firebrunetteknitting.com » Candle flame scarf
Posted by mousewrites on June 3, 2008
Gauge is not important.
I’ve recently picked up my knitting again. Long ago (before my wrists went feral on me), I knit a lot. I’d knit a hat, and then a bag, and then (probably) another hat. I’ve made Fuzzy Feet (great ‘starter’ sock pattern, as the felting gets rid of mistakes) and Sophie bags (from the now sadly defunct MagKnits). But really, I’ve been… complacent. Boring, even. Unwilling to try something unless I was pretty sure I’d be able to do it.
I’ve long admired the Candleflame shawl, and wanted to make it. I’ve even purchased the materials… twice. But the charts have scared me off (I suck at reading a chart) and I just kinda… don’t do it.
So, about a week ago, I found the Candle Flame scarf. Scarf, which means smaller, less yarn and time investment, in case I mucked it up. Plus, there’s written instructions along with the chart. I have a bag of Wool of the Andes in Fern lying around. I could make a ‘leaf’ scarf. So I just kinda… did it.
Bleh. What the hell is that? Are those tentacles? Vaginas? What’s with the uneven shaping? The HELL? I can knit, I swear. And I can follow a written pattern pretty good. So why is it that every wrong side row, I end up with the wrong number of stitches? Have I lost the ability to count? I am pretty disgusted at myself at this point. People on Ravelry are all ‘Ooo, the pattern is so easy, I memorized it and knit on the train.’ SCREW YOU, LADY! I’m holding my place with a pen dot, a pencil mark, have folded the paper over, and have a post-it on there. You memorized it? What are you, some kind of Super Genius?
I ripped it out. It was painful, and somehow cathartic, like pulling off a Band-Aid.
This time, things aren’t so hard. I’ve knit the first 30 rows before, so I’m not quite as baffled. And, about halfway into row 15, I realize that the wrong side is just knitting the knits, and purling the purls. (Note: if it’s NOT just knitting the knits and purling the purls and there’s some little spot where I’m supposed to be doing something else I DO NOT CARE. I checked 5 rows of the pattern, and it looked right, and now I’m not going back and you can’t make me. So there.)
About 5 rows after that, I feel this weird tingling going in the back of my head. It’s like something knocking on the door of my brain. I keep knitting. In a few minutes, I realize I’ve done three rows, and not once have I looked at the pattern.
Oh, I didn’t memorize it. There’s no way; it’s a 21 line repeat. What happened is that I got the pattern. I understood how when this leaf was increasing, that one is decreasing, and when I’m down to one stitch here, I need to start the new leaf there. It was weird, like the pattern grew in my mind into a concept, a organic, living thing instead of a recipe. I’m about 8 inches in, now, and it’s turning out just fine.