This past week, as I struggled (and grumped) over fixing the mistake in my Simple Yet Effective Shawl, I wondered whether there was anything I was learning from the experience. When my students run into difficulties reading and writing, I'm all about telling them how their struggles are really opportunities for learning. So what did I learn this week? Mostly that there are moments when I just need to step away from the knitting so that I can return later with a better attitude. I probably knew that before, but I have a thing about not walking away from mistakes--on the theory that it is SUCH a bummer to pick up a project and have to face a problem. So I have an agreement with myself that I have to fix a problem before I can put something down. But I guess there are times when I need to suspend that rule.
But before I explain my fix, here's a quick re-cap: Earlier this week, I was knitting--I forget what--probably a sock--when I happened to look across the room at my SYE shawl in progress (really, nearly finished), and I noticed something weird with one of the garter stripes. On closer inspection, I saw that I had about an 18 stitch stretch where, stupidly, I had st st'd when I should have gartered. Bummer. I thought it over for a couple days because I was torn between frogging and reknitting (in total about 25 rows of 100+ stitches), or trying a vertical fix. In the end, I decided that even though I was worried about losing the yarn overs (on alternate rows, 2 in the middle and one on each), frogging/reknitting would probably be less of a pain. I then wisely waited until the following morning, when I had good light, to attempt my fix.
I first inserted a lifeline a couple rows below the problem section:
Then I ripped (and tried not to cry). Not that this project is hard--just knits and purls, but I'm soooooo tired of it, and I was sooooo looking forward to being finished--which I had to be because this is a gift.
After I had ripped to about 4 rows above my mistake, it occured to me that maybe a vertical fix from this distance wouldn't be so bad. So I put the live stitches on circs smaller than the ones I was knitting with (so as not to stretch out the stitches)--except the live stitches above my mistake. Those I put on a DPN. And I put point protectors on all the needle ends so no stitches would pop off. (I left in the lifeline just in case this approach wasn't going to work and I would need to rip after all.) Then, one stitch at a time, I unknit down to the problem row, fixed it, and knit back up.
After about an hour, voila, problem solved. Yay! Except that later that day, I discovered another problem where, a couple rows earlier, I had joined a new skein. It was late and I was tired, and I should have walked away, but I didn't. After trying--and failing--another vertical fix (since I'd just had so much practice), I had to admit failure and go to bed. Early the next morning, and without overthinking it, I got up, unknit 2 rows, and figured out that my problem was the loose knot I'd tied to keep even tension was pulled way too tight. After relaxing the knot just a bit, I was able once again to knit on.
Not surprisingly, I didn't get much else done this week. But next time I'll talk about progress on my Fast, Easy Vest. Here's a peek at the front and the beginnings of the v-neck.