Posted by: jinniver | June 7, 2008

The thrill of victory…and the agony of defeat.

(This title seemed appropriate in the wake of news of the passing of ABC sportscaster Jim McKay.)

I’ve been stressing about my contribution to Genuine’s Nothing But a T-Shirt KAL. I’m still not comfortable with rewriting the cap sleeves to match the rest of the pattern. I came up with a substitute–the extended tank straps, basically–but the more I thought about it, the less I liked it. It lacked the shaping that makes the pattern what it is. I’d have a carefully fitted t-shirt, including short row shaping at the bust, and then these floppy little sorta-sleeves.

Wait a sec…short row shaping… I’d done some reading up on the technique, and I was thinking specifically on how it can be used to shape a sock heel. Couldn’t I use it in the same way to make a “pocket” for my shoulder? If I picked up stitches all around the armhole, knit a few rows, and then added short rows at the top, that should give me the fitted sleeve I wanted. I’d have to sort of figure it out as I went along…but heck, that’s what I’ve been doing since stitch one.

I was pretty excited about my idea, but I wasn’t sure how feasible it was. So, I did a search on Ravelry for short row sleeves. Unsurprisingly, I had not created a new technique. I found several posts that discussed it, so yes, it’s feasible. So the final piece has fallen into place, which is pretty durned thrilling.

The thrill, as so often happens, was fleeting.

Last night, I saw a post from a knitter who was having trouble with a pattern from the most recent Creative Knitting magazine. Since I’m a volunteer editor on Ravelry for that issue, I checked it out to see if there was a problem related to the pattern page. It turned out it was actually a technique problem–the lace pattern was giving the knitter fits. Looking at the page in the magazine, it was clear the lace pattern had at least some errors (several rows included the instruction to repeat from the *, but there wasn’t any * in the row). So I checked Creative Magazine’s site for errata (none) and reported the apparent errors to them via their corrections form.

Of course, none of that helped the knitter right now…which is when I got the (retrospectively) crazy idea to knit up a swatch and see if I could figure out where the problem was. Why I thought I, with zero lace knitting experience, could figure out the problem is beyond me. But to me the pattern seemed pretty straight-forward, so I gave it a shot.

Lace knitting FAIL.

I don’t have a picture of my debacle to share, because I frogged each attempt immediately. My Achilles heel, it appears is yo, sl1, yo. Because I’m slipping a stitch instead of knitting or purling between the two yarn overs, the first yarn over isn’t “locked.” In the next row, I need to slip the same stitch again, along with the first of the yarn overs, and then I drop the second yarn over. What’s happening is that when I drop the yarn over, the first one unravels too, and I get this big loose loop just hanging there.

Needless to say, I had no helpful advice to offer. More than that, I’ve now had to ask for advice myself. I’ve also found a few lace knitting tutorials and I’m going to see if I can’t find a demonstration of the technique. I’d thought I had it figured out for the knit side–the purl side was resulting in a lot of crazy tangled loops–but when I tried to show it to someone today, it all come undone.

Oh, the agony…

So, I did the obvious thing: I’ve started yet another knitting WIP. This is a beautiful lace scarf being offered for free by Knitty. So far, so good for my first attempt to branch out into lace.


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