Friday, March 1, 2013

Tripped Up

Sometimes problems arise with my knitting projects - the gauge is wrong, the stitch count is off, I misread the instructions.  There are any number of problem possibilities.  Some of them are minor and can easily be fixed.  Others require more extensive remedies.

When a project is progressing without a hitch, I feel that problems are lurking in the background, looking over my shoulder, waiting for an opportune moment to strike.  I start to get nervous.  Surely something will go wrong.  That was my experience the other day.

I had started a new project, Low Tide Cardigan.  This design starts with three separate lace panels - right front, left front, back.  The panels are all worked individually and then joined by working down the rest of the cardigan.  The front lace panels start with a wee bit of garter worked on needles one size smaller than the rest of the sweater.  After the garter, the needle size changes for the rest of the panel.

I'm working this project with interchangeable needles.  I love the idea that I can swap out needle sizes just by changing the needle tips.  In theory this is a good strategy, but I proved that something as easy as unscrewing and screwing can be challenging.

Low Tide was moving right along.  I had finished my first lace panel and was about to start the second one.  Remember it starts with garter on smaller needles.  I was changing back to the smaller needle tips when that sinking feeling came over me.  I had changed one of the tips, but when I measured the size of the tips, they were both the smaller size.  How could that be?  Unless I had knit the body of the first panel with two different size needles.  Maybe I had already changed both of the needle tips before I checked the size.  Maybe there was nothing to be concerned about.

The only thing I knew for sure was that I was confused about which tips were used to work the lace.  I examined the finished lace panel, hoping it would give me some sign that it had been worked with the right size needles.  I held it close and turned it over, but there weren't any clues.

Maybe I had worked the body of the panel with two different size needles, maybe not.  This is the sort of problem that would nag me.  I would always wonder, so I did a quick assessment and took action.

The panel in question is small, so I knit a second one.  And I made sure to check and double-check my needle sizes along the way.

The verdict.

The panels are different sizes.  I had worked the first one with two different size needles.  Now I have two right front panels, but the problem has been resolved.  I can rest easy.  For the moment.

Friendship bracelets, embroidery floss, hours of fun.  My color inspiration for the week.

Endless color combinations.

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