Wednesday, June 30, 2010
There is now a post-it note stuck to my knitting bag with these words which shall serve as a reminder into all eternity: DO NOT KNIT FLAT.
I can't knit flat. I have no feel for it. I can follow a pattern okay, sort of, a bit, but I cannot just whip something up unless it's knitted in the round.
Case in point: a couple of weekends back, Bugheart and Grub were visiting. It was divine. Bugheart and I were sitting under a shady tree in the backyard, knitting happily. Well, she was knitting happily. I was fussing over my project because I was bored with the yarn, and longing to start a new project with some amazing rainbow-colored Misti Alpaca Handpaint sock yarn that's been flirting and winking every time I open the yarn cabinet. But I didn't want to make socks. What to do with just one big skein of silky alpaca sock yarn? Bugheart wisely suggested a shrug, because in the summer it's very hot and you don't want to carry around a sweater, but when you go into a building wearing a tank top, it's air-conditioned to Arctic temperatures and you could get frostbite on your shoulders. A shrug! Perfect.
I didn't see any patterns I liked. I became fixated on a specific stitch pattern that I wanted to use, and because all the patterns we perused were knit flat, somehow I became convinced that it had to be that way (silly, silly girl). So, despite the fact that I could not visualize the construction (bad, bad sign), I went ahead and cast on and started knitting the sleeves. Flat. Two of them. They are beautiful.
Then I connected them. Since I can only knit in the round (have I mentioned that before?), I connected them as if they had been knit in the round, and foolishly went about my business. Knitting, knitting, knitting, row after row of lovely, soothing, silken rainbow stockinette stitch. When it seemed about right, I sewed up the sleeves and tried it on.
That's when the beautiful silky rainbows came crashing down around me. Suddenly, my hours of denial became crystal-clear. It was too small, too short, too crooked, too crazy... just wrong, all wrong, and what's more the construction (had it only been knit in the round) was completely clear to me. And it had been all along - I'd just been knitting it flat with a circular construction on the brain. Oh, woe.
So I ripped it all apart and shoved it into a project bag and down to the bottom of my knitting basket, not to be heard from again until my jangled nerves have been soothed.
I'm soothing myself with a six-pack of New Belgium Mothership Wit and some adorable Anything Animals! I am in love. They are quick and easy, and though the pattern says to knit them flat I am knitting them in the round and they are wonderful. Adorable. Perfect. I may make a dozen of them before I even think about that shrug again.