Sometimes a weekend flies by and I don't even know where it went. This weekend, however, was a treat and a delight. Well, Sunday was a treat and a delight, and Saturday was greatly improved by the 12 hours of sleep I got Friday night.
I'm in a little lull at work right now; the madness that was the past month and a half has largely finished (27 huge partnership returns, plus another 15 amended returns for some of them; all of them feed into about a gazillion other returns, many of them trusts, which in turn feed into a minigazillion more returns -- so everyone and his Aunt Nellie were breathing down our necks, "Aretheydoneyet? Aretheydoneyet?") and the next round (the minigazillion trusts) hasn't started, so I was able to take Sunday off.
Sunday was a bee-yoo-ti-ful day in the Midwest. Warmish and sunny, at least for the first half, no rain. People were out walking their dogs and taking their children on tricycle adventures. Me, I slept in. Ahhhh!
At noon I hit Needlework Unlimited to purchase a #3 Addi Lace 32" circ. The lady there was nice enough to wind up my second skein of the Malabrigo laceweight after I explained to her that my swift and ball winder were 75 miles away. Then a stop at Starbucks for some high-test caffeinated goodness and I was ready to cast on.
The knitting scene:
The dogs kept me company. They like being outside, watching other dogs go by (::whimper:: ::squeak:: Please, oh, pleasepleaseplease, can I go play with that dog? That dogs looks like the nicest dog in the world!) and generally admiring the day.
I cast on. I knitted and I purled and I yarn-overed.
And I frogged.
::rinse and repeat::
Eventually I got past the first eight rows and got into the chart! See how far I am?
Yeah, one row. At one point I did get as far as having five crossed off, but my success was short-lived. Damn, there are the wrong number of stitches between the markers! Again!
I cannot tell you how many times I knit the first dozen or so rows of Icarus. It turns out, as I knew all along, that the key to lace knitting is to 1, count, and B, pay attention.
Guess what? Those are the two things I have trouble with in knitting: 1, counting and B, paying attention. The pattern is perfectly clear, The charts are mind-bogglingly simple. But it is still necessary to count. And pay attention. The problem was 100% user error.
By 8 o'clock Sunday night I had achieved this:
Actually, I did eventually end up with about 1-1/2 inches of perfect lace, but I didn't want to jinx it by taking a photo. So you will just have to trust me that perseverance did pay off and I did memorize the pattern and I did in fact knit it. Perfectly. As long as I paid attention. And counted. I am ashamed to tell you that the highest I ever needed to count was three. It was rather more difficult than it sounds.
The Malabrigo has mild objections to being frogged. It doesn't seem to mind tinking quite so much, but the first yard or so of my gorgeous laceweight is looking a little... fuzzier than the rest. Now, I can frog with the best of them. I have frogged Kid Silk Haze, fer cryin' out loud. Repeatedly -- I didn't want to waste a precious inch of that stuff. But the Malabrigo didn't like parting from itself once it got looped into a stitch. So when the stitch count got wonky, I tinked.
And tinked again.
Although I have been known to surreptitiously increase or decrease to make a stitch count work out, or to resort to the ol' trotting (or galloping) horse theory of rationalization, I am inordinately proud to say that I did not cheat even once on this lace. I knew that once I got into the main chart and got going I'd be able to memorize the pattern and find my rhythm. It did seem to happen -- eventually -- although every damned stitch and row in that 1-1/2 inches of lace has been knit at least three times.
* * * * *
A found a couple signs of impending spring while I was knitting outside. Look what is growing! No, not the trowel, that has been there since last fall, the TULIPS!
Here's a view of my sweet knitting spot this morning:
Another 10" predicted. Sheesh, enough with the snow already!