Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ripping Out

I've been knitting since I was seven years old, and usually have multiple projects on the needles.  Sometimes a project runs into a snag and then gets put aside for a while.  This sweater was started in 2008 as my "trip project" for  our holiday travels.  It has a fairly complicated pattern for which charts are provided.  But I soon realized that it was too complicated to knit while traveling so it was put into the closet and languished there for years.

Now I'm in a finishing mood, so the sweater was taken out of limbo.  The back was finished, and this is the left side front.  I don't know what possessed me to knit the bottom the way I did.  Instead of changing and carrying the two yarns in the usual manner, I alternated the yarn front and back of the stitch for every stitch.  The result was an area that was supposed to be smooth, but looked like ribbing.  Further up the chart I switched to the normal way of carrying the unused yarn.

The ribbed effect really bothered me.  I had to make a decision: to leave it that way, or to rip out.  Now all
good knitters and quilters know that there are time when you have to swallow hard and go backwards.  Quilters even call it "sewing backwards."  So I snipped the yarn just above the ribbed effect and ripped out down to the bottom edging, which is simple garter stitch.

Then I started up again, using the proper method.  Here's how far I am today, and I'm feeling good about redoing it.  It's slow knitting because of all the colour change, especially on the purl rows, but it is definitely worthwhile.

Beside the newly knit bottom you can see the chart.  It's in pretty small print.  When I knit the back I took the pattern to the local drug store and had it enlarged.  This is my new discovery: use post it notes to underline the row of the chart that you are currently knitting.  Even though the printing is fairly small, the line of paper allows your eye to easily see where you are on the chart.  It's working niftily!

It will be quite a while before this project is finished.  It's a slow way of knitting, but the finished sweater will be very attractive.  The back and the right side front are finished.  The left side front is coming along.  Then there are the two sleeves which are almost as big as the side fronts.  The temptation will be to put the project back in the closet and start something new, but I'm going to hold out against that, and try to have this finished before our trip in October.

We hope to go back to Yosemite to visit #1 Son, the same trip we made four years ago when I started this project.  Wouldn't it be nice to be able to wear the sweater this time around?

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