Just deal with it...
Before I go any further, my teacher at my knitting class today had a useful tip for those Post-it notes I talked about earlier. She said you should always put them ABOVE the line on the chart you’re marking, not BELOW it (as I did in the photo). That way you can see how your stitches are supposed to line up with the ones below it. Which means you will actually know you’ve made a mistake before you get to the end of your row and discover you have three more (or less) stitches when the chart says you should. Good advice.
Have you noticed how humbling knitting can be? How it takes your cocky attitude and slams it up against the wall so that you want to crawl away and never admit you’ve been bested by two pointy sticks and a piece of string? I’ve got a theory as to why, and it’s the same reason Doodlejump is so ridiculously addictive on my son’s iPod: it looks simple. It looks simple enough to fool you into thinking you can master it.
Master? Ha. The plain truth is that while I’ve done more complicated patterns, this one seems to be kicking my butt. Mostly because I can’t seem to read what I’ve got on my needles--maybe it’s the gray color or the double strand or I’m just...dumb, but I get lost waaaay too easily.
And so, for the first time in my knitting career, I’ve employed what I always considered to be the training wheels, dare I say the kiddie-water-wings of knitting: the safety line.
See that strand of purple yarn? That marks the place my needle was at the end of each twelve row repeat. It sets a baseline, so that if...ahem when...I have to rip out the whole blasted repeat I know where to stop. Where to start over.
It’s so practical, so simple, yet I can’t stand that I have to resort to it. Really, it takes a whole--what? two minutes?--to whip out my tapestry needle and feed it through next to my knitting needle. It’s not a huge time commitment like a gauge swatch or anything (and don’t get me started on those!). It’s a good idea, but it’s one that sticks in my egotistical craw.
You know, I can hear you out there. Hear the groans of “suck it up, Allie, and use the safety line if you have to.” And I will, but I won’t be happy about it.