dealing with failure

My one knit keeps going wrong and I don’t know why.  Perhaps I’m not purling right, I don’t know, but the whole thing becomes a tangled mess around 3 rows in, so I’m giving up and going back to some beginner patterns I can actually do…

Take, for instance, the bee stitch:

pattern challenge #2: bee stitch

I didn’t find Staci’s video detailed enough for this pattern and turned to a lady known as Sapphires-N-Purls on YouTube (or iknitwithcatfur, which I’m sure she doesn’t… right?)  This lady runs a blog that features a new knitting pattern every week, with the bee stitch coming under June 2011.  Her videos may not have that polished quality that Staci’s do, but her instructions are easy to follow and she provides a written version in case you have trouble remembering.

I’ll be honest: I failed on the first few tries.  Instead of knitting the first row, then alternating between K1 and KB on the second, I stupidly skipped to the third row, which requires K2, alternations between K1 and KB, then K2 for the last two stitches.  Using the third row then knitting the second and repeating the order obviously created something entirely different (I would have taken a picture, if it weren’t for the fact I was incredibly annoyed).

But I was successful in the end; that’s the main part!

hot water bottle, mobile or kindle case?

To ease the flames of frustration, I took a break.  Smoked salmon on toast spread with soft cheese (full fat: none of that disgusting fat-free nonsense) drizzled with fresh lemon juice and black pepper seasoning.  Just for good measure, I also chopped up some pickled gerkins as a side and made myself a cup of good Irish tea.

a meal fit for knitters!

Picture looks great, huh?  Doesn’t that sliced salmon look absolutely gorgeous?  Why, of course it would!  Considering how I utilised the ‘food’ scenic mode on my Nikon Coolpix just to give it some extra colour.

Now, not sure about you but taking photos of my meals isn’t something I normally practice.  I’d rather enjoy my meals through the act of eating, not faffing around trying to get the best angle so I can rush to my laptop and upload the whole process.  Still, I was inspired to immortalise this quintessential vegetable…

The pickled gerkin

hail the pickle!

After my break, I had a go at knitting the linen stitch, a pattern meant to imitate the woven quality of linen.  Surprisingly easy to do yet so very intricate, this pattern can use a lot of yarn and may go exceedingly wrong if you’re not careful with those needles.

pattern challenge #3: linen stitch

Again, I had a few fails when trying this pattern.  I’d forget what row I purled, what row I knitted, and sometimes, I would unravel sections because I doubled the knit or purl somewhere, only to discover that I couldn’t tell whether to knit or purl when trying to rectify.

For anyone whose a beginner and trying the linen stitch for the first time, my tip for knowing whether to knit or purl after pulling out rows is to check where your active yarn – the yarn you’re using to knit the pattern – is coming from on the brand-new row.

If it’s dangling at the front, in front of the second stitch you’ll get to whilst knitting the row, you purl.

If it’s dangling at the back of a new row you’re about to begin, you knit.

Also keep the stitches tight.  Not super tight, just firm so the linen effect remains visible and consistent.  Once I get the hang of this pattern, I’m looking to knit my own coasters – yay!

round of applause!


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