Sometime over the past couple of months I came across a great knitting podcast and started listening from the very beginning... I'm now all caught up and some of their common phrases have made their way into my vocabulary. The Knitmore Girls frequently have a segment called "When Knitting Attacks" where they discuss all kinds of cases when your knitting just doesn't work out the way it should.
Yesterday while getting my purse started, I had a case of my knitting attacking me. I was creating my own pattern and utilizing a cable stitch out of a stitch book I have. The book has photos next to the stitch explanations so you can see what your work should look like. I cast on 120 stitches, joined it in the round and got to work The stitch pattern called for many rows of just knits and purls and two rows for the cabling. I repeatedly looked back at the photo and my work and could not figure out how this was going to look the same. I kept thinking that once I got to the cabling it would all make sense. But I got there and it still wasn't looking the same. Then, it hit me! I was knitting in the round, therefore all the purls in the stitch pattern would become knits! Ugh... the frustration! Now the big decision, do I really have to go back 7 rows of 120 stitches to fix this?!?! But, the Knitmore Girls save me... their knitting had attacked in similar ways and they spoke of being able to fix it without having to undo every stitch. So, I set to fix my attack the same way and it worked splendidly! By working one "mistake" stitch at a time, I dropped the stitches down to get rid of all the purls and then used a crochet hook to bring them all back up at knits. It seemed like this might not save much time at first, but once I got the hang of it I was able to get the 18 stitches back on the right way. My cabled purse is back on the right path and looking good :-)
As I was looking through my stash and knitting supplies after setting aside the cabled purse for a break, I came across a skein of beautiful purple LBY Homespun that I'd been trying to figure out what it wanted to be. I kept thinking mittens, but I hadn't done full mittens yet, just fingerless. And I wasn't sure about the thumb. I'd read plenty of patterns but it never made sense to me how I would get that thumb on there. I finally had a thought that made it connect in my mind and decided to cast on and see what happened. Well, what happened is a lovely purple mitten! I finished it this morning and am fairly pleased with the result. The thumb definitely turned out as well as a first attempt could. I had to stitch a little around the base because I left some holey spots. My biggest concern is actually the cuff... I don't think I made it tight enough. I cast on 32 stitches and knit 2x2 rib and then increase my stitch number by a few once I switched to just knitting around. I see now that I could have gotten away with 20-some stitches to create a tighter fit around the wrist. So, I've paused before casting on the second mitt to decide if I should re-knit the wrist of the first.
With that, I'll go back to the purse for a while and I also have the striped blues hat to go to if I need a little variety.