Instead I have started and frogged multiple things repeatedly. In this process I have learned:
- That reading the directions is important. All the directions. While this sounds really obvious, it's amazing how many times I keep learning this lesson. Guess it's not sticking... Before casting on some ridiculous 600+ stitches using Judy's Magic Cast-on, it is useful to read the direction that says to switch the positions of the tail and working yarn. Uh-huh. Because otherwise your working yarn is on the wrong side to start the project, and then you have to pull it all out and do it again.
- I actually ended up saying "forget it" to that cast on and doing a different provisional cast on, only to discover that the pattern and I don't get along. Oh-the pattern is fine. I've charted and grafted and counted fifty times, and it all works... until I'm knitting it. And then it doesn't work anymore. And having to re-cast-on at least 300 stitches over and over again was going to drive me batty. Fine. I'll take it as a sign that it's not meant to be. Something else I've learnt. So now I'm looking for another shawl pattern for 425 yards of sock yarn (with beads, ideally).
- That when you're working on a project and you've made your way through the increases and then, from that point forward, all your colours start lining up and pooling extremely conspicuously, you can knit all the rows you want and be as hopeful as you like--The colours are not going to magically move. They will keep pooling. And yelling at them won't fix it. (Trust me. I tried.) Fine. Frogged. Looking for another pattern.
- That when a yarn says it's a "sport" weight but looks more like "fingering" or maybe even "light fingering," one should not stubbornly use it for a pattern that calls for "DK" weight. It will just look stupid. I still want to knit that cabled vest, but I'm going to have to find another yarn (that's actually "DK"), and then look for another pattern for this delicious alpaca (in "fingering" weight, probably...)
Lest you think that I'm not getting anything done at all, I assure you that I am working on a pair of socks and a cowl, and those are moving slowly but surely. And while I haven't managed to complete a knit project in two months, I have made another knitting success:
I have convinced my red-headed sister to take up knitting! (I will confess that it was actually Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's books that pushed her over the knitting edge, but who was it that lent her the books, has her reading The Yarn Harlot and Panopticon blogs, and gives her knitted gifts? Yeah--me.) She is making a hat for her first project and is on the decreases. She says she loves knitting. Yay! Our family says that she is "Knitting Gingerly."