Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring Plays Its Tricks

The weather around here has fluctuated wildly in the last week or so, from 10 degrees Fahrenheit and inches of snow to short-sleeves-and-sandals temperatures, sending my attitude toward knitting ricocheting back and forth in turn.

On an unexpectedly warm, bright day, I start feeling foolish stirrings. Sitting on the couch with knitting needles and a hot lapful of wool begins to seem like a chore instead of a pleasure. I hardly know what to do, whether to persevere stubbornly or rush outside and run madly in circles on the lawn, kicking up my heels like a springtime lamb. Or limber up for an energetic burst of spring cleaning, giving a bathroom a scrubbing of unexceeded thoroughness. Or some of each.

I start thinking restlessly of other crafts. This is not unprecedented. After all, I've never been exclusive about knitting, though I guess I've been closer to it lately than ever before. These days, it's easy and fun to stay focused on knitting, with a whole on-line community of excited people cheering each other on, giving encouragement, showing off their feats, unearthing or creating interesting patterns.

Nevertheless, I've also in the past enjoyed sewing, crocheting, cross-stitching, needlepoint, and what have you. (And, of course, lately, there's the spinning.) I love to learn about this and that and try things out. Crafts as-yet-untried beckon still. There are plenty of unexplored frontiers. I'm curious about bobbin lace, and tatting, and lucets, and who knows what all else. Even the knitting bloggers tempt, from time to time, with other crafts. (If I end up experimenting with rug-hooking, Robin, I'll lay that directly at your door!)

So it's a good thing for me and for dad's sweater that the weather has lately taken another swing back toward winter. Tonight's prediction is for freezing temperatures and a possibility of snow.

With a nip again in the air, I've been moving along again briskly. But last night, as I was finishing up the second sleeve, I noticed that something didn't seem to be adding up quite right. Compared to sleeve number one, number two seemed to be taking a few extra rows past the last increase to get to the same point in the pattern. I examined and compared them carefully, mystified, meticulously counting the rows between increases.

Finally, I spotted something. Do you notice anything strange about the second diamond in the picture? That's right, it's smaller than the others. I'd gotten over-eager and turned the corner before it reached its full size. The mistake was 13 inches down the sleeve. 13 time-consuming inches of cabled knitting. Well, no matter. There was no help for it. I wasn't going to leave it that way. Even if I could live with a visible mistake (and often not), I couldn't do it on a sleeve. Sleeves must match.

So back out it came. But that's okay.

Unlike the groundhog, I'm hoping for a few more weeks of winter.


puffthemagicrabbit said...

No, no, no! As much as I want to back you up in your knitting, I simply CANNOT go for any more winter! Look at it this way- you can set up a chair, a table with a glass of lemonaide, weigh the pattern down w/ the phone (so the lovely spring breeze doesn't blow it away)- and knit outside in the pretty spring weather! And if you don't try to do that in the goat field, the paper the pattern is on may just stay intact. Oh wait, that's just my problem.

Sorry about the sleeve, by the way. But that sweater is going to be so perfect when you're done!

peahen said...

Heartbreaking stuff. I feel so angry with myself when I make a mistake. You're right to pull it out, but how frustrating!

Robin said...

Are you blaming ME for the rug hooking bug???? OK, I accept the blame! Come and join us in July for HOOKIN' at the LAKE in Clarksville, VA. Love the texture of your Dad's sweater and the second diamond --- a wonderfully unique design feature!

cathy said...

Puff: OK, I'll relent. After another drizzly weekend, I'm ready for lemonade and balmy breezes. Even if it slows down the knitting, it sounds great!

Peahen: Thanks for the sympathy. Sometimes I just have to take my medicine. :)

Robin: Oh yes, YOU! Don't you know how tempting it is when you post pictures of all those beautiful rugs you and your friends are making?!