Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A revelation

Since our cable and internet service has been disrupted, S and I have been renting DVDs. Our most recent addiction… Big Love. I was skeptical about this series but have been enjoying the characters quite a bit.

It’s funny … in the last couple of episodes the characters have talked quite a bit about having revelations… I had a bit of a revelation myself this weekend about FiFi.

As you know, I’ve been knitting away on FiFi for some time now and am quite enjoying the process. Rowan Calmer, the yarn, is nice and I really like the pattern and how the final product is coming out.

Last week I separated the sleeves from the body and Thursday I finished the first 8-row repeat of the lower bodice. Being the good girl I am, I tried the sweater on again, just like I did after row 61.

This time though… HORROR!

OHHHH MYYYYY GOOOOOOD … I couldn’t believe it… my cable was not running straight down the middle column! I feel 90% certain that I followed the pattern to the letter, all my stitch counts were on target… but drats… look at that interrupted cable!

I was stunned… I didn’t even know how to put things into words. What do you do in a situation like this?! Fixing the mistake would mean ripping out 2/3rds of my work. I’d have to go back to round 22 to make things right… I was on 73. How bad was it? Could I just keep going?

After much tribulation, and the obvious trial, I decided that I couldn’t just keep going but I also couldn’t bring myself to frog back to row 22. I decided to rip back the 8 bodice rows and put a plain panel down the center of the sweater. It’s a plan that will work, but it’s not the pattern. Even though I committed to this, I ripped and I restarted, I had much self doubt. I kept thinking about it… should I rip back to 22?

Then on Friday I had my revelation.

Friday evening, S and I started to put up the first panels of the fence. After putting up about 10-15 boards, S got very upset … his plan wasn’t working and the board spacing wasn’t going to deliver the way he had planned. We used a combination of metal poles and constructed posts (metal beams surrounded by boards – like a box – S made these himself). S realized that he had mis-measured and there would be no way to completely cover the metal posts with panels. Now this wasn’t something I could obviously see (and in fact the only visible metal will be on the back side of the fence) … but he could and he was upset with himself.

We went inside to take a break and talk. I pointed out, at first somewhat flippantly, that there was a good parallel between his fence and my sweater … it was distressing that things didn’t work out the way that we planned but we both just had to move on and make the best of it. As I said it though, I realized I was asking him to do something that I wasn’t doing myself. I was still as disturbed as he was and I was days away from discovering my mistake. I thought about this and realized that while it wasn’t S’s plan, there was a way to adjust and the fence would look fabulous … someone like me who didn’t really know what the original vision was wouldn’t even be able to tell the plan hadn’t come off.

Revelation hmm… FIFI may not come off the way she was initially planned, but with my revision, no one who hasn’t seen the pattern will be able to tell. FIFI will turn out to be a lovely sweater with a plain column up the front …yes it won’t be a cable… but it’s not the end of the world.

I feel so much better now that I’ve been able to reorient my thoughts about this. Progress has resumed and I’m hopeful that it won’t be too much longer before I finish the bodice.



She may be only FIFI-esque, but she’ll be mine.


1 comment:

Octopus Knits said...

Hi Liz,

I actually think you did nothing wrong. I haven't written up my fifi yet, but I recollect being really confused by the instructions about which parts were the front and back and which the sleeves. The pattern, as I recall, makes it sound like the two parts opposite one another that consist of more stitches are the sleeves. If you do it that way, my fifi would have had a non-cable running down the middle of the central panel, front and back, and the neck ends up narrower (looking from the front or back), and the sleeves are more roomy.

If instead you use the two parts with fewer stitches as the sleeves, you end up with a central cable, a somewhat broader neckline, and tighter sleeves (at least, that's how it worked for me).

Your version is just as lovely, but different! (but darn the pattern for confusing things...)