Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Update on the Mother of All Knitting Projects

Remember when I posted that I was beginning this monumental knitting project?

A few of you asked that I update on my progress.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahaha! Rolling on the floor, holding my sides, laughing.

I started by giving the yarn a place of prominence, because really anything that cost that much deserves a classy home. So all 15 balls of yarn are sitting there, at the foot of the chair, with the needles sticking out of one ball, looking very knitty. If you stopped by for a visit, and saw my basket of yarn and needles and such, you'd think I was a knitter.

And I've learned a new cast on technique. Only took four tries. But I learned it. Had to watch the YouTube video, because the written instructions were no help. But I learned it. Then I cast on 129 stitches - if you don't knit, just trust me that's a lot of stitches. Enough that I put place markers so I could count and recount and then recount again.

I've ripped out the first row four times. And recast on. And called my personal knitting coach daughter Sarah three times already. The conversation has been running something like this:

"Hi Sarah, I have one knitting question."

"Okay, I'm just about to walk into the conference."

"Oh that's okay, just one little question." where I proceed to start talking in knitting language about how to count rows, and types of yarn and techniques, and finally when I was stuck at the car repair shop this week, I got out my copy of the pattern and she got out her copy of the pattern and she said, "Okay, just start at the beginning."

And I said, "Okay, well I did the 129 stitches, because I'm the fourth size on the pattern, and then I did the knit 21, and purl 5 and then cable 4 back (and I think I did that part right - it looks a little wonky but I think it's right) and then I purled 5 more, knit 2, purled 3, knit 2, purled 5, did the cable 4 thing again, purled 5. Then there was the asterisk, and I knit the 17...."

And she said, "but when you did the repeat you did the 17 again, didn't you?"

"Yep. I did. I'm sure I did. That's why I ran out of stitches. So I'll just rip it out and start all over again."

"Yep, that's what's wrong."

"Yep, you're bound to be right."

So after five tries, I got row one right. I've now flown through another four rows and am feeling quite smug. Smug enough I asked my husband to please stop for a minute and admire the gorgeous cable pattern emerging. He not only knows I've ripped this project out a number of times, he also knows what I paid for the yarn, so he was very free with words of praise. So far, so good. Thanks for asking. And I strongly suspect my daughter is about ready to block my cell phone number. And I can't say that I blame her.

About 20 years from now, when I'm a little old lady, with kleenex stuffed up my shirt sleeves to catch the occasional drool, I think this cardigan should be about done. By then it will be way too cool for me to wear, and my granddaughter, Addie likely isn't going to grow up to be 5'10", so I'm wondering whether my newborn granddaughter, JaeBeth likes the color coral.... hazel eyes, dark brown hair - it should look smashing on her.

Glass half full, that's me!


AnnG said...

I'm sure your granddaughters will be thrilled to inherit this sweater...regardless of whether or not they could/would wear it. You made it and I'd say they would think that's pretty darn special!!

cheri said...

So impressed, Bev! (from a 'knitter' who only knits squares and rectangles...). Maybe someday, when I'm all grown up, I'll be able to make a beautiful sweater too!

Beck said...

I've been taught how to knit several times now and each time I've promptly forgotten again. It's hard!

Robin said...

Oh Bev, don't give up! You will get it. That's the thing about knitting I've learned. I get to a point I just want to quit because I don't think I'll ever get it. But when I just make myself plow through it even though it doesn't make sense and I can't see how this is possibly going to come together- I always come out smiling on the other side. Kind of like life, huh?
And I love, love, love that coral color!

Susan said...

Darling, fun post!!!

Sarah said...

Mom, call me a hundred more times! It'll make up for the time I made you teach me a French knot via phone when I was in college, and there was no such thing as YouTube or anything else visual to help me. You did, and of course there's sewing, and giving birth, and cooking--and all those other things you've taught me. And the awesome shower curtain Halloween outfit you made me--remember that?

So just keep on calling; I'd never block you! I just laugh a little when I see your number . . .

Glenda said...

Love your glass-is-half-full attitude . . . and your courage to tackle a monumental task! I like your choice of color.

Becky said...

Hahahaha rolling on the floor holding my sides here too ... because I just love that last paragraph. The part about stuffing kleenex up your sweater to catch the drool. Oh, sister, I'll be in that nursing home with you and we are gonna talk about everything !!!

BTW ... You are a GENIUS to put markers on so you can count and recount. I have never, ever thought of that. Never. Genius I tell you. You are going to change the way I knit. As in ... I will never again end the first row of 180 stitches with not enough stitches. Brilliant!!

Linda said...

Oh Bev, I do understand. I'm proud of you for persevering. You will get the hang of this and then you'll enjoy it. Honest! When my sons were little I made them matching fishermen's knit sweaters. It was a challenge, but it really was fun.
You can do it!!

Chris said...

I like knitting also, but would be completely overwhelmed by something as big and complicated as a sweater with cables too!

Have you tried going back to the yarn store where you bought your yarn? I have done that for help before; the employees are usually quick to assist a confused & frustrated customer. Good luck, and hang in there!