Just because I love to knit lace doesn’t mean I do it right all the time.
In fact, sometimes I knit lace in a way that is the complete opposite of right, and then I do it again and again before I notice.
Case in point, the way I messed up one of the cables in the Ancient Woodland shawl… more times than I feel like counting.
The cables in this design are a very important element. They make the branches at the top of three enormous trees, and they pull the center of the shawl inwards.
They’re simply crucial, not something to be taken lightly.
Imagine my irritation and annoyance when I spread my work out over my knee and saw that I had crossed one of the cables the wrong way… not just once but manymanymany times.
Just in case you can’t see it right off the bat, here is my Ritual Moment of Public Humiliation.
See the blue needle? The cable that is just above it is the one I’m talking about. There are at least six examples of what happens if you knit merrily along doing the exact opposite of what the chart tells you to. Basically, I moved stitches to the front instead of to the back. Or to the back instead of the front.
Or something silly like that.
It wasn’t one of those mistakes I could just shine on, telling myself that it would all work out in the blocking. I fully endorse the wonders of water and blocking wires, but no amount of blocking is going to suddenly correct mis-crossed cables.
At this point I feel that I should get a certain amount of credit for the fact that I neither a) wept nor b) threw the knitting across the room.
No, no, I was very calm about the whole thing. I sat in the break room at work, slid the work off of the needles, set my stitch markers aside, and frogged 18 rows. A co-worker sitting across from me got very big eyes, but the look fierce concentration on my face was enough to keep her from asking me what in the name of all that is holy I was up to.
After 18 rows, I picked up my 24-inch US 0 (1.75 mm) needle, and removed the last errant row a few stitches at a time. I’d pick up the live loops, remind myself to breathe out, and repeat. I didn’t concern myself with whether the stitches were twisted or not, just with getting every single one of them back safely on the needle so they wouldn’t run for their lives.
There were a few sticky moments, and my crochet hook came in rather handy more than once, but I did get them all back on the needle. I counted them five times, and always came up with the magic number of 114.
Then I went for a nice relaxing walk.
I’ve since completed the first chart. It looks like this when you do it right.
Onward to Chart B!