Thursday, April 11, 2013

Diana’s Aran Shawl from Three Black Sheep - Day 6

Code blue on the living room couch...

No, it’s not finished.  

I’d hoped it would be, but folks, this thing is a LOT of knitting.  Near as I can tell, it represents about six to eight hours of knitting per section, and my life rarely affords me that kind of down time these days.

But wait, I have news:

Last night--no exaggeration here--I executed the most complicated knitting rescue of my career.  And, yes, it was on this project.  

Here I was, happily knitting my way through the Daily Show and the Colbert Report--a nightly ritual for me--when I look down and

“It” being a botched cable no fewer than eight rows down.  I’d twisted the stitches the wrong way so that instead of a charming horseshoe cable, I had something that looked more like a lazy tangle. And no, it's not in this photo, so stop squinting.  Still it was, too blatant to ignore, no matter how hard I wanted to be able to stand up and show you a finished product this morning.

Rather than rip out ten painful rows, I attempted the brain-surgery of knitting: ripping down and reknitting a cable sequence while still inside the fabric.  It took both existing needles, a crochet hook, two dpns...and every brain cell I had.

Slowly, while employing all kinds of positive self-talk about my knitting prowess and the cooperative nature of good wool, I removed the eight involved stitches from the needle.  Then I carefully pulled out each of the eight stitches all the way down past the offending cable, which was ten rows (and two complicated cable rows) below.  I laid out each of the involved strands in row order behind my work.  

Luckily, because this was the actual cable, I was always dealing with knit stitches.  The tricky part came in reversing their order on the cable rows.  One at a time, I reordered the stitches using the cable needle and then pulled the strand back through to loop to make a knit stitch with my crochet hook.  Then I would remount the stitches on a spare dpn and start the process all over again with the next row.

The whole thing took me over an hour.  I’m not entirely sure I couldn’t have just ripped out and knit back those ten full rows in that hour, but I feel so very proud of my repair skills that I don’t regret taking this tact.  This is a photo of the actual restored cable.  Not perfect, but pretty darn close.  This is the Mt. Everest of fixing for me--a true achievement and a new level of skill that, quite frankly, I wasn’t sure I possessed.

This morning, I feel like I can do just about anything.

Will that entice me to clean my refrigerator?  Um, no.

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