Sunday, 18 January 2009
Starting From Scratch
A couple of months ago I started to knit a beautiful Shetland lace shawl and I wrote several posts about the trouble that I was having with the pattern. I kept making mistakes and then not being able to correct them so each time I was having to unpick the knitting and start again. I put it aside for a while and started knitting other things in the hope that when I went back to it I would have more luck.
Fortunately, when I went back to it again I was more successful and I managed to complete the centre section of the shawl with its traditional rosebud pattern. After this was completed I had to pick up stitches along the four sides of the centre panel and then start knitting the delicate lace borders. All of this was before Christmas and I carried on knitting with the rounds gradually increasing in the number of stitches that they contained as I progressed. Some time between Christmas and New Year I made a mistake which led to a stitch being dropped and it travelling down several rows. Normally, this would not cause me a problem to pick up and work back to make the pattern correct, but because this is such a lacy pattern and no two rows are the same, I wasn't able to correct the mistake without unpicking the knitting stitch by stitch back to where I had managed to catch the dropped stitch. I started the laborious task of the unpicking and then I had the terrible drop in my mood which hit rock bottom last weekend and knitting (although in this case perhaps unknitting would be a better description of what was happening) was not something that I could contemplate.
This afternoon I decided that I would go back to the shawl and try to sort out the mistake. It didn't work. As I was unpicking the shawl one stitch at a time, although with the combination of stitches knitted together and extra stitches created as part of the pattern, unpicking stitch by stitch is a bit of a misnomer. I was progressing well until I dropped more stitches, and this time there was nothing that I could do but pull the needle out of the knitting and unpick the lot.
So this afternoon I have started to knit the shawl all over again. I guess that it shows how much I care for the person who I am knitting this for that I have not given up and decided not to bother. This time I am going to be careful; this time I hope that there are no irrecoverable errors. And when it is finished, I will post a picture of it here so that you know that I have not been beaten by some needles and some wool.