02 January 2007

Does anyone know how to perform a yarn exorcism??

I have a 50g skein that is clearly possessed by evil yarn demons. We drove to Central Iowa on Sunday and celebrated Christmas with Kitty Daddy's family on Monday before heading back home. It is about a five hour drive, so I had--count 'em folks--ten hours of knitting time! Plus, some knitting in the hotel room Sunday night, while trying to keep two bored kidlets from killing each other. In addition to some long-overdue finishing work and a bit on the sock-in-progress, I spent most of the time working on Bug's sweater. Before we left, I had done one skein on the body and about 2/3 of the first sleeve. While we were on the road, I finished the first sleeve, added a second skein to the body (only another 1/2 inch till the armpits!) and fought the demon yarn on the second sleeve:

Notice that there is only yarn and no second sleeve in the photo. This is how it went. I cast on and knit eight rows of rib for the cuff. The whole time I'm knitting, I keep thinking that this cuff is looking looser that the bottom band on the body or the other wrist. I move on to the first couple of rows of stockinette before pulling out the first sleeve to make sure I start increasing at the same place. The wrist is definitely looser and the light bulb FINALLY goes on. I have been using size 7 needles for the stockinette, but size 5 for the ribbing on the other pieces. I had been using the size 7 needles for the second wrist. A few choice word (dad calls it carpenter talk, but knitters have a similar vocabulary!) and I pull the needles out and frog.

Cast on again, re-knit the cuff with the right size needles. Get back to where I left off the first time. Pull out sleeve number one again to figure out where to increase. After checking and double checking, I am convinced that I knit four full rounds of stockinette and then began the increases at the last stitches of the fifth round. Get the the first pair of increases done. At that point, I happen to look at the cuff and find one stitch in the purled part of the ribbing that was knit. Decide that I would rather keep knitting and drop a column of stitches, fix the mistake, and use a crochet hook to pick the stitches. Even though it will mean more stitches to pick up on the fix, I would rather keep knitting than waste prime car knitting time.

Keep knitting. Get to second set of increases (increases are every six rows) and about halfway to the third set. Pull out first sleeve to double check that they are the same. Notice that first set of increases on second sleeve is farther from the cuff than on first sleeve. Ponder this for a few moments. Realize that I have "read" the first sleeve wrong...the first increase is at the end of the fourth round of stockinette, not the fifth. Curse creatively. Pick up a round of stitches just below the first increase, pull out the needles and frog back. Ironically, I am at about the same point I got to the first time around.

Get first increase in the right place, knit five rounds, second pair of increases, knit five rounds, third pair of increases, knit to last few stitches of first round and discover that I screwed up the increase and the two new stitches (that used to be one) magically dissolves into one really big stitch (like a double yo) when I try to knit into it. Yes, at this point, I could have tinked back, fixed the increase and kept going, while keeping in mind that I still need to drop stitches to fix the stinkin' cuff, but I realized that the yarn is clearly possessed and this sleeve is clearly NOT going to happen with this particular skein of yarn, yank the stinkin' needles out and FROG the whole darn thing.

The end result of this fiasco:

One possessed skein of yarn. I parked this bad boy on my desk when we got home and pulled out a new skein to restart the sleeve. Once I work up the nerve. If I had just grabbed another skein, I bet I could have finished the sleeve before we got home!

Do you think that seclusion on my desk while I use up all the other skeins will be punishment enough? Or do I need to perform some kind of exorcism rite before I can ever hope to knit with this particular skein?


Mom said...

Okay, define "frog" and "tink," and then maybe I'll have a better sense of whether exocism should be performed on the "demon" skein of yarn or not...

Kitty Mommy said...

Frog: remove the needles and rip-it, rip-it, rip-it

Tink: Knit spelled backwards, basically unknitting one stitch at a time without letting go of the loops