Pretext: (Number One Son and I were alone at home Saturday while he studied for exams - 'nothing better than for me to be minimally visible. As outlined below I took full advantage to remedy my current knitting woes)
I spent 8 straight hours on Saturday ripping the cast on, establishing rows and 6 rows of invisible herringbone stitch from the bottom edge of my cursed red scarf. This was in an effort to remedy the puckering edge the herringbone was causing. I also picked up all 457 stitches in order to cast off loosely - satisfactorily finishing that edge once and for all.
This was the treatment prescribed by "Dr.Knit" at the DKC meeting last Thursday evening.
To do this though I had to chase the Saturday sun - literally dragging a chair around to remain in the ever moving sunbeam - just to be able to sort of make out what I was doing amongst all that alpaca fuzz. I also had to wear a pair of My Beloved's 2x magnification readers which meant the work had to be no more than about 6" from my face. To stabilize the piece while I worked it had to be in my lap so I had to lower my face to the work - adopting a position very similar to a well cooked shrimp.
Once in this charming position, I started by threading a piece of dental floss through the stitches I hoped to pick up. The fuzz consumed the floss. It was all but invisible - still it felt good to be "clipped into a life line" if things went badly.
I needn't have been worried about an uncontrolled unravelling. The fuzz on the alpaca worked better than Velcro for each and every stitch. Herringbone stitch is worked by carrying the yarn beside slipped stitches. As I tried to separate the carried yarn from its neighbouring stitches it held on with all its fuzzy might making it seem as though the yarn ran through rather than beside the stitches. If I could have seen anything this would have been evident but, as discussed, visuals were essentially unavailable.
Hence the 8 hour duration of the effort. I'd love to say that was all it took - it didn't. Three more hours Saturday evening - with readers and a strong, direct light, still, of course, in the shrimp position. I was so experienced by that point I was able to work despite limited visibility - or so I hoped. I may have snipped in a spot that should not have been cut. (I'm ignoring this for the moment, working at the other end of the scarf until I have the stomach to check it out further.)
How am I enduring this challenge? (that's right, I'm not even done yet!) What's getting me through is having the benefit of
- 6 hours on the ski hill yesterday 'talk about a change of scene - with the wind chill it was minus 23C!
- As outlined in a post last week, reworking my Ravelry queue gave me a new perspective and enthusiasm about future projects.
- Finalizing in my mind, the yarn choice for the "Tangled Yoke Cardigan". Every time I've gone to get this yarn I've left empty handed, undecided on which colour of Felted Tweed to choose. I used some of those 8 hours of ripping to decide on the rosy pink "Clover" colourway. I also resolved to call my LYS tomorrow morning when they open and ask if they have it. I decided if they don't have it I'll call around until I find some then go get it. The prospect of finally casting on for this knit is compelling indeed!
- Completing the yarn research for Ysolda's "Vivian" on Friday has casting on for that beauty much closer. On Saturday after mulling over the choices I decided I'm going to make it in Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran - probably in the "Sky Blue" colourway. Rialto has the same stitch and row count and recommended needle size as the Fyberspates Chunky "Scrumptious" the pattern calls for (I don't want to use a silk blend.) Rialto yields great stitch definition and it has a modern quality I like. Its got more yardage in 100 grams than the Fyberspates - (due to the absence of silk?) I don't know what, if anything that means in terms of suitability. I'll talk to the ladies at the LYS but if it'll work I'll get it while shopping for the Felted Tweed.
- Discovering a sweater pattern that is nothing less than the missing link for my project list was the real excitement driving me on through hours of nasty frogging. The sweater is unimaginatively called "Fair Isle Cardigan" from the the new issue of Vogue Knitting. Its a steeked, (on my list to try) seamless (on my list to further explore), yoke cardigan (on my list to wear with jeans) that calls for no less than 17 colours of yarn. Now I've decided I want to work the "Zimmerman Four" (seamless hybrids) concurrently and in concert with my queue and it occurred to me it would be great to have a selection of colours available to play around with over the course of the Zimmerman Four project. There should be lots of ends left over for experimenting with from the yarn list for that cardigan. All my knitting should benefit from this combination of projects and materials - I hope without derailing the queue or my enthusiasm for it. I decided on Saturday that I'm going to work it in Cascade 220 because of the need for so many colours and that I'm going to try to make a trip to Romni this week to get them.