During my last trip to Washington, D.C. last May I budgeted time to visit Knit Happens in Alexandria, VA. Normally, I just stock up on patterns and maybe buy some yarn for one project. As I was finalizing my purchase, a shiny orange display scarf caught my eye. This was the first time that yarn all by itself called to me. Had it not been knit up in a perfect springy, lace scarf I may not have noticed it at all. The delicate skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk tugged at my heart strings.
Pure Silk may be the softest thing (yarn or otherwise) that I've ever touched. It's every so slightly furry (fluffy?) with a nice, bright sheen. This is the kind of yarn that you want to roll around naked in.
At around $15.00 a skein, this was a tricky purchase - by far the most expensive yarn I'd ever considered buying. But a lace scarf wouldn't break the bank, so I resolved to buy two skeins in orange (no 11). I decided not to buy the corresponding pattern book because who am I kidding? I'm never going to buy enough yarn to knit a whole sweater in this stuff.
I spent ages surfing the net for the appropriate pattern, and I thought I'd found it in the Liesel Scarf by Yummy Yarn (look in right column for pattern information). Last summer I was commuting 45 minutes each way to a marketing job in Amsterdam, and the pattern proved to be too much for me to concentrate on on the train. Also, the elm leaves didn't really stand out in the Pure Silk, so I scrapped that idea.
During the process of trying to get the pattern right, I realized that the yarn doesn't hold up well to frogging and reknitting. I needed to make my next pattern decision carefully. I eventually found just the right thing in my own pattern stash. Tucked in the pages of Rowan Magazine Autumn/Winter Number 38 was the Daisy Scarf by Amanda Crawford (p. 34 and 107).
After some difficulty getting my head around the technique of perling and wrapping the stitches, it started to knit up pretty quickly. I was even thinking that I might finish it in time for my wedding. We got married in South Africa at the tail end of their Winter, so cool days were expected.
This is as far as I've gotten.
The project came to a stand still one afternoon when I realized that I'd made a pretty big mistake; I started knitting on the wrong side. Notice the perl stitches suddenly appearing near the top of the fabric. I chalk this up to distractions on the train.
Here it is, Spring again. Although we've had unseasonably warm and dry weather, normally you can get away with wearing a light scarf all year round in Holland. I'm itching to restart this project, but I'm at a loss what to do. I'm not sure I can fix this.
I can't easily unknit this type of pattern, if at all. I'm loath to yank it all out and start again, especially since the yarn doesn't hold up to knitting and ripping very well. I'm considering trying to thread a knitting needle though the middle to see if I can just back track to where I initiated the mistake.
Maybe I'll just keep working on this side and flip it again when I'm almost finished - you know make it a feature. At the moment this seems like the best option because I'm otherwise afraid to do anything with it. My heart aches at the thought of ripping this yarn yet again.
I have deep respect for lace knitters. Delicate, intricate patterns require deep commitment and pounds of concentration. One mistake and you might be toast, frogging days, weeks or even months of work. This was my first go, and it was humbling.
But I need to get past the stalemate and do something about this languishing project. What have you done in situations like this?