Monday, October 03, 2005

Motorcycle riding and yarn overs

When I was a kid we used to go motorcycle riding in the desert. We'd load up the family and spend the weekend riding all over the California desert. All day... taking turns with my brother, because we shared a motorcycle. We'd race our friends, ride the same trails over and over, the hills, whoop-de-do's, sand washes. Later, after a night around a desert campfire, we'd fall exhausted into our sleeping bags. And then, I would ride motorcycles all night in my dreams - all night long, the same trails and hills. I'd wake up and it would feel like I hadn't even had a chance to sleep!

So, Saturday night I planned to start my Ella. Here's the yarn I finally decided on
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It's a pretty tweedy-purple 2nd Time Cotton, by Knit One-Crochet Two, color #219, Borealis. The kids and I settle in to watch The Shining, the TV version with Stephen Weber (my favorite version) and I figure I've got a few good hours to make a start on this. I don't even really have to pay attention to the movie, because I've seen it before. I just need some background noise, and thought I'd keep the kids company.

Oy, this is my first stab at a real lace pattern... which I now know I'm not good at. About five rows in, my count is off. Rip out and start over. Then maybe I'd get to eight rows, rip out and start over. Sometimes I'd get about 15 or 16 rows in..... ahhhhhh!!!!!, rip out and start over. Let me tell you, The Shining is one looooong movie, 4-1/2 hrs, and this is what I had to show for it at about 11:30 PM when the movie was over:
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No kidding - nothing on the needles - I had ripped it all out again.

So, I'm exhausted and frustrated, and fall into bed.... and dream ALL NIGHT LONG about starting and restarting, ripping and re-ripping Ella. Let's just say I was NOT rested in the morning.

Well, I'm nothing if not stubborn. So, Sunday afternoon I sit down again, rested and ready to make a fresh start. Hey - I'm doing it! I'm about 12 rows in, and no mistakes yet! I get this bright idea to thread a "cheater yarn" through all the stitches on the needle, so when I eventually end up having to rip it out, I won't have to rip it ALL out. (I can't ever figure out how to rip out to a point, and then get it all back on the needles.... and with all these yarn overs and K2T TBL's, etc, I'd never get it all back on the needles). So, things are going pretty good, but at about row 18 or so, my count is off. I try to fudge it and do a few more rows but, no, it's not happening. So, I rip out to my cheater yarn, and go from there, feeling pretty smart that I thought of the cheater yarn. I wish I was smart enough to recognize the pattern as I'm knitting it, so I know when something's not right, but I probably won't have that down until about the last row.

So, look
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A whole Sunday afternoon's work, and it's not right. See that second row of yarn overs, with the cheater yarn running through them, how they seem to wander off to the right? Heaven's to Betsy. I can't stand it. I tried to tell myself I could live with it and just make it right from that point on, but those mistakes will always haunt me, and I won't be happy. I want it to look like this....
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Yeah, right.

So......, sigh...... I ripped it all out again. And went to bed, and dreamt of Ella, again! This thing is taking on a life of it's own, and it doesn't like me! However... I'm sure it's me, not the pattern, so don't let me discourage others. This is my first time with lace, and I'm a slow learner!

I refuse to be beat. I'm going to take the day off from Ella, and maybe try again tonight. First, I have to reprint the first two pages of directions because I've made so many marks on them I can't tell what's going on. Oh yeah, and I have to cut about three yards off the end of my yarn to get to a point where it's not completely frayed from working and re-working.

So, please check on me tomorrow, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel, and make sure I haven't hung myself with the yarn. (I'll leave a suicide note with instructions for Kaity to take a picture for ya'll). And please hope that I don't dream about this thing again all night, I need some rest. Who knows, maybe I'll have something to show for all my work this time!


At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Jeanie said...

Oh you poor thing! I'm fairly new at lace and let me tell you, there's no WAY I could even attempt to watch TV and do a lace pattern. I have to have complete silence even for an easy lace pattern -- it's just too easy to lose track! The cheater yarn is a good idea. I have a hard time frogging lace and end up doing it stitch by stitch which seams to be easier than trying to pick your stitches back up. Usually I don't have to frog more than a row or two to get to my mistake if I check everything often enough. Good luck with Ella and don't give up!

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous LC said...

I think I'd be wearing my Marilyn, just to continually remind me that I can, I can, I can!

You'll get it. Keep slogging away!

At 12:54 PM, Blogger amylovie said...

If it makes you feel any better, I'm not a big lace fan either. I agree with Jeanie, there must be complete silence while I knit lace. Not easily had around here with the kiddos. I know you can do it!!


At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Cathy A said...

Okay, so I am not along in this "ella" adventure I too, can't seem to get the hang of it, the k2tog tbl and then the p2tog tbl, is what is throwing me off. Let me know I am on row 20 again, hoping this will be that last time I am on row 20 again!

At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Lynda said...

Cathy - I soooo feel your pain. those pttog tbl's are going to be the death of me... of course, if I wasn't so tense, I'd probably knit looser and it wouldn't be so awkward.

PS If you're working from the charts, there's a mistake on row 24 in the setup row - she forgot the YO2 in the middle of the row. I contacted her and she confirmed, yes, that is a mistake and she's fixing the charts.

Keep in touch and let me know how you're doing!

At 6:21 PM, Blogger Wendy said...

I told you she was great at responding to emails!

I worked from the text, and didn't have that problem.

If you need help; call me!

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Donna Boucher said...

I have tried lace this summer too....seeing that it is The Summer of Lace.

I tried a fish tail scarf and ended up frogging it about six times. Once I noticed the mistakes I could not knit backward with any success....

For now I will stick to socks and mittens and hats :o)

At 2:40 AM, Blogger zibibbo said...

oh my I am so sorry you are having to rip. Thank you again for pointing out the missing yo2, I'd proofed, and proofed, now I'm looking for a designated pro-proofer for future charts.

To make the tbls easier try keeping the center stitches of the diamonds with a looser tension than the rest.

Hope that helps

At 7:08 AM, Blogger Mouse said...

My first Clapotis (from Knitty) was started in Second Time Around cotton - I tore it out so many times that I don't even want to use that color anymore! I'm on my second attempt with a different yarn but I'm starting to think that lace knitting is not for me.

Good luck.. that is a beautiful shawl. Can't wait to see it finished!


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