The Dance of the Stitches

Forest Canopy Shawl - detail
I wrap and knit or purl, then back;
My needles swift and sure.
The loops and YOs and K2TOGs;
The pattern coming clear.

My confidence is rising fast;
The end it seems so near.
But don’t misread the knitting, lass
‘Cause ripping will ensue.

A cautionary tale I tell,
Perhaps because it’s true.
One stitch up. Three-hundred back.
The tink could hit you, too.

I did this latest Dance of the Stitches with my Forest Canopy Shawl. I’m sure you know how it goes.

Weeks had passed since I’d picked up the shawl and, silly me, I didn’t have any notes as to where I’d left off. I tried reading the knitting and reconciling it with the pattern – at 3 a.m. I figured a bout of insomnia shouldn’t go to waste, right? So, I knit by the light of my craft lamp and watched whatever is on television in the wee hours.

Wrong move! I didn’t notice that I’d resumed knitting at the wrong place in the pattern until 300 stitches had passed. Something was very wrong because there were no lacy bits where there should’ve been; no leaves emerging from the knitted fabric. First came the un-knitting, stitch by stitch and then the outright rip as my ire rose.

Now, Forest Canopy and I and engaged in a slow, sedate waltz. Boring, but necessary.

24 comments to The Dance of the Stitches

  • Yep. I’m stalled on my Leaf Lace. No midnight knitting, just stupid stuff, and about 300 stitches back. I’m still pouting and it is still in time-out.

  • Poor you. If it had been me I would have thrown the whole project out of the window. The shawl looks beautiful though.

  • Ack…Well I guess, at least you hadn’t gone any farther.

  • Love the poem!

    Although I have yet to do lace I imagine that although frustrating when something goes wrong in the end it is so worth it when you have a beautiful finished project in front of you.

  • You are a fabulous writer! I love your TINK poem…

    Sadly, all lace knitting goes south at one point or another for me, I cannot lie! Just last night I was frogging because for some reason my hands took off speed-stockinette-knitting and almost a row later I was going WTF!!!

  • I did this TWICE with my FlowerBasket shawl. Damn charts…

  • Oohhhhh, don’t you hate that? I’ve done that more than once with lace, at least yours wasn’t mohair!!!

    Love the poem…did you write that? You are talented in many more ways than I thought!

  • Sorry about the…incident…but that is a lovely photo!

  • Brilliant poem 🙂

    Friends don’t let friend knit after midnight, please step away from the lace. Insomnia is what plain vanilla stockinette socks are for!

  • Nice poem! Would a lifeline have helped? At least so you could do some rapid fire frogging?

  • Would you look at all those colors!! Very nice poem too girl!

  • i adore that poem. i think all lace knitters go to that awful place where we’ve read the pattern or the knitting wrong and end up tinking or frogging umpteen stitches. if anything can teach you patience, it’s lace. judging by the picture you have, it’s all going to be worth it in the end!

  • Oh, man. I hate it when that happens!

  • I like the poem! It’s too bad it’s about having to rip, but it’s still a very good poem.

    The leaves in the photo are really pretty! The shawl will be gorgeous.

    I often have to remind myself that my post midnight before sunrise ideas are usually not the best. But they always seem so reasonable at first…

  • Oh, woe! Such lovely words to give dire warning! Your knitting is beautiful, Karen. Sorry your’re visiting the frog pond with it. (((HUGS)))

  • Ah, something else we share in commmon – poetry!

    We are different ages so we can’t be twins, seperated at birth. Must have been sisters in a prior incarnation!

    Love the colors on Forest Canopy. I feel your pain at the ripping back of such. (Now I never have to rip it LOL!

    Blessings, friend!

  • Lovely! A pity about the rippage, but I’m sure that the end result with be delicious and totally worth the aggravation. (At least that’s how I convince myself to complete lace projects.) 😉

  • Alas, I fear… I may soon be ripping up what I’d done on the first fingerless glove and starting over, as well, for much the same reasons. I’d made a couple of mistakes I was going to just live with, but now it’s been so long since I put it down… it probably makes more sense to just start over. Oh, well. No pain, no gain, right?

  • Jen

    Oh the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl. I had the same problem when I knit mine. I wasn’t that far along, so I just ripped the whole thing out and started over. Your shawl looks beautiful though!!


    P.S. I hope you get something yarn-y in the mail today or tomorrow. 🙂

  • very pretty…. I feel your pain… I had the same experience with my Flower Basket shawl –ooops wich has been abandoned for a second time. However, this time I was smart enought to keep notes and good track–I hope:)

  • Oh, the dangers of lace knitting. I have the start of a shawl on the needles, but I’ve pretty much decided to throw in the towel and stick with something that takes less concentration!

  • I seriously hate when that happens. So discouraging.

  • Karen, I just found a listing for a class on repairing mistakes in lace at one of my LYSes. It’s no until August, but I will sign up for it. The only way to fix your snafu was unknitting, but I’ve had a few instances recently of dropped stitches or missed YOs that I couldn’t repair and had to tink.

    Hope you get back to where you were soon and without incident.

  • OH MY. It’s very pretty…and your poem, too.
    So true.
    So sad…meet you at the lily pad!