Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Frozen Frog Pond

Getting up this morning and taking my dog out I admitted it is winter.  We started with snow in October and I just flat get surly when it snows here in October.  But after a weird month of October weather, November settled into a normal cool fall pattern.  It snowed a bit last night, and it is now cold enough that the snow does not melt when it hits the ground, instead it skitters across the dark pavement, dancing in the wind, swirling and twisting across the road.  But no complaints, it is December in Minnesota and we have come on snow...I'm ready for you.  (darn, forgot to put the snow scraper in the car....)  umm snow?  can you please hold off one more day?  I so hate to be scraping the windshield of the van with my credit card!

Tuesday night I started working on my nephews Christmas present, I have about 350 yards of brown rustic looking wool handspun yarn.  I thought about doing a scarf, I found a heavily cabled pattern I liked, cables crossing each other and reversible to boot.  I cast on only to discover I can't count to 36, I would count, yup, 36, and start knitting, two rows into the pattern it wouldn't work, I was short a stitch, I recounted, darn, I only cast on 35.  Rip it out.  Again cast on, 36, I counted twice, from each end, yup, 36.  Knit on, this time I got to row 6 before realizing I was again off count, counted again, this time I had 34! it again.  At least my handspun is holding up well, no wear or tear visible.  I also decided with the cables criss crossing everywhich way, the scarf was looking a little narrow, so since I seemed incapable of counting to 36, I did the math (stop laughing) and added enough stitches to make another section of cables...cast on again, this time at 48 stitches, counted 3 times and just to be sure, had my older daughter come in and count for me.  We both agreed, I had 48 stitches.  Start off again, this time I happily had no problems, the yarn was working out well, the 6 stitch cable looked good, until I got to row 11, where I discovered that instead of adding an extra 12 stitches (I wanted another column of cables, six stitch cable pattern, so added 12 stitches) the way the pattern worked I should have added 18 stitches.  sigh....again I ripped out.  And knew that I did not have enough yardage to make a long scarf that was as heavily cabled as this scarf would be.  I wound up the yarn and went to bed knowing that even though I knit for over 3 hours, I had NOTHING to show for it.

Last night I started again, I searched earlier in the day and found another pattern I liked, almost looked like thermal underwear, no cables.  I cast on, counted carefully and started, the pattern was working out just fine, but again, I felt like the scarf was too narrow.  So ripped again, added on the right number of stitches and took off.  Finally success, got through 3 pattern repeats, it is working up so nicely.  However, I'm convinced I don't have enough yardage of yarn, I was about 50 yards short from what the pattern said, but I must knit at a different guage than the designer.  So once again tonight, I will be ripping it out. 

And this time, I'm not going to make a scarf.  I'm going to make a hat and mittens.  I know I have enough yarn for that!  Lately I don't know what is happening to me, but I can't seem to pick patterns that match up with the yarn I long to use...stay tuned to Christmas watch 2009. 

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