Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wherein I Get My Butt Kicked

I'm almost 58 years old and I allowed an ounce of mohair to kick my butt clear across the state of New Jersey.
And I'm still not sure exactly how it happened. I mean, I still have all my faculties. I know my way around US9 Knit Picks Options and a ball of Karabella Gossamer. I've knitted with mohair before. I know the drill.
I can't even say the pattern is difficult because it isn't. Sea Foam is fairly common and Sheryl Thies presents a lovely variation in OCEAN BREEZES. There's no reason I should have had to frog three times and then abandon ship quicker than First Class abandoned the Titanic.
Okay, so I did one really stupid thing. I wrote up a little cheat sheet so I could keep the pattern in front of me and I made a wee mistake. (I left out two YOs . . . don't ask.) Which definitely screwed me up. But it's more than that. It's some basic deficiency in my character that turns me into a whimpering, snarling, psychotic mess by the time the first pattern repeat is finished.
I mean, I bailed on Branching Out and nobody bails on Branching Out. A five year old could knit Branching Out.
I love lace. I stand in awe of knitters who turn out yard after yard of whisper-fine lace. Lace-knitting is as close to magic as I'm ever likely to come. But I hate knitting it. Remember how much Nancy hates knitting socks? That's me with lace. My shoulders tense up as soon as I cast on. By the end of the first row, those shoulders are up around my ears. That mushy messy lump of fabric that may or may not block into something fabulous makes my heart beat faster . . . and not in a good way. In a panic attack kind of way. Invariably I lose count or drop a stitch or do something idiotic to throw a monkey wrench into the works and I walk away one more time.
To me, knitting lace is the fiber equivalent of root canal without anaesthetic. Pure torture. So why, I ask you, am I incapable of turning away from it? I actually made a Charlotte (with Ritratto instead of Koigu) late last year (and forgot to photograph it in my Christmas rush) but I'm not sure that counts as real lace. (Nobody has troubles with Charlotte. Nobody but me, that is.)
I hate not being able to do something. I want, just once, to knit a beautiful piece of lace and then walk away from it, back into my happy land of swirling cables and sturdy rectangles.
Hope really does spring eternal.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad I couldn't even read the pattern for the Charlotte because the chart was too small. I tried blowing the chart up at Staples but the row #'s got really blurry (I swear I am not legally blind). I gave up on the Charlotte and made the Adagio instead, in fact I am making #4 right now.

Holly in CT

6:38 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Well, I love knitting lace. However, I have yet to try it with mohair. I suppose I should revisit this love after I attempt my first lace mohair project...

1:35 AM  
Blogger teabird said...

Cheer up. I have bailed on Branching Out at least 10 times because I can't get past row 5. I've written out the instructions, I've color-coded the instructions, I've lit candles......

teabird / ravelry

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

Don't panic. Take a deep breath. I know of several people who bailed on Branching Out. It's actually a fairly complex pattern. Now, stop and consider. Mohair is probably not the best choice in yarns for a lace phobic. It's more difficult to frog or tink. Next--make sure you put stitch markers between each pattern repeat. It helps. Then go join the Mmario Kknits group on Yahoo. Look in the files section for the Beginners Lace stole or scarf pattern. Yell for help in there if you need it. The designer, Mmario, is always willing to help, and he can also give advice on what other patterns are on the easier side of the spectrum. I think Tweety Pi is one of them. If Mmario is offline, there are several other people who can/will help. And you might want to choose the "daily digest" option, because we're a bit chatty--the digests hold about 25 messages, and I got at least 3 for yesterday....

10:14 AM  

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