Sunday, June 29, 2014

Disappointment is Awesome!

“It was one of those times you feel a sense of loss, even though you didn't have something in the first place. I guess that's what disappointment is- a sense of loss for something you never had.”
― Deb CalettiThe Nature of Jade

I've been waiting to play with this pink since MDSW.  I did my squares first; I finished the projects that had to be done first.  But everything has gone wrong with the pink since I picked it up. 

It calls for a size 1-3 needle and I didn't have any that worked with a 40” cord.  How I can’t have a needle in my stash always astounds me!  But I didn't.  So I tried a 4. 

For a hot second I thought it might work, but I truly hate the bigger size.  It is way too loosey goosey.  I thought it would be okay with the stitch this pattern used; but I should have listened to my inner knitter when I made the gauge swatch and thought it was too loose.

I kept going though because in my head this was going to be such a wonderful pattern; the truth is, it just isn't working for me…at…all.

In life we all tend to create ideas around things that make them bigger, better or some kind of wonderful that is all our projection and then we feel disappointed when the actuality is different then our idea.

I did that with this pattern and this yarn and now I’m kinda bummed that I just had to rip out 320 stitches and five rows.

It isn't the pattern’s fault.  It isn't the yarn’s fault.  It isn't the needle’s fault.  It isn't even my fault.  There are some things in life that just don’t work out the way we thought they would.  That doesn't make them bad or wrong; it just means that our perception of them needs to be looked at from a different POV.

My sis had some school stuff this week and I was happy to take a break from squares to work on my pink and now I don’t know where to turn or what to do.

Did I really want a cowl or just to play with the pink?

The reality that I need to buy needles and wait for them to get here before I can touch the pink makes me sad.  :(

So the pink is going to have to be put away for a bit as I find something new to do with it.

That means back to WIPs.  Time to change gears…

…stomps feet.  I don’t wanna!

I want to play with the pink. 

So what can I do with what I have?  I could use a provisional cast on and then knit on straights (which I have in aluminum) until I get to the end and then I could joint the two sides back together to create a cowl.  I could knit the cowl in linen stitch and then one side would be smooth and one would be textured.  But I’m not sure that I want the dark side married to the light.  Hmmm.

I could do a few inches in each size and see what works…but wait…linen stitch needs to be done on a needle that is at least one size larger then the size that is called for. 

That means I could try swatching it and if I like the result I can then recast the 320 stitches back on the needle that I have and it just might work on the 4.

Linen stitch in the round is easy and so lovely.

Round 1:       *K1, WYIF (with the yarn in front) sl1*, repeat to end of round
Round 2:       *WYIF sl1, K1*, repeat to end of round

I don’t like it.  ...stomps feet again!  I want to with ever fibre of my being.  But I just don’t.  The yarn is soft and vibrant and beautiful but it is 2-ply and has just a bit of texture to it.  The linen stitch just won’t work for me.

I’m back to being bummed.

I was surfing the web looking for guidance and found this:

I can feel her pain.  It is nice to know that I’m not alone.

But I still don’t know what to do with my pink…

So, a few days later I found in an old stitch dictionary the Trellis Lace pattern.  It was written with yarn forwards (YF) instead of yarn-overs (YO) so I think it might be English in nature; but c’est le vie.

I think all the tight woven stitch patterns smothered this yarn.  The light airiness of the Trellis Lace allows the fiber to breathe a bit.  The lace drawn attention to the brilliant color and lets it really shine.

I fell in love with this swatch, which is just 8 rows, as soon as I finished a repeat.  This is just what I was looking for.

The Trellis Lace pattern Repeat of 6 + 5
Row 1: (RS)  K4, *YO, sl 1, K2tog, PSSO, YO, K3*, repeat * to last stitch, K1
Row 2: (WS) Purl all stitches
Row 3:          K1, *YO, sl 1, K2tog, PSSO, YO, K3* repeat * to last four stitches,                                YO, sl 1, K2tog, PSSO, YO, K1
Row 4:          Purl

I tried this BC (before coffee) and realized the +5 is broken up before and after the pattern, which is very common.  It was just something I noted while charting.  It will also have to be changed when I write up the final pattern or there will be a block of stockinette with no holes at the round marker.

Since this pattern will be in the round I will be changing rows 2 and 4 to Knit all stitches when I chart it in the round.  It is an easy change and it means a bit of relaxing knitting between the odd pattern rows.

Now to figure out how many stitches to cast on...  I was originally going for 320 and that was a nice size.  I was able to double it once against my neck.  53 x 6 = 318 + 5 = 323

With all the ado I went through to get this far, I might as well start a little pattern as well for this cowl.  I will use the stitch calculator that was in the Holda pattern so this can be used in any yarn.  Palette would be nice for a wooly look or some nice sproingy cotton with a beautiful sheen.  Some soft merino would be pretty too.

Will have to think about a name...  You know I always have a reason behind everything and really I just wanted to play with the pink.  The whole time I was writing and swatching “Everything is Awesome!” was going through my head from the Lego Movie.  If you hit this link it can go through your head too.  :) There is just a backdrop on the video so no spoilers.

How about the Awesome Trellis?  It climbs around your neck in riots of changing color and awesome lace.  lol

This will be the third time I have cast on 323 stitches.  I really dislike casting on even though it is the foundation for something wonderful.  But if I want my Awesome Trellis, then I will have to suck it up.

This project is a metaphor for life in so many ways.  It was something that I wanted so badly and projected all kinds of happiness on to the creation of this project that the reality of it was skewed.  When it didn't live up to my expectations then it was very frustrating for me.  I ripped it out.  I picked myself up and dusted myself off and tried to find another way to make it work.  I didn't give up.

After finding many ways not to make an Awesome Trellis, I finally found a new direction.  When I cast on something was wrong and I didn't find it until halfway through the first row.  I ripped everything out and started again after putting it away for 24 hours.

In the end, I won’t remember how many times I cast it on or all the other little things that bothered me about it.  I have my notes which detail a journey of sorts and I have this blog but otherwise most of the trials to get to this point will fade away. 

The journey is important and it is vital to follow your passion: each step gives way to a greater whole.  Sometimes the goal in the end is a let down after all that hard work: sometimes it is the greatest moment ever.  An achievement is nonetheless an immense moment to be savored and treasured…no matter the outcome.

So pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself on “achievement get” and know that all those steps you took to get to this point were meaningful and important learning lessons on your path. not put this project down.  Do not look away from it when it is shining and new.  If you do look away, then make sure without a shadow of a doubt, that you do not twist the needles.  And if you do twist the needles, please make sure you do not start knitting...say 3 rows before you notice that not only did you twist the needles in four (4!) places and not notice but also now you have this honkin' piece of yarn that wraps around your entire project in four places as well.  And it took me 3 rows to notice!

After ripping back 3 rows and fixing my twists, I decided that this is not a project that I can flit back and forth to.  This is not a project that I can just trust myself to knit.  And that is good to know.

So, on Saturday morning while the house was asleep I knit slowly enjoying the stitch and the flowing repetition of the lace.  I never let go of the needles and now there is enough on them that I would hope to the Blessed Goddess that I would notice if I were to twist the needles.  And I am happy.  All the todo...all the disappointments have formed into the beginnings of some lovely lace.

I feel like this project is making me slow down and breathe a bit and there is nothing wrong with that.

This is what I was able to complete.  It isn't much right now but to me it is a shining happy moment of pink. As disappointing as the first incarnation of what I wanted this yarn to be was, the actuality of what it helped me to create is really beautiful.  My disappointment gave me the energy to change the outcome and create something new…and awesome.

Happy crafting,


FYI:  All swatches were made with love and hopeful anticipation and then ripped out before I could take photos of them.  The cover photo is the mess I had when I took out the needles the 1st time.
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