I've been working on a few challenging knitting projects recently, forgetting my own rule to always have at least one easy knit going that I can switch to when my knitting-brain is tired. I probably forgot this rule because when it comes to knitting I do love challenges: they're always stimulating, and teach me something every time.
My springtime and wintry-March projects both came to a halt this week when I hit a texture problem, because sometimes gauge isn't everything - especially when you don't use the yarn the pattern calls for. Sometimes, despite a good gauge, the knitting comes to a point when the fabric feels and looks all wrong. And that point may be far along enough that instead of stopping, ripping the (wrong) fabric back, and starting again, one misguidedly continues knitting, hoping that two wrongs will make a right. Oh, dear ...
So, after knitting wrong for days, I eventually did the right thing and unraveled a lacework that was clearly too loose, and started my black winter storm knit again, switching from 3.5mm to 3mm needles.
Here's where I have to confess that I'm still on the wrong knitting path with my mint-colored project. The fabric feels a little too stiff, and I'm afraid it won't drape well. Trouble is, if I switch to bigger needles as I ought to, I probably wouldn't have enough yarn to complete the design. So, on I knit, hoping that blocking will work its magic, and make the fabric right. Fingers crossed ...
There was also a lot of wrong knitting that turned into a gorgeous right this week, when I learned a new technique. It's a test-knit I agreed to make for Liesl of Buckalooview, whose design immediately captivated me. Clara May Hat is the ultimate winter hat that owes its incredible warmth to a very thick fabric made of woven-like stitch patterns.
The design only looks complicated, and is very cleverly constructed around two different and alternated textured stitch patterns, one of which is made with cables worked without a cable needle. I had quite a few problems figuring out this technique at first, but since the testing, Liesl has made a helpful video demonstrating how to do it. The pattern now is extremely comprehensive: it comes with both written and charted instructions, as well as a video. Wow!
I can't tell you how useful this pattern has already been to teach me how to make cables without a cable needle - but I'll show you as soon as I finish my black winter storm sweater-round two!