second? Silky Wool doesn't burn as well as some mercerized cotton crap that is totally not stretchy (DUH) and does NOT make good baby hats. don't know that from personal experience, I swear.

Kris said...

Man - we all have those projects don't we.

If it will make you feel better, stop over to my blog and enter the contest I am running.

Amy Lane said...

Okay...I can tell from your later post that you didn't burn it...which is good...isn't it weird how sometimes the most simple stuff can just get away from you? I had to rip back three rows of sweater the othe night because I forgot how to count to two...two rows of striping, not three...two... a good sleep, and you'll feel better...really... (plus some work on a vanilla sock...) (my word verification: isnt pfa --c'mon, that's gotta mean something...)

Yarnhog said...

Repeat after me: It's a modification. I am expressing my individuality.

Works for me every time.