Saturday, September 01, 2007

Another Bad Attack of Start-Itis

You'd think there was more than enough to be going on with, wouldn't you? The Fawkes socks are both ready to start the heel shaping

and all that is necessary is a quiet evening with few interruptions (this pattern, it has been satisfactorily established, is not a good one for taking out on trips, into cafes, anywhere that there is likely to be distraction. The number of times that Round 6 was started on one side of the circular while Round 5 was bewilderedly waiting to be finished on the other does not bear counting.)

And the Gazebo lace cardi is progressing most satisfactorily. It doesn't look all that interesting in its separate sections but a picture will be posted when it's sort-of seamed up and ready for your advice on a band or edging.

Even the (whisper it) Starmore St. Enda is behaving fairly well. All right, all right, all right. It got FROGGED, OK? Satisfied now Laurie M? Satisfied now the rest of you who were laughing in your sleeves at the insouciant [look it up, girl, look it up] confidence of Celtic Memory daring to challenge Starmore yet again?

Yes, you were right, Laurie M, there was an error. But Blogless Vicki in SoCal (sorry, that's politically incorrect, BlogFree Vicki in SoCal) was righter in that she spotted the first cable as being the only one which was actually right. The second and third were wrong. As were all three on the first repeat (at least there was some consistency). Go look it up in my last posting if you want to. I'll wait here if you don't mind. Don't really want to revisit that again.

I really thought I could handle this. There was absolutely no problem with leaving it as it was, carrying on (only correctly this time), and keeping that first laughable, rather charming, little error as a reminder that we are not perfect and that only The Great Knitters in the Sky get it right all the time (them and Starmore, although I like to think Oor Alice has a secret boghole out there on the murky marshes of Lewis absolutely stuffed full of disasters). I even emailed the helpful Laurie to say so.

But the next morning it didn't seem quite as acceptable a solution. The piece was laid out, angled differently, pulled around, brought closer to the window so that a rare shaft of late-August Irish sunshine could hit it.



Oh d-n and b-s-t it. ALL RIGHT ALREADY!

It got frogged. It was painful. That beautiful aristocratic yarn being ripped back. I felt it was bewilderedly looking up at me asking 'Why?' 'What have I done wrong?' It was awful.

But it got done. And rewound. And all those pesky stitches picked up, every single one, angled the right way (you know I never could remember until I read the amazing Elizabeth Zimmermann who makes it all so simple and who said, 'Right side of loop first is right. Left side is wrong.') And then quite a few hours were put in. To get back to where we were in the first place.

Look, if you can see another mistake there, I DON'T WANT TO KNOW, ALL RIGHT? I JUST DO-NOT-WANT-TO-KNOW!

So, there is the St. Enda in progress. There are the Fawkes socks, ditto. There is the Gazebo lace cardi, ditto ditto. There also is the Noro vest - oh crikey, forgot that one. Where did I leave it? Better do a few more rows.

(No we're not listing WIPs here. These are just the ones out in front, on top of everything, where they can be seen. Cupboards are not being opened, piles on handy armchairs are not being plumbed. This isn't the Spanish Inquisition.)

So what do you do when you have four pleasant projects all nicely simmering?

Well done that bright girl in Row Five. You start another one.

For this I entirely blame Ravelry. (If you're not in yet, sorry, you will be soon, honestly, I know what it's like, I had to wait ages while intelligent folk like Angeluna who had signed up at the first moment raved about the fun they were having.) You wander round in that treasure cave, picking up something here, opening a door there, and finding the most amazing wonders.

I saw this delicious sock called Giotto, designed by Anna Bell. (You can see an example on Alwayscastingon's blog, if you want to go look.) It has an irresistible little folded picot top to the cuff, cables blended with lacework, and altogether the most come-hither air I have seen in ages (or since the last temptation anyway).

Everything got dropped. Down to the stash basement. Rip off the lid of the (by now very large) sock yarn container. Throw everything around. Select one of Celtic Memory's own hand-dyed merino-tencels, mostly cream with hint of blush pink. Spend ages winding up the skein on a swift that has an attack of the fidgets and keeps falling over. (No, it's not the kind you can clamp to a table it's a bit older than clever ideas like that, sometimes I wish it wasn't.) Look at yarn again. Decide it wouldn't look right for this pattern. Back to basement, repeat Steps 1 and 2. Settle on a cherished Sea Wool from Fleece Artist in a colour called Rose Garden but which to this mind resembles rather more that multi-flavoured ice cream they used to call Neapolitan. Repeat Step 3, only with even more collapses on the part of the swift.

Ahhh.... Cast on.... At last.

It takes quite a bit of time this kind of double cuff, doesn't it? You work away for ages, do a picot row, work away again, then pick up the cast on stitches along with the current row. Do you have a foolproof way of doing this? It seemed to me dangerously like that pet hate of all right-thinking knitters, 'now pick up evenly all around the edges seven thousand eight hundred and twenty-two stitches, AT THE SAME TIME ensuring that no one stitch is out of place and that no corner gets neglected...' Anyway we persevered, and finally had something worth photographing.



Looks a bit -

Where's the ruler?

Thought so. 6" doubled - that's twelve inches around. A bit large for the Celtic Memory ankle, one would have thought. And now the pattern says 'Increase'. Admittedly that's for the cabling and lacework, but still... And I'd even gone down a needle size from the recommended one, on purpose, since I'm a loose knitter.

And while we're at it, that colourway looks a bit - well, mawkish. Not strong, challenging, in-your-eye, look-at-me. Yes, I know, I know, any complex pattern should have a clear light yarn so you can admire the details, but this one puts me more in mind of twee tea rooms and pot pourri than is entirely acceptable.

Oh well...

The Sea Wool is frogged, rewound, back in the sock crate. The Fawkes have been rescued from the one single circular to which they were summarily banished during the temporary insanity of their mamma. (Hey, NOW I see the point of knitting two socks at the same time on one circular. It frees up ANOTHER NEEDLE so you can start another project! Sorry, sorry. Temporary lapse. Won't do that again.)

No more projects (have I said that before, can anyone remember?) NO MORE PROJECTS until these are done. Or some of them anyway. St. Enda (whoops, did you hear the rumble of thunder when I said that? She's listening, I tell you, she's listening), will probably take until Tibb's Eve. Not the Giotto in any yarn, not the Saxon Braid with its own side fringing from Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge (although there is some delectably soft chunky alpaca/BFL begging to be used), not even a Baby Bolero for some imminent new small friends. None. Nada. Zilch. Moratorium.

Funnily enough, I'd been thinking about making an early start on Christmas gifts and then got an email from Gill at The Woolly Workshop reminding everyone that there are only so many knitting days 'twixt now and then. That Saxon Braid Scarf would make a lovely present for someone special. Maybe dyeing up a skein or two of the alpaca/BFL wouldn't break the moratorium, would it? I'll be doing some for eBay anyway, so it's hardly the same thing. At all.
Wonder how the pattern would look in the alpaca? If I just did the teeniest swatch...


Ambermoggie, a fragrant soul said...

good crop of work there Jo:))
BTW is that another KAL I see in your sidebar? So that would be something else to cast on perchance???

Charity said...

A lot of wonderful goodies here, Jo! I've been struggling with my own case of startitis, but have been resisting bravely. Why do I bother?

LaurieM said...

The St. Edna is perfect. You will be so much happier with it fixed.

Now settle down, and work your projects Jo. Enjoy the moment you are in and cherish the yarn you are working with. You'll find things progress much faster!

Lene said...

This behaviour is so familiar... but all in all it ended well, you got to play around a bit but did not end up with a new project... really, it would not have been that bad if you had started another one...

Marianne said...

You really tickle me...just get started with a Saxon Braid Scarf and enjoy it!
Fawkes are fabulous!

cindyl said...

You guys all make me so JEALOUS. I must be the slowest knitter in the world. Lately I can't seem to finish ONE project, much less thirteen. Your Fawkes are gorgeous, Jo. And the St. Edna too. Can you or anyone recommend a good book to learn to knit two socks at once on circular? I bought what I thought was the right book, but it only shows one sock at a time. I want to do the Sea Cave wool tencel two at a time.
Thank you!!! I love this blog.

Laritza said...

That is not the only error in the book. Someone else spotted a mistake in another sweater in that very same book:

Just mouse over the picture and you shall see

Anonymous said...

The St. Edna looks perfect now. Gabh mo leithsceal, I promise never to make mention about an error again. But, tell the truth, wouldn't you have felt worse if you saw it after the sweater was finished?

Sorry that there's no fada in leithsceal, I didn't no how to type one.

Anonymous said...

Sure, I can say 'excuse me' in Irish but can't spell 'know'. Why do I never spot these things until after I post?

Jocerane said...

I'm trying very hard to RESIST against start-itis !!! I have to finish all my last summer projects before diving into tempting autumn projects !!!

shandy said...

You are brave! I'll bet every one of your readers has a worse bodge-up than that Aran somewhere in their past. The first few repeats of a pattern are always the worst, so you could have been half-way up the back before you spotted it. And many people knit in the late evening as an anti-dote to the stresses of the day, so concentration is unlikely to be high then.

SueJ said...

Oh I recognise this mental condition -I have two sets of socks & one lace scarf on the go, hanker after a good winter sweater pattern whilst debating which toe up to start for the ravelry september challenge! Just the last dilema is causing some brain frying & dare I say stash accumulation. I have Brenda Dayne's brother amos socks in mind but they need a firey yarn I think! Great projects Jo.

Anonymous said...

Socks - gorgeous! St. Edna - GORGEOUS! Giotto socks - yep, that yarn would be gorgeous for a little girl on Easter Sunday. But unless you're feeling very demure indeed, ahh, no. Looks like you need something with a couple pales and one color that'll stand out. Maybe something with very small shots of one bright?

Startitis, shmartitis; I always say don't fight your natural inclinations. If you want to finish something enough, you'll finish it! ;)

Bridget said...

Thank you for fixing the St. Edna; those sorts of things drive me crazy. (Literally. I was at work during a particularly hectic time, waiting in line in the cafeteria, when I noticed the sweater of the man in front of me. ALL THE CABLES WENT THE SAME WAY!! NO BALANCE!! Almost went ballistic, when I realized that, perhaps, I was a little more stressed out than I thought.....)

Fawkes are great, but I think the Giottos are more spumoni than neopolitan.....

pacalaga said...

I remember neapolitan ice cream having brown, for the chocolate. Maybe you meant rainbow sherbet? And once I saw instructions for using a provisional cast on to start your picot edge - when you turn and get ready to pick up the stitches, zip! And there they are, all waiting for you, minus one.
Sigh. I FINALLY got my Fall IK this weekend, and I think I might feel a case of startitis coming on myself.

Anonymous said...

A friend told me that I really had to go to Ireland and how could have not gone there (to the land of my foreknitters) before now? I think this a message. I HAVE TO GO!

Jane T

Kathy said...

Oh, you make me laugh and wonder if you are my missplaced twin on the other side of the world. I too have way too much up on needles and had bad startitis last night so up went a pair of Anna Bell's Badcaul. Blame it on autumn, blame it on no will power what so ever.