Thursday, September 07, 2006

How to complicate things unnecessarily

We have a new baby in the family who’s being baptized this weekend and I wanted to knit something for the occasion. That gave me a tight deadline but writers are good at those, right?

I decided to whip up a bib for the little sweetheart and found an incredibly easy pattern in Mason-Dixon Knitting. Just knit 64 rows of garter stitch, leave 10 stitches on the needle, bind off 20 stitches and knit until the remaining 10 stitches are 5 inches long. Go back to the first 10 stitches and knit them to 4 inches, insert a buttonhole and knit until the length matches the first strap.

In fact, it was so easy that I decided to make it difficult.

Emboldened by my mostly successful venture into intarsia (my soccer scarf), I decided that a bib should not be a solid color because the inevitable spots would be more obvious. That meant stripes, which don’t work so neatly on the edges when done in garter stitch. There’s probably a way around that but I didn’t know it so my stripes “bleed” into each other a bit on the sides of the bib.

Then I got to the buttonhole. I’ve never knitted a buttonhole before but the instructions looked pretty easy…and they were, except that I had bought a very cool-looking SQUARE button. Square buttons do not fit in round buttonholes. So I went looking on the internet for a different sort of buttonhole and discovered one I liked the look of.

It took about three rip-outs to get it right but that wasn’t what bothered me. The major problem was that a two-stitch buttonhole was too small for my lovely square button and a four-stitch hole was too large. I’m sure you’ve figured out where this is going: a three-stitch hole in a ten-stitch row. Try to center that!

Even though the buttonhole’s a little off-center and the edges of the stripes aren’t as clean as I’d like, the bib was knitted with a great deal of love and a mental promise to make a better one now that I’ve learned from my mistakes.

Has anyone else ever made a simple project harder than it needs to be?


Anonymous Gwyndolyn O'Shaughnessy said...

I thought "making a simple project harder than it needs to be" was the definition of knitting ...? :-)
Or perhaps it is what separates "art" from "craft." See, that bib is Art.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Oh, Gwyndolyn, you make me feel so much better! Now I know I knitted an Art Bib. LOL!

LaShaunda, if you're reading this, you might consider a bib as a first project for your coming baby. It really CAN be easy if you don't make bad decisions like mine. :-) Many congratulations!

1:32 PM  
Blogger LauraP said...

I think you get extra points for creativity and adaptation.

5:47 PM  

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