Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tote-ing along

Have you noticed that there has been no knitting mentioned on the last few posts? Could it be that I haven't been knitting?

Well actually, for once, that's not it. I have been knitting!

As I shared in my post before I left for Philly, my brain decided I really needed to cast on for a new project... the celtic tote... to take on the trip. The tote and I, we shared some time together on planes and in airports and we are now very friendly.

I just love cables!

Now this back of the tote really should be bigger... about 14 rows bigger in fact, but I had two instances in which I had to play kermit. The first was just after starting. At first I didn't pay close enough attention to the chart and didn't realize that one type of cable used only 3 stitches rather than 4. I realized my error even before I finished knitting the row, but had some difficulties ripping back. I ended up just ripping back to the plain reverse stockinette stitch and starting over.

My second mistake was a bit bigger and took more time before I convinced myself that there was indeed a problem. At some point in my travels, it seems that I stopped paying close attention and knitted one row of the chart twice. Now on face value, it may not seem that this woud be that big a deal. Well it was a bit of a problem because I started cabling on the back of the fabric instead of the front. Somehow, I managed to keep the purls on the front (the purls are the background) but only the cabling on the back. Sigh.

At first (probably within a couple of rows of making the mistake) I thought things looked a little odd, but I decided I shouldn't jump to conclusions and continued. Planes changed, I moved from one knitting environment to another, before I knew it I had a number of rows knit and it was clear something was wrong. The cincher... when I looked at the back I could (sort of) see the cables that should have been on the front (but of course since I kept my purls on the right side even these weren't perfect).

With some despair, I finally admitted my mistake and rip, rip, rip. Thank goodness I've finally learned to read my stitches because I had to do a bit of investigation to figure out which line I did twice and then rip back only that far. I also didn't want to undo and cabling on the last row I ripped/saved.

Fortunately, the bag was saved, everthing was re-grouped, and all rows with errors have been reknit. I'm back to a clean slate and moving forward. Yeah!

So far I'm very pleased with the bag and think it's going to be very attractive. I'm hoping to make a bit more progress this weekend.

And the other good thing... you know the reason I started this bag was to teach myself to knit continental. I think I've got the basics down. I'd love to see how different people hold their yarn when knitting continental because I'm not totally comfortable with how I'm doing it (my pinky keeps cramping up holding the tension). My purls are definitely more challenging than my knits as well (I need to find a trick to wrapping the yarn around the needle in a purl).

If anyone has suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

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