Baby *(@%^ Surprise, take 3

Knitting has all the drama, comedy, pathos, and slapstick of a Greek or Shakespearean play. There is the eager, nay giddy, excitement of that new yarn unspoiled as yet by too much familiarity. There is drama when checking the stitch count in a challenging piece of lace. When the pattern begins to emerge there is joy. When a stitch is missed in a complicated pattern, despair threatens our best intentions to stay off the sauce. And yet, our stoical, better selves emerge to remove the needles and frog. And frog again. When at last, exhausted (both us and the yarn), the last stitch is bound off the tragic cartharsis of an olympian struggle overwhelms. Struggling up from the couch, there is only left weaving in ends and blocking. But first, a martini or three!

Such is my life with St. Elizabeth Zimmerman’s blessed (as in cursed to all eternity) Baby Surprise Jacket. (I’m sorry. I really love Kim, but I’m starting to hope that R* is a laggard. You’ll just have bear up, Kim, and keep him company til I’m ready for him. Ben won’t mind if you’re a teensy bit grumpy.)

a Web Travel Review feature by Philip Greenspun

From "Costa Rica: a Web Travel Review feature by Philip Greenspun"

Yes, I’ve frogged for the second time, and restarted for the third this…this…torture called the Baby Surprise Jacket. Got to the critical 90 stitches junction and had too many. Stitches. Not wanting to fudge and decrease somewhere randomly, I ripped back a dozen rows. Ripping out a dozen rows of 100+- stitches is my version of a hair shirt for f(#)@_ing up in the first place.

This pattern is NOT that hard. It’s just knitting a square in garter stitch, except for two, only two, places one has to pay attention, and I couldn’t even manage that. Sheesh.

When after ripping out a dozen rows I’d only found one of the mistakes, I stopped to consider my sanity and choice of post-programming relaxation. Maybe I should take up jackhammering? At least it would be exercise. Sadly, I’m stubborn and not always in really effective directions, so I knew I’d try again. There are too many pictures attesting to the fact the damn thing is really possible to knit.

I also ripped it all out because something had been nagging at me from the beginning. I hated the cast on edge. It was going to look horrible, both as a finished edge and in a seam, which it needed to be. I’m so used to casting on a larger needle for sox that I did the same for this piece of…darling…baby gear. Boy, oh, boy was that a mistake. So, I restarted using a cable cast-on and with the project’s needle size.

I also took the advice from NewfieMom on Ravelry about using SL2tog as if to knit, knit 1, psso instead, and that’s working well. So far. But we’ve been here before.

The only thing I wish I was doing differently was to slip the first stitch of each row, as suggested on KnittingHelp.Com (a fantastic resource, btw). It makes a neater edge, and it’s easier to pick up stitches. But no way I’m gonna frog it again.

Isn’t there something about third times?


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