Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Saga of Loops, Drops & Clusters

After knitting a comfort shawl recently that did not require any shaping or stitch changing (i.e. just like a scarf, but wider), I decided it was time to be more adventurous in my next pursuit. Enter YouTube, and a few searches, making sure to include the word 'beginner.' I watched a few demonstrations, and then decided on a pattern, and got going right away. 

It's always exciting to try a new pattern, and I was pleased with the look of the stitch for this quite coarse yarn (makes my fingers feel dry and rough as I work with it). I wasn't happy with the raggedy edges, though. I also had a sneaking suspicion, that this method of creating a triangular shawl was too steeply shaped (starting at the point and adding just one stitch each row), as is obvious from the photo. 

Since it hadn't taken me very long to get that far, I wondered if I should begin again, modifying the way I start and end the drop stitch row (Drop stitch? Who knew that was even a thing; I'm always trying NOT to drop stitches! Some smart person decided to make a feature of it!). Or maybe adding tassels will hide the loopy edges?

Well, I pulled it all out instead - the shape really wasn't going to work well in practice. I started something new and complicated instead - a pattern labeled as 'Advanced Beginner' - whew, it's difficult, but I definitely love the new challenge. I'm not sure how far I'll get ...

Oh no! This one uses Cluster Stitch, and you have to be consistent about keeping your work in the same orientation - in other words, count rows & stitches, so that the pattern stacks up consistently, and pay careful attention ... ! I'm certainly learning a lot. 😀 

I've pulled it out again! Too many errors were creeping in, and the pattern was the kind that was unforgiving, such that errors grew on each other. I started this difficult pattern once again, pulling everything out and beginning from scratch. I watched the video instructions afresh and with new insight, after having become more familiar with the sequences and new stitches, but, alas, barely 4 rows in, and the stitches don't match up to the instructions by the end of the row. Back to the drawing board! And though I pulled it out and I tried again two more times, I still couldn't get the stitches to line up according to the pattern. 

Infuriating! So, I picked out another pattern entirely, with a 2 row repeat (no clusters or drops), and not choosing one that stated, "if you're expecting to knit mindlessly in front of the TV, this is not the pattern for you." 

We live and learn ... even if it's learning that some things are too difficult for my skill level!


Shelley Burbank said...

Good for you, stretching your skill level. I like the first pattern & wonder if it would stretch a bit off the needles to make a proper shape? Anyway, love the color!!!

Wendy said...

Working feverishly in front of the t.v. on my comfort shawl....and was thinking along the same lines of you, trying something more thoughts.

Debbie said...

Thanks for reading and commenting ... This was pretty rambling.