04 November 2009

The Tale of Epic Fail. (Alternate title: Lunaticraft is an Annoying Perfectionist with Serious Issues)

So you know how I was so excited that my Swallowtail shawl was finally going to happen?

Yea, not so much. I'm frogging it.

One night as I happily knit away into the Lily of the Valley Border, my mother, a former knitter (now retired from the craft due to arthritis problems), looked up from her book and watched me for a minute, after which she let out a puzzled sounding "hmmm."

"What?" I asked.

"I've never seen YOs done that way. Does it work?"

Well, I didn't really have an answer for that, so the next day I pinned out a section of my Swallowtail, to try to find out. What I found disturbed me slightly. As far as I could tell, it was a busy mess where nice clean YOs are supposed to be.

Well, maybe that's a little dramatic, as you can see the photo above. But it certainly wasn't the nice, clean and clear delineation that I had been imagining. Every YO, instead of being one singular line of yarn as I have seen on other's knitting seemed to be forked. Two strands, diverging from each other in a "V."

But maybe it was just the yarn. Maybe it was because I was using needles that are two sizes two big. I comforted myself with these thoughts and turned to the last minute lace scarf that I had just taken off the needles (started on a whim during the daily show the week before). It was still not killed (it being Vanna's Choice, and not yummy natural fiber... I'm trying to use up my acrylic stash so I can replace it with better stuff now that I'm working and know of a LYS nearby), so I didn't yet know how it was going to turn out.

Many pins and curses later, I had my answer in a far more obvious fashion. Yep, my YOs were forked for some reason.

Now, in reality, I probably shouldn't feel compelled to frog the Swallowtail (I'm not going to bother with the scarf). The pattern is still identifiable, if not the perfect vision I had imagined. However, I'm an anal retentive ass. So, within hours of this post, the Swallowtail will be back to balls of yarn. Again. If I'm going to make this thing at this point, it's going to be all that I imagine and more. It's woman against yarn now.

In the mean time, I've been experimenting. Cue another stash ball of Vanna's Choice, and I think I've got my YO problem figured out. I was going to stop by Summit Yarn Studio and get some help (minus the ball of Vanna's. I'd have brought the actual Swallowtail with me), but the night before I had planned to, I managed to create this:

How much neater is that? Also, I checked my new technique against my mom's copy of Knitting in Plain English, something I probably should have referred to before starting the Swallowtail in the first place.

I did stop by SYS today anyway (about a week after I had planned to, because of work), and came out with some amazing yumminess. I'm going to try Alpaca for the first time on this Collared One Button Scarf pattern, which is super cute and is actually designed by the SYS's owner. I also picked up a skein of Merino in a beautiful charcoal color and some great chestnut brown silky tweed. Those have plans for them that can't be divulged until Christmas time, I think.

And those are pretty much the deets on my yarny life as of late. Hopefully, I'll be around a bit more in the coming months. But for now? Rehearsal time.

See ya on the flip side! (I'm feeling a little 80's and 90's lately)



zcrescendo said...

From one "anal retentive ass" to another, keep your chin up!

kay.skay.790 said...

It's really painful when you decide to frog something you've put a lot of work into. It is better however than knowing it's wrong every time you look at it, that kind of thing just eats away at your knitterly spirit.

Lupie said...

I feel if you are consistent with the screw up it will be just fine but it does look neater.

Sara said...

I'm curious how you did your YO. I've done a child's shawl/capelet and it took some tries to figure out the right YO. I did look it up on one of my books. Can you look at this blog http://handyhooker.blogspot.com/2009/07/spine-yos.html and tell me if that is how you are doing it now? I don't have another knitter to tell me if I'm doing it right. Thanks!

Sara said...

Oh and I wouldn't have frogged the Swallowtail. That is a lot of work and like someone said, consistent screw ups, means it is all the same and nobody is the wiser. :D

adrienne said...

Oh, that sucks! I'm sure when you re-do it, it will be lovely, though.

And I love the blue yarn - is that Vanna's choice? What a great colour!

Abbey said...

I say that was a success!! You learned something crucial and you took the steps to correct it! Congratulations, for today you are a better knitter! Nothing but growing pains, good job!!!

Amanda said...

That's the good thing about knitting - there is always something new to learn.

Timiae said...

I probably woulda frogged it also. Can't wait to see the FO.