Whalechaser's Musings

No Matter Where You Go...
There You Are
Make the Best of It

Friday, October 31, 2008

Knitting a Gift

Someone has performed a favor that warranted a really big thank-you but I was not sure how to show my appreciation. I thought about buying a gift, but somehow that just was not a 'personal from the heart' thank you. Finally, it came to me; knit a nice item. After a few moments I knew that was the right decision. I went to a local knitting store (after finding just the right pattern on the Internet) and purchased all the items needed to make this gift.

I have knitted exactly three items prior to this and though my experience is limited, I feel capable of doing this intermediate pattern. The lady in the store looked at the pattern and she showed me several stitches that were needed in this pattern and a special one for casting-on. I was pumped.

I came home and started the tester swatch; after about eight rows I figured I was ready for the real thing. I dove in with gusto; counting, checking looking for even tension in the stitches, so far so good. It got tricky after the third row and I noticed that I had made a couple of mistakes, but nothing that was visible to the naked eye so I continued.

It got much worse by the time I got to row 15 or so. I put the thing aside and just thought about it for a while. After a day or so, I decided that in spite of my exuberance, maybe I should start over. I had the wrong number of stitches on the needle and furthermore, I wasn't sure exactly how many rows I had completed. How in the world was the second half of this item EVER going to match this first half...I bit the bullet.

I took the whole thing off the needles and decided to start over. There was a thought that kept haunting me from the last time I knitted something. I had gone to the store for some help on putting it together and the lady asked how I did my knit and purl stitches. I showed her. They were not right...but they were consistent and the item looked ok, so I used it.

Maybe I need to review those stitches also before I start over. Good thing too, my stitches were so original they were nowhere to be found in any of the online instruction videos that I found. Now all is better, I know the two basic stitches, I promised my self to count EACH row and each group of stitches. I vowed no mistakes this time.

Yesterday, after we walked in Deer Grove, I began again with as much, if not more, enthusiasm. I could see by the third row that this decision was the right one. Everything was looking so much better. I just kept knitting. Occasionally, M&M (the pussycat) would come by and play with the yarn. She is just so curious. What a sweet little cat.

During the afternoon, while Chuck napped on the couch, M&M would keep me company on the end of the La-Z-Boy chair. every so often she would swat at the yarn and then go back to sleep. I stopped long enough to make and eat dinner and take in the evening news. Shortly after that Chuck went to his choir rehearsal and I kept knitting away. Wow this thing is really starting to look good.

I moved from the recliner to the sofa for some better light. I put the little handled bag with the yarn and all the other goodies on the floor, and kept knitting. I was making very good progress and quite proud of the results on this second go 'round. Even though it is a lot more work; it is so worth it because it really looks good. Then M&M came by and saw the bag on the floor.

She couldn't help herself really. I mean it is what cats do. Be curious. She saw the bag, walked up to it, sniffed the edge, picked up her head a little moved it though one handle and put her head inside the opening. I was just ready to help her get her head out of the bag when she realized that the handle was around her neck.


She took off for the basement with the bag, all the knitting goodies, my yarn and of course...my knitting! I ran after her, trying to calm her down and stopped her just at the foot of the stairs. I managed to get the bag off her head and I thought all was taken care of, but no. There was still some of the yarn attached somewhere on her. I was watching a panicked cat head for the innards of a sofa, my project was obviously totally destroyed and the basement was strewn with knitting yarn. I grabbed a long strand of yarn that seemed to be attached to the cat and fortunately, Chuck arrived in time to hold her. I removed the yard that was entangled in her collar then we all calmed down and reviewed the damage.

The cat was fine. I was fine. Chuck was fine. I found all the stuff that was in the bag: yarn, darning needles in the original package, stitch holding gizmo still in the package, lengths and lengths of yarn strewn all over the basement and my round knitting needle with my project 'sort of' on it.

I brought it all upstairs to review the damage. Somehow about twenty-five stitches had come off the needles (which would have been fine if that were all that happened) but they were unraveled for about seven or so rows. So like twenty five dropped stitches unraveled for seven rows. I am not that good to rebuild that!

I have to undo the whole piece, temporarily rewind the loose yarn around a pillow and start over again! I managed to cast-on the 145 stitches that the pattern calls for and then decided to go to bed. If one more catastrophe happens to this project before I finish it, I think I will just go buy a gift and forget the whole thing.


Miss 376 said...

My heart goes out to you. I know exactly how it feels having had cats most of my life. I hope it is a matter of third time lucky

Goldenrod said...

I shouldn't have laughed, but I did. I can just SEE it happening, Whale! :) (When you first said you left that bag on the floor, I said to myself, "Uh oh!"