Slow and Steady Setbacks

I thought I was going to finish the zig-zag scarf, my second-ever knitting project, yesterday…but nope. I’ll explain why in a minute, but first, I did officially block my first-ever scarf yesterday.

I’m pretty pleased with it. There are definitely mistakes, but I’m not too worried. However, it’s spring in eastern NC, and I don’t usually wear scarves anyway, but we’re going downtown Saturday night, and it might be cool enough to wear this as an accessory with a garnet-colored top I have.

Scarf 2 is long enough, but I’m trying to end on a part of the colorway I like. I was sure I’d finish yesterday, worked on it a bit in the afternoon, then when I started again in the evening, disaster struck.

The pattern isn’t that hard, and I’ve been working on it so long it’s rather mindless, as long as I take a second as I start each row to remember where I am. But if I become too mindless, I sometimes lapse into knit stitches on the purl row, and I did it again. I noticed the ridge a couple of rows later, and was glad I had a lifeline.

Turned out it was good I had two lifelines, kind of like a back-up parachute. When leaping out of a perfectly good airplane, it’s fairly certain you’re going to need that first parachute, unless your goal is to see how deep a crater you’ll make when you hit the ground. It’s nearly as certain I’ll need at least one lifeline upon occasion, since I’m still so new to knitting.

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Lovely, lovely lifeline

But when I got to the first lifeline, something was wrong. It didn’t look…right. Sigh. Back-up parachute time. By then, I was sweating, because if the backup chute failed, I was just going to have to start flapping my arms and hope for the best.

I was very, very meticulous as I reached the lifeline and began putting each loop back on the needle. Then I figured out where I was in the pattern–I always put the lines in rows 10 and 20 of the 20-row repeat–and deduced I had the needle in from the wrong direction, and had to feed it (so carefully) onto another needle going the right way.

Heart attack averted, but the 15 or so rows I had to frog amounted to at least an hour and a half of work. Not a huge deal, as while working on a crochet lace tablecloth, in which each round took several hours once I reached a large diameter, I once took out multiple rounds, or about two days’ worth of work.

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But I really wanted to finish the scarf yesterday, block it today, and start something new.

I have a new circular needle, smaller size, arriving today, which I think I’ll use on a small blanket, but I really want to order THIS, a full set of ChiaoGoo stainless steel needles with interchangeable cords. Spendy, but I figure I’ll come out ahead in the end, rather than ordering each needle size and cable length individually as I need them. Yes, I can justify nearly anything once I decide I want it.

Do you have a favorite full set of knitting needles? If so, tell me fast, before I one-click the ChiaoGoo set!

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