It was many hours spent over the long snowy weekend, but it was worth it. Admittedly it turned out a little more square than I'd thought it would be-but I think it's cute. Plus, it's my favorite color (besides green) and it is very warm-which is definitely appreciated in this kind of weather.
So, reflecting back on the experience, I learned a few things. I think this calls for a list, don't you?
(1) I learned not to panic. If something doesn't look right, pause and read the instructions. No, read them again. And again. If it's a real pattern (and trust me, most of them work) then read the instructions again and again (it took me up to six times or more for a couple of the steps) until you figure it out. You will.
(2) This kind of goes against the first rule, but not really-and that is: be cautious. There's nothing worse then feeling all chipper and cheery that you got another four inches done if you look back only to find that you did them all wrong. Check your work often, taking a second to look at it and make sure it looks ok-but with the same token, don't look so much or for so long that you're looking more than you're knitting!
(3) Rip it. Rip it good. Don't be afraid to rip. Do it methodically, slowly, calmly, calculatingly. Make a mental note of what row you were about to do and count backwards one row at a time as you rip back until the error is gone. Slowly and gingerly put your stitches back on. Continue your pattern.
(4) Take a break. No, really, I mean it. If you find that you're ripping an area several times, especially when everything else had/has been going fine, it probably means your eyes are beginning to cross and it's time for a tea break. Or if it's late in the evening, to call it a night. My worst knitting mistakes have always come from knitting late at night and not stopping.
(5) I learned to reliably cable. It's not a big deal once you've made the umpteenth cable. It becomes ordinary.
(6) Tbl. Look scary? It's not, really. This stitch was used for the ribbing on my sweater, and it helps the ribbing to be more elastic. Tbl is an abbreviation for (well, actually I don't know what it stands for) but what it means is. Well.
Let's pretend you're knitting a row, right? You're knitting along, and the pattern tells you to Tbl. Instead of putting the tip of your right needle into the back of the stitch like you normally would, you make the same action but do it to the front part of the stitch. In otherwords, you make a knit stitch but put the tip of the needle into the front part of the stitch on the left needle. Then you wind the yarn around the needle as you would for an ordinary knit stitch and treat it just like a normal knitted stitch.
What this stitch does is twist a normal knitting stitch.
So what do you do on a purl or wrong side row, you ask? You're purling along, la de la de da, and the pattern says Tbl. You purl like you would EXCEPT you purl into the back part of the stitch. Wind yarn for a purl stitch as normal and treat the stitch as normal.
Okay, and this may sound totally strange and backwards to you, but I can't keep Tbl in my mind as a normal easy to remember term. So what I do, as in for the sequence for my knitting, is think mentally, Knit, Knit-Funny, Purl, Knit, Knit-Funny, Purl. Or for the wrong side, Knit, Purl-Funny, Purl, Knit, Purl-Funny, Purl. You get the idea. Maybe? I guess it's just one of those things.
Aside from that, my dad broke the tendon on his finger during an icy incident, and so now he has to wear a cast, for, like, forever. The downside to this (amongst many other things) is that now he has a fat cast around the finger, and can't wear his normal gloves. So-starting yesterday, I knitted up a quick large pair of black mittens for him to wear. The pattern came from lionbrand.com-and they're called 2 needle Mall of America mittens. Don't ask me what makes them Mall of America mittens. I truly haven't the foggiest.
Anyway, so here they are. You can definitely tell they're for a guy, can't you? I think they should have called the large size, MAMMOTH.
So anyway, that's a wrap. I hoped that helped you guys out (or at least entertained you). Stay warm.