Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Are there mulligans in knitting? I don't know if the term can officially be used in the fiber arts, but it certainly applies. At least today.

Because today I realized that the feather and fan stole I've been working on in hopes of wearing it on my upcoming cruise just wasn't right. And it was taking forever. And I was almost through the first of four balls of yarn I wound off the skein to make this stole and I hadn't gotten very far.

Then I looked more closely at what I had already done and realized that at some point early on I had lost count of the rows I'd done in the pattern. The result was that at one point, the right side became the wrong side. ARGH! In truth, I probably could have continued and no one would ever have noticed this mistake flaw design element but me since the colors are very pretty and the yarn has nice texture and the two combine to hide a world of sins -- or at least distract the eye from mistakes flaws ill-thought-out design elements.

What, I wondered, was I going to do? And how did I get this far along in the project before noticing that this was starting to look more like a lap blanket than a stole? Hmmm, let's look at the pattern instructions. "Cast on 108 stitches (multiple of 18)." Okay, I thought I did that, plus added a two-stitch garter stitch border on each side for stability. Let's count, shall we? This should be easy because I put a marker every 18 stitches to make it easier to keep my place in the pattern. Aren't I smart???

So 108 stitches. Let's see, here's one marker for one set of 18, two markers, three. . . uh, wait a minute. How many times does 18 go into 108 anyway? Oh. My. Goodness. It's not 10, is it?! Yes, dear readers. I did dyslexic math. Instead of casting on 108 stitches plus four for the border, I got overly ambitious and cast on 180!

Well, now isn't that a fine how do you do?! No wonder the darned thing seem to take forever. No wonder after using almost a quarter of the yarn on hand I had about 10 inches of stole to show for it. Nothing like almost doubling the size of the darned thing! ACK!

Now this may all seem like a rather pedestrian story to some of you. You may be thinking, "Yep, been there, done that!" At least I hope someone besides me has done this kind of bonehead math mistake. I'd hate to think I'm alone in my blunders.

Oh, did I mention that I had this epiphany while at the bowling alley? Yes, you read that correctly. I'm secretary for my bowling league and usually end up with some time on my hands before league starts (because I have to get there early to make copies of standing sheets and so on) and after my team finishes bowling while I wait for all 14 teams to finish up and give me thier score sheets. Thus I usually have some knitting with me to bide the time.

So here I am sitting at the bowling alley knitting away when I suddenly get this feeling that something is wrong and come to the conclusion that I need a mulligan. This is not a good feeling to have in a bowling alley where I can't cry, scream and shout, or madly start ripping out all those stitches into a pile of yarn spaghetti on the floor.

Ah, but such is life. Fortunately, I had a second ball of the yarn with me, so I just took the whole thing off the needles and cast on the correct number of stitches using the new ball of yarn and started over again. Once I got home, I frogged the work and rewound the yarn. At least this is a very forgiving yarn. It's Interlacements Rick Rack II and, despite it's texture, doesn't knot easily. And since it does have a texture, there's very little kink evident after frogging.

Okay, so I'll start again. At least this time I'm very familiar with the pattern and the chance of making a big mistake (as I did before) is much smaller. Plus with almost half the number of stitches on each row, things should move along quickly and there's actually hope that I'll finish it in time for my cruise, just 90 days from today.

Ah, yes, I think there are mulligans in knitting! FORE!

Oh, I finished the wave scarf for my sister. Silly me was so busy trying to get it into the mail (her birthday was yesterday, so it's already late) that I forgot to take a picture of the finished product! Suffice it to say that it is lovely and warm and soft and cuddly. I hope she likes it! :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh no! I somehow knew that you had casted on way too many. Do you think you can still get it finished on time?