Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Epic Knitting Errors

My attempt to multitask actually went pretty well yesterday. I revised three chapters, then hit a stopping point where my brain couldn't take any more of that, so I switched projects. There I initially ran into a brick wall because I wasn't sure where to go next, but then did some brainstorming and came up with a really fun idea. It was something I came up with and then discarded for this character's story line in the first book, but it totally fits here. Hint: a Broadway actress figures she knows how to stir up a revolution because she was in the chorus of Les Mis for six months. I'm looking forward to diving into that story line today.

I also seem to have recovered from the epic knitting error. I'm not back to where I was, but I got back to a good starting-over point and have moved forward, and all the math now fits. I'm knitting a lace bedspread, and I sort of made up the pattern based on a shawl pattern, enlarging it and making the border only go on three edges (because I don't want a pointy edge at the head). The trick is that figuring out the number of stitches to cast on required not only figuring out the number of stitches for the pattern repeat in the body, but also figuring out the number of rows in the border, and then the number of rows on the border changes at the corners because there are double and triple joins. I'd given up on calculating all that and just picked a number of stitches that was the right size and that worked with the body pattern, figuring that I could adjust the number of double and triple joins when I got there. And I did, but it turns out that the adjustment is actually counterintuitive, and what worked on paper was the opposite of what I needed to do. And I didn't figure it out until I got to that point and started counting. I should have been able to fix it by undoing about four rows, but in double joins it's hard to tell what you're undoing and I undid too much, somehow. I had to undo around the whole corner and start the corner again. But now it works and I've even counted off and marked the stitches. I think I'm going to end up with more yarn than I needed, but I love this yarn and this color, so I can always come up with something else to make with it. So far, I have a throw and a tea cozy and the bedspread in progress.

I'm really going to have to write a character who's a knitter. Then I'll be able to justify all this as "work." You know, for research. But all the current projects were started before this obsession developed, so I'd have to retrofit the knitting into existing character traits, and I think that kind of character trait needs to be more organic than that. I have that idea for the gothic style story with a twist, and I think Victorian knitting would fit very well in there. The heroine who's shaping up in my head would probably enjoy all the math of matching border to body and figuring out the stitch count. She'd look totally engrossed while she's doing it because it's very detailed, complicated work, and that would allow her to eavesdrop, since the people with her would assume she's too focused on the knitting to pay attention to what she's saying. And she has a lot of tension to work out, so she'd be more or less yarn bombing her own room, knitting for the sake of knitting rather than because she needs a particular knitted item.

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