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Thursday, July 12, 2007

 Newbie = Slow-Bee buzzzzzzzzz

There’s something really exciting about being able to say this. I don’t know why. I don’t know why I should be as pleased as punch, but there you go.

I am DONE with Clue #1!

In fact, I am on Row 109 in Clue #2!

A little here, a little there, I snuck in some knitting on my Mystery Stole #3 with my early early morning coffee over a few days time. I like working on this in the AM; my stitching seat is in a bay window with the sun rising over my shoulder. It makes the black yarn so easy to work with compared to the tungsten PM glow that might come later.

Path of the Newbie: but of course, first of all, I printed out the charts and taped them together to make one big one. I’m using an 18″ steel ruler right on the chart to *highlight* the pattern row. It has a strip of cork on the backside so it doesn’t slip around and the whole thing just sits on the couch cushion next to me. I like the fact that I can see the preceding rows clearly with no markup.

I am also using a click-type counter for my row count. I love these things — it tickles my inner geek to no end to get to the end of a row and CLICKit.

Here’s a bunch of different row counters I have. I’m using the one on the lower left for this project. Wonder why they’re all red? ;p

As I get more deeply into this project, I keep having those daylight in the swamp moments — the main one being immersed into the essence of the knitting. For instance, after several pattern rows of the borders on either side, I became more comfortable knowing I was totally on track with the graph — the design moves back and forth in a natural flow. Where the SSK’s or the K2TOG’s fall let you know repeatedly that you are in the right place and they become touch points for an entire area.

The symmetry of the piece is soothing to me as well. I know if I made it to the center point without Wonking Out, chances are that I will successfully make it to the end of the row with no problem.

But even with all this new found karma, around Row 69 I fell down. Nothing wrong with the chart or instructions — I, for no particular reason, went off-count and just couldn’t figure out WTF I was doing for many many minutes. Instead, I sat in the glow of the table lamp (yup, PM insanity) and stared at the stole moving my head back and forth like at a tennis match until I almost made myself dizzy. FINALLY I noticed that a space was on one side and not on the other and found the exact mistake: missed YO! Only two rows down. Not TOO painful.

I am so happy I switched to the larger needle size (#4 – 3.5mm)! Now the YO’s are specific and more open and when giving the surface of the stole the Big Picture treatment, it was easy to see if I was on track.

Luckily, I’m still in love with the feel of that Baby Merino and it was just double the pleasure to knit it again.

20 responses to “Thursday, July 12, 2007”

  1. ~S says:

    I find good light and you can’t be tired when you work this. Last weekend I made it to row 75 with no issues. Then Monday hit and I was lucky to get 4 rows done (2 pattern rows) w/o having to figure out where I screwed up my stitch count by 1, both times. I was totally out of the zone. I took Tuesday off and cruised last night to row 96 and should be on Chart C by bedtime. When I hit row 75 after two days of knitting I thought that I could actually get the second clue done by Friday this week, yeah right. Here’s to staying in the zone for non-stressful knitting and your MS3 is looking quite lovely I might add. :)

  2. Aunty Tink says:

    Ahhh, the addiction that is lace knitting! Holes and decreses that line up in nice neat rows to create wonderful patterns. And the real magic happens when you block your finished stole.

  3. meg says:

    Row 69, was that a problem with the chart? I got myself hung up there, too – between 69 & 71. I figured I’d better tink, count & *put the lace down* before anything untoward happened. (Again) Thinking this activity may require absolute quiet. Oh, but the stockinette in worsted feels good after a stretch of this thread-knitting!

  4. meg says:

    Oh, yeah – :) Congrats on your beautiful lace!
    Did you notice something about the row numbers & the stitch counts? The number of the row is the number of sts. you start out with on that row. Cool :) I need all the help I can get!

  5. Melanie says:

    It’s looking really nice! I’m glad you found your rhythm with it. Enjoy!

  6. Toby Wollin says:

    I really admire anyone who can actually read and follow knitting charts. For anything. I can follow old-style “every stitch written out” instructions for lace – I just write out each row on a separate 3×5 card and staple them all together in order and flip one card over as I go..but charts? They just freeze me up totally. And charts that contain cables? Well, lets. not. go. there. This looks lovely though; might even be worth finding a workshop on reading charts so that I could do it.

  7. beverly says:

    Working on this during the day seems to help me, too! Nice work, Queen Bee!

  8. lynda says:

    I’m also loving the Mystery stole. I’m just about to go sit and finish the last row of Clue 2, then hopefully get in a post today.

    Isn’t the rhythm and flow of lace a wonderful thing…. when it finally clicks. Do you knit it in your sleep, also, as I do?

  9. Sil says:

    Looks good! I’m behind. No surprise… I used 4s for my laceweight too and like the airy quality of the fabric it produces. I see some denser ones on the website, but I wanted gossamer.

    Keep on truckin’. I’ll try to catch up to you…

  10. sahara says:

    I am all about the clicking row counter now. I used to have the one that you put on your needle and moved, but I knit too enthusiatically, and would forget. The clicking counter slows me down. I wear one around my neck on the subway, and folks think its some form of stopwatch to time my knitting. Huh?

  11. Lisa says:

    For the longest time I never wore anything that was red (or orange or yellow)…then one day during a solo time-to-myself camping trip I realized I was wearing a big red sweatshirt, a red baseball hat and lugging a big red sleeping bag. It snuck up on me. I don’t remember specifically choosing red items at any particular time, yet, there they are were, my… freedom color?, my independence color?

  12. Karen B. says:

    “Slow-bee” my big toe! You clipping right along, Lady, and it’s bee-utiful to boot!

  13. Tracey says:

    It’s lookin’ great!

    Oh the simple and shear joy of the “kacha-kacha” noise.

  14. beth says:

    LOOKING GOOD! I finished clue#2 on the amtrak last night- nuts, beads everywhee- what was i thinking? I think i love this project so much because you can see the end EVERY WEEK! unlike all my other projects where the whole project sits in front of you and will wait.
    Are you beading??

  15. Carol says:

    So pretty! Sounds like a great place to knit!

  16. stinkerbell says:

    I love the counters too… now I want your peg it one :)
    especially as I finish (yes I am going to FINISH) the cutaway that has been languishing (due to my own damn fault) and then start me some lace…
    if I can reconstitute and touch yarn after all this AC-less heat (serious I am a witch- I melted… its proof in the pudding :))

  17. Marcia says:

    I am a morning coffee knitter too.

  18. gina says:

    Well you are farther along than me…I have now re-started for the 4th time…and it looks like it is supposed to at long last. Can’t figure out what I did wrong, but suspect it was a counting issue on the left hand side of the chart. Figured the slow was better than not finishing at all!!

  19. rachel says:

    What? No lifelines?

  20. vera says:

    It is looking fabulous! I think the pattern looks just fabulous with black yarn.

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