Wednesday, February 13

Mouse Tracks or, A Rodent is a Rodent is a Rodent

I learned last week that my favorite doctor will be finishing up her residency and departing these shores come the end of March. I shall greatly miss her. I decided that I wanted to make her something to say ‘thanks’ for her superb care, so I started hunting for an easy pattern to knit a scarf with the Zephyr left over from the MS3 stole. I settled on the excellent Alison Hyde’s “Rabbit Tracks” pattern, as it is very simple and I am a (drops pitch about an octave) s l o o o w k n i t t e r.

However, since I was using much skinnier yarn, and needles of a size commensurate with the yarn, my rendition is considerably smaller in scale. I’m doing 5 repeats of the pattern, as you can see, and have done borders of k2,yo,k2tog/ssk,yo,k2. My “plan”, such as it is, is to knit until it’s either around 5 feet long, or I run out of yarn, whichever comes first.

Alpaca Swatch

The swatch in the lovely baby alpaca/merino yarn is driving me totally bonkers! I mean, it’s just a stupid swatch, and I already know everything the stupid thing can tell me, really, but I would like to actually finish it, both because it’s excellent practice for the same pattern that appears in the background for the first three clues of the stole, and also as the “record shot” for my knitting journal, such as it is. I have frogged the thing and started over FOUR TIMES!!! The first one was legit, as I mentioned, it being obvious after the first three rows that the chosen needles were too small. Moving up to the 3.25 needles, I’m getting just the fabric I want, and it fits the given gauge for the pattern as well. Trying to knit it with this dizzy business (getting better, slowly, as I have greatly reduced my computer activity), and on 14” Inox needles, leads to error after error after error. On one row of 29 miserable stitches, I somehow managed to come out with 11 extras! There is no way a simple misunderstanding of the pattern could lead to such excess, and I have no idea what did, either. Rrrriiip! I have a Knitpicks nickel-plate circ on the way, and I hope it will help. The Inox are just not meant for knitting lace. They do NOT like doing the k2tog through back loops at all, and even balk somewhat at a simple k2tog or ssk.

I’m not enjoying knitting this yarn as much as I had hoped, either. It’s not BAD yarn, and it does have the advantage (if such it is) of being somewhat hairy, so that any cat hair that wanders into the picture becomes unimportant, but it’s not as smooth and soft knitting as it feels in the skein. I think that alternating knitting it with the Zephyr may also have something to do with my perception of its qualities.

Weather Report

The severe weather/tornadic activity down this way that may have made its way into your news, as y’all’s snow is making mine, managed to pass to our north and south, leaving us with a lovely, soft, much-needed rain. We’re getting more of the same today.


Meredith said...

The rabbit tracks scarf looks like it will be a nice, light-weight delicate sort of scarf, and a joy to wear!

Otherwise, glad to hear that the nasty storms have missed you!

AlisonH said...

The rabbit tracks pattern adds extra stitches on the first right-side row and subtracts the extras on the next right side row, if that helps any. Your pictures look beautiful.