Sometimes it just takes another try . . .

Many months ago I attempted to tackle knitting a beautiful baby afghan pattern, and failed. I believe I posted the photo here; lovely peach-colored yarn and I’d knit about 1 1/2 feet of the pattern but . . . the problem was in the constant ‘repeats’ – I’d get lost and couldn’t figure out just where in the row I went wrong. Recently I was ‘gifted’ with some gorgeous sea-blue very fine yarn which would make a beautiful scarf and today seemed to be the day to find a pattern for it. I had located a lovely pattern roughly called ‘dragon scales’ – not too complicated, but lots of repeats and something like 15 rows to make one pattern – about row 14 or so I lost it and, you guessed it, another ‘I can’t find where I went wrong’ set in, again. I gave up and, in knitting terms, I ‘frogged it’ (ripped it all out). After a brief cranky mood I remembered the baby afghan and set about trying to locate the booklet. Found it, then it took me a good hour to actually figure out how to make this 146 stitch per row pattern into something 26-40 stitches for a scarf. I could see, in the photo, that it was repeating BUT as hard as I tried with rows 1-4 I’d get totally lost in the end of row 4 – always had way too many stitches! Finally got out the calculator and counted stitches on EVERY row – very odd! Every row AFTER row 4 had 26 stitches; only row 4 had 41 stitches – where did they come from? AND, for that matter, did I REALLY need them!? Well, call it my gumption/stick-to-it personality/ or just my stubborn Scots heritage, but after all that time I just said “To heck with rows 1-4, I’m diving in at row FIVE!” And I did! Knit up rows 5-14 just fine, even ended with just the right amount of stitches! YAY! The photo I’m posting is just a ‘trial piece’ – not the weight of yarn I would use to make a scarf, or the size of the needles (the photo is worsted weight yarn & size 10 needles – for a scarf I’d probably use size 4 needles and fingering weight yarn). At least you can get an idea of the pattern and how it FINALLY came out! Whether I actually dive in and knit an afghan in that pattern after all that, is to be seen. Right now I’m a bit ‘brain pooped’ and just need some nice ‘down time’ on my computer.

At a regular yearly physical to my doctor last year we got to talking about age and keeping your brain ‘sharp’. He asked me what types of things I do to achieve that; I told him I like to play word games (WhatWord, specifically – a quick-paced, insert letters to make required words in a specific amount of time game), or puzzle games (Age of Atlantis, Rise of Atlantis). He said those are good but to actually keep your mind sharp you should challenge your brain by doing things you DON’T like doing! (like math!) He said that by doing that your brain is forced to use areas you probably don’t stimulate very often (especially if you’re like me and really DON’T like doing anything Math-related!). I thought of that conversation today when struggling to unwrap the ‘puzzle’ of the baby afghan pattern, so that it would come out in the correct number of stitches & rows to make the pattern I was seeing  in the instruction booklet.

You just never know when you’re going to be called upon to ‘stretch your brain muscles’! I’m just glad I was able to finally figure it out to my satisfaction; for me, knitting IS a sort of brain puzzle!

So much for a random post, eh?



PS: What’s for dinner? When you STILL have a large pot of chili leftover, what else than CHILI DOGS! Yum!

Published in: on April 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

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