I don't know why, but certain projects that are troublesome get thrown into time out limbo while others I can't let go. This project, the Western Brook Cowl in Hedgehog Fibres Sock, I am doggedly determined to finish. After a day of disappointing knitting on Saturday, I started from scratch on Sunday. Success!!! And I'm very happy that, for whatever reason, I was stubborn with this project.
Believe it or not, this is all I have to show for about 12 hours of knitting. My story of pain started with a seductive colourway that lured me into buying yet another sock yarn. I rarely knit socks, but hand dyers seem to always put their greatest efforts into the colour work of fingering weight yarn. Thus I have HAD to buy single skeins of sock yarn, because I could not resist the delicious colours. That is how I came to possess the gloriously orange and bespeckled Hedgehog Fibres, Guppy, Sock yarn. So Saturday morningat Hanks with Andrea Gal-Leising I decided to make a Western Brook Cowl. Sock yarn is often used by me to make cowls to show off the colour as opposed to hiding it in a shoe or large winter boot (Canadian sock knitter problems). The lovely Andrea found the right size needle, and I was good to go, but I wanted to try an icord cast on instead of a regular one. Having researched it the night before, I started to cast on with this beautiful, and incredibly time consuming technique for the 190 stitch cast on. Ouch! To add to my pain I discovered that this yarn was a light fingering weight, thus much tinier than the last yarn I'd used for this cowl. I began to be concerned that the cowl would be too small at 190sts, but continued on despite my misgivings. As I struggled to learn the cast on technique, I had to pull back rows here and there, and since this yarn is superwash it split frequently when it is frogged. As a result of this difficult cast on process, I startedat 9am, and - with minimal breaks for coffee & food - I did not finish it until2:50pm(I know the exact time, because I was supposed to leaveat 3pmto go to a party. I was still in my PJ's as I finished the 190th cast on stitch. PANICKING!) I arrived at the St.Paddy's day bash with knitting in tow, as the hostess is also a knitting buddy of mine, so I would be able to continue my project at there. There is lace and cable work in the Western Brook Cowl pattern. I should have known better. I should have put this project down, and started a hat like Andrea...but, oh no, I thought I was up to the challenge of starting a cable/lace pattern in a room with 4 energetic kids, 2 rambunctious dogs, and my highly entertaining friends, AndreBa & AndreLa. Amidst the chaos I successfully completed 2 rounds. You, my experienced knitter friends, however, see the oncoming disaster, don't you? Rnd 3 was my undoing, but not until after I had completed the entire round. As I dove into rnd 4 the horror dawned on me that I had made a major error on round 3. To early in the project to have inserted a life line, a studied the third round carefully to see if there was a simple fix I could use in the fourth round to fudge it back into working order, but no such luck (even with the luck of the Irish all about me.) Tinking the third rnd seemed the best solution, but with a sock yarn that was verging on lace weight, with superwash splitting, my middle aged eyesight, and a room full of people actually having fun; it was doomed to failure at the outset. Still I wasted more time trying. Then I attempted to frog it it back to the cast on in a last ditch effort to at least rescue a day's worth of knitting. It was as I ripped back the first 2 rounds that I started to see the cowl may be too small as I'd feared lo those many hours ago when I first started it. So with a broken spirit, I tore the entire project out, and dejectedly started a sock with the "sock yarn". It was9pmwhen I put the project down, and what you see in the photo is all that I have to show for a 12 hour day. But that is not the end of this tale, as this yarn, despite our quarreling, calls out to be a Western Brook Cowl, not a boot suffocated sock. So, today, with a slightly larger needle, I will begin the icord cast on again. This post is a rebuttal of all the articles stating the knitting is good for your mental health. Knitting may be good for my soul, but I often wonder if it isn't the cause or perhaps the proof of my mental instability.