Every so often comes a day where I really truly doubt my capabilities as a knitter, and indeed doubt whether I even deserve to call myself by that title at all. Yesterday was one of those days.
Since I'm working this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I got to take the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off for my "weekend." I honestly don't mind that. I'm in town for it, unlike coworkers who travelled to spend the holiday with their families, and it works out that I have my two days off in a row. I was quite looking forward to Wednesday. I started out with big plans of housecleaning, but said to myself, The hell with that. I always spend my days off cleaning the damn house and doing laundry. I'm going to take just one day and not do ANYTHING but what I want to.
And I decided that what I wanted to do was to spend the day camped out on the sofa, watching Sherlock on Netflix, and taking advantage of Jason's absence to work on some Christmas Knitting. I got Sherlock all queued up and got out the yarn and needles for Secret Christmas Project #5 and cast on. The pattern instructed me to cast on 32 stitches with size 8s. That seemed a little small to me, but I'm using a thicker yarn so I figured it'd be okay. "Trust the pattern, Leandra, just trust the pattern." I told myself as I cast on a dutifully knit away in 2x2 knitting. I got a few rounds in, and it looked very small, so I said "Screw the pattern!" and ripped out, and recast on with 36 stitches. I knit through the ribbing again. "Now it looks kind of big," I said to myself, and pulled out the needles to try it on. And it was very big. However I am significantly smaller than the intended recipient, and I spent a while hemming and hawing about how big on me would be just right on him. In the end, I ripped it out and cast on 32 stitches again, all the while muttering to myself "Trust the frigging pattern, Leandra, just trust the frigging pattern."
I got almost done with it before I finally made it from the thought "I'm doing what the pattern is saying to do, I'm sure it stretches to fit." to "This looks way way too small." So I pulled out the needles again and tried it on, and it fits perfectly. Which would be great news if the item were for me. Which it is not. There was, I admit, a moment of temptation where I strongly considered just finishing it up and keeping it for myself and going to buy more yarn for present-making. But I rose above those awful urges and ripped again, and cast on yet again with 36 stitches. Trust the pattern, my ass.
I was able to get a whopping three rounds done before Jason came home early. Two and a half hours of knitting, and I got three rounds done. Wonderful use of my time when I'm on a deadline. It'd for the best, really, that I was forced to put it away. I was beginning to feel emotions toward it that I hadn't felt since the blue hat fiasco. That ball of yarn, by the way, is still in time out.
After a short break from knitting, I sat down again with Secret Christmas Project #9, which involves my very first attempt at double knitting ever. And, as with most first attempts at anything, I sucked ass at it. Also, I didn't realize that double knitting is more or less like knitting 1x1 ribbing (which I already despise) only even more annoying since you're also trying to juggle two strands of yarn while you do it. So after four rows, which took me over an hour, I ripped it out and decided that I'd knit two panels of intarsia and then seam them together. It'd probably be faster.
It almost certainly WOULD be faster, if I could only learn to read a frigging chart. Attempt number one looked like slightly better ass. Rip, reknit. Attempt number two I realized that my floats were too long, and it would be better to use two balls of yarn. Rip, reknit. Attempt number three ended when the pattern got close enough that I could go back to using one ball of yarn, but I had too many stitches between the sections. Oops, it looks like there's 8 stitches between the edge of the piece and the start of the color section, not 7 like I'd been doing. Rip, reknit. Attempt number four was when I realize that there really ARE 7 stitches between the color and the edge of the piece. There were eight up there because the color section shifts inward. I am an idiot. Ripped it out and couldn't stand to start again. Am seriously considering another go at double knitting, if only because I'd somehow managed to forget just how much I despise intarsia but after last night I remember very, very vividly.
I pulled out Mom's Tiger Triangle because I needed something mindless after that. Knit all that blessedly simple stockinette until I had the right number of stitches to knit up the first row of the 12 stitch lace patter repeat I'm working for the edging. Unfortunately I didn't include the edge stitches for that, and had to tink back that whole row so I could knit another few rows until I had the real right number of stitches.
That's the point where I gave up for the night. About half a day's worth of knitting, and all I have to show for it is three rounds of 2x2 ribbing, and six rows of stockinette. Maybe half an hour's worth of work. I haven't touched any of it today.
I'm also seriously revising my Christmas Knitting list. Secret Projects 1-3 are the same thing. I can probably do them with commercially bought lace instead of knitting my own. I am loathe to take them off because they're among the simpler and quicker projects I have lined up. In any case, I'm saving them for last that way I can still get them done even if I've run out of time. Secret Project #6 involves great swaths of faire isle, which will take me forever. I'm considering doing less intarsia and more stripes which would make it go way faster. I'm also designing my own pattern there, so I've got a bit of flexibility. We'll see how it goes. Sarah's Belated Birthday Socks will probably be even more belated. Was hoping to have them done by Christmas, but I'd also planned on getting at least the first one knit while I was last in Tampa. This double knitting thing I'm considering finding a bridge to throw it off. Katie's socks are not really involved in this Christmas knitting at all, except that I had hoped to start off New Year with a clear slate and was foolishly optimistic.
It'll be a slog, but it's doable to get everything I need to get done finished on time. I can do this, I can totally do this.