Sunday, March 22, 2015

Losing The Trail - Temporarily

Three Iditarod mushers remain on the trail this morning, but they should be in soon. The Iknitarod will be over...and Maisie's sweater is not done.  It's not even close.  In fact, yesterday I finally got up the nerve to turn back on the trail and rip out several hours worth of knitting.

I had been cooking along on the body.  I was up to 13" I think.  Somewhere along the way I started to get sloppy and my stitches didn't stay the same tension...or size.  I was vaguely aware of this but continued to knit on, not actually stopping to check the map (my stitches per inch guide).  The further I got, the worse it looked.  

I stewed on it for a couple days, knitting further on with the sleeves.  Several knitting friends suggested it might block out okay and not show.  The two sides were the most obvious and they were under my arms, barely visible.  Still...I knew it wasn't right.  But if I ripped it back there was no chance I'd finish the race before the Red Lantern.


There are so many things about Maisie's life that I wish we could do over.  Heck, even 5 1/2 months before she was born.  No accidental breeding, no surprise birth in the cold during a dog trial, no formula allergy, no malnutrition, no tummy aches, no twine eating, no trips to the vet...  Knitting can always be fixed.  I ripped it out.


Even the sheep measuring tape looks horrified ;-).


Wool is a wonderful yarn to work with.  There are many, many times you wouldn't want to just pull out the needles and haphazardly ravel out the yards and yards of yarn.  In this situation and this yarn, I had no fear.  See how well the wool holds it shape and keeps the stitches "stuck" in place?


I just carefully slipped the needle back in, right to left, making sure I was picking the stitches up facing the right direction.  This is probably the biggest lesson I have learned (so far) with knitting. Learn to recognize the front and back of a knit stitch.  The front is obvious to see here, the loop over the V.  Just put the needle in from the underside and the stitch will be the right direction.


My Maisie mascot held the pattern charts as I sat out on the Wool House porch all Saturday afternoon.  It was warm and just a little breezy.  Nothing like the -65 in Alaska.  


And as the light started to fade, I turned on my beloved Red Lantern.  A gift from a friend who reminded me that I could leave the lantern on as long as I needed.  And I mushed on into the night. I will make it to Nome.


25 comments:

Lorraine said...

The thing is, if you can't live with it, it's you who has to be happy. That is the beauty of wool, it's very forgiving. And being such a special wool, worth re-doing.

Jo said...

Great that you wanted it to be perfect even if only you would know if wasn't right. Great post!

Karen Battersby said...

I know that it was painful to make that decision and rip it back but you and Maisie have worked hard at that sweater, starting with your picking her up off the ground and drying her off as a newborn. It will be worth the effort when you have the sweater that you want. And the sleeve progress is looking great!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Oh My as painful as it is to frog all that work you will be pleased that you did...in the end:)

Michelle said...

That was a lovely essay, worthy of a broader audience. I say flesh out the back story a little more for those who haven't followed along the whole way and submit it for publication somewhere!

YarnKettle said...

It is fun to do a challenge and be able to say I did that. But it is more fun to love an item and say I did that right.

None of us will judge you harshly for ripping back. It is better to move forward with progress than to look back in regret.

Keep on knitting, we'll keep the light on for you.

Sheepmom said...

Ditto YarnKettle! If you hadn't gone back to fix it it would always bother you. Now it won't ever be a source of " I should have..." It's going to be an awesome, perfect sweater!

Henny Penny said...

Your post touched my heart even though I don't know the whole story.

MarmePurl said...

I'll hold you lantern. Mush on.

Sarah said...

Another thoughtful post! I don't know Maisie's story. Will look back through the archives and try to find it.
I think you'll be much happier that you took out the stitches you weren't happy with. I've done that with needlepoint. It hurts to think of the hours spent, but in the end it makes for a feeling of happy satisfaction. Good luck! Keep your lantern burning and finish in your own time. '-)
PS
I'd never noticed your little lamb tape measure. I have one and wanted to send it to you. Guess I'm late.

Michelle said...

Press on and keep that lantern burning.....

Lori Skoog said...

You did the right thing....

Auntie Reg said...

Maisie requires more attention, I am glad you fixed the issue. As I read your essay, I read you where cooking along and stewing.... That maybe thie issue :-0

Bonnie K said...

If you are going to do something, do it right. That is what my dad always said. I have undone many a quilt and never regretted it. Good luck and mush on.

RMK said...

It's 12:43AM & I'm watching the Live Finish with about 800 other Iditaholics waiting for the Red Lantern musher to come in. Don't worry ... it's the finish that counts! :)

The Dancing Donkey said...

They keep that lantern burning as long as someone is out on the trail, we'll all keep the lantern lit for you as well. You'll come in on time and in good condition:)

thecrazysheeplady said...

Maisie has always required more attention. Good point! And yes, spot on with the "cooking" issue ;-).

thecrazysheeplady said...

Maisie has quite the back story. We don't call her The Danger Lamb for nothing :-o. The lamb tape measures are too cute, eh?

thecrazysheeplady said...

Yeah, it only hurts for a second :-).

thecrazysheeplady said...

I couldn't stay up, but caught up a little with the Insider the morning. Next year's project won't be quite such an undertaking. I missed following the race as closely this year :-(. There were some great stories...as always!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Thanks everyone. I've really been down about this but a little grounded reality sure helps :-).

Switching my "runners" from the too slick nickel back to a more steady bamboo for the body re-knit. Have one sleeve finally all the way to the top. Hands sore this a.m. from too tight cabling work (:-/) so may work on the body today even though finishing that second sleeve is eating at me...

Mushing on!

Donna said...

I would have done the same thing. While it would have felt great to finish on time, it would not have compared to the feeling of wearing that sweater and being disappointed every time you wore it. Your yarn is gorgeous and the sweater will be a work of art when you finally dim the lantern.

LannieK said...

It's a Good Thing all the way around, you will be happy with the results. I maybe following your sled tracks... See you in Nome ~ Mush on!

Susan Mckee-Nugent said...

I ditto Michelle and I would definitely have ripped it out because that would be all I would ever see when I looked at it! You done good girl!! You and Maisie.......whew.

meridianjacobs said...

Great post!

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