|Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere (2 ply)|
It is beautiful, soft, delicate yarn. It's also on the weak side (when knitting anyway) and it definitely doesn't love being unknit, um, too many times to count. Note: It cost me, on mega-sale, $150 USD for 1600 yards (4 hanks) of this yarn. Usually, before shipping, that amount of this brand of cashmere would cost $190 USD. Let's just say it's, by far, the most expensive yarn I've ever bought and, while I love it, I haven't thought to repurchase it. It's lovely yarn in many ways but it's not worth the money. Yeah, I did just say that about cashmere. (Note: This is not to tar all cashmere with the same brush. I willing to continue experimenting!)
All this is to say, especially if you're working with fussy, pricey yarn, I urge you all to stay the hell away from this pattern:
|Starry Starry Night by Jeanne C Abel|
The cast on method (technically there are 2 methods to choose from but I could barely understand either so I went with the one that seemed most comprehensible) is absurd. Sure, it's really cool and it allows you to knit from the middle of the shawl (lengthwise) to the outsides (and to do the slit in magic loop while simultaneously knitting the shawl flat). But I have had to redo this SO MANY TIMES I am actually ready to take a match to the whole fucking kit. For starters, I spent 4 hours getting the cast on right. See, you need to cast on 401 stitches (190 on either needle and then 21 for the magic loop) using a really complex method. It's de rigeur to fuck up on or before stitch 310. And to avoid fucking up until stitch 310, you have to un-cast on and re-cast on numerous stitches along the way. Which means you lose count of the stitches repeatedly. Keeping track of stitch numbers is utterly at odds with remembering the convoluted cast on sequence. To achieve one, I had to sacrifice the other. Resulting in more errors.
Truly, my brain has rarely found something so difficult. You could make the claim that I'm not at my most focused lately but my parents and sister were shocked by how long it took me to get absolutely NOWHERE.
Then, having cast on, I realized I'd nonetheless managed to make a couple of mistakes which were near impossible to fix because - and it's really not worth explaining this, it will still totally confuse you - they effectively erode the attachment of one half of the scarf to the other and leave big messy holes. Fixing the holes is observable no matter how you do it. And trust me I had numerous opportunities to figure out different possible methods. So, from the get-go there were errors. Four hours of casting on did fuck all to mitigate their occurrence.
I suppose I don't need to mention that I cannot stand errors at the best of times, much less those that emerge at row one.
But I was ready to be zen. I decided to take the long-view: In its completeness, thought I, the scarf will be a drapey dream, warm but light and beautifully rich. You won't notice a few wonky stockinette stitches when confronted by a completed garment!
Um, I'm only on row 10 and I've somehow lost 4 stitches over one row. 4 stitches people. And I can't figure out, from looking at the lacework, where the stitches were actually dropped. That's freakin' outrageous. Sidebar: It's cuz the entire previous row is k2tog followed by a yarn over, the net result (for you non-knitters) being a bunch of deliberate holes. Yarn over stitches are notoriously tricky to keep from sliding off of metal needles when the yarn is air light-fingering weight. Once those stitches are gone it's hard(ish) to recover them - esp. if you don't notice it immediately and you can't find a visual error.
Did I mention that it takes 30 fucking minutes to knit a row of K2tog/YO in the first place? When your yarn is apt to snap, you work slowly. And then, natch, you have to count 401 (and changing row-to-row) fingering stitches on US size 5 needles every time you turn around. Which is to say nothing of the problem when you forget that you're not knitting magic loop cuz some of the knitting IS actually done in magic loop.
I have a headache just thinking about this.
Actually, I experienced my recent nausea bout during the same general time-frame in which I first tried to knit this. So every time I think of returning to it, and solving outstanding problems, I feel sort of like I'm going to throw up. Zut alors, it's PTKD (post-traumatic knitting disorder).
Honestly, I cannot abide ending on a row with mistakes. I will always finish a knitting session cleanly, organized and ready to begin the next section, even if it takes me an extra bomb of time to do so. In this instance, however, there doesn't seem to be enough will in the world to correct things. It's like the knit is thwarting me!????!!!!
Look, I know this doesn't matter. I mean, if I just throw the whole lot into a bag and never touch it again (till I decide to use the yarn for something else), no harm done. The mature me recognizes - even though it is SO counter-intuitive to my way of thinking - that I may actually be able to return to this, after some distance, without issue. I know I can't keep banging my head against a wall. So I'm going to take a break. If only I could do so without feeling like I've failed. (Egad, perfectionist Krissie, get a fucking grip!)
But now for today's questions: Have you made this shawl? If yes, did it torment you? Do you like the look of it (horrible construction process notwithstanding)? Do you know the feeling of failure about which I speak, or do you think that knitting is an easy thing to walk away from. I mean, really, it's an easy thing to walk away from. Right?