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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Losing The Trail - Temporarily

Three Iditarod mushers remain on the trail, but they should be in soon. The Iknitarod will be over...and Maisie's sweater is not done.  It's not even close.  In fact, yesterday I finally got up the nerve to turn back on the trail and rip out several hours worth of knitting.

I had been cooking along on the body.  I was up to 13" I think.  Somewhere along the way I started to get sloppy and my stitches didn't stay the same tension...or size.  I was vaguely aware of this but continued to knit on, not actually stopping to check the map (my stitches per inch guide).  The further I got, the worse it looked.  

I stewed on it for a couple days, knitting further on with the sleeves.  Several knitting friends suggested it might block out okay and not show.  The two sides were the most obvious and they were under my arms, barely visible.  Still...I knew it wasn't right.  But if I ripped it back there was no chance I'd finish the race before the Red Lantern.

There are so many things about Maisie's life that I wish we could do over.  Heck, even 5 1/2 months before she was born.  No accidental breeding, no surprise birth in the cold during a dog trial, no formula allergy, no malnutrition, no tummy aches, no twine eating, no trips to the vet...  Knitting can always be fixed.  I ripped it out.

Even the sheep measuring tape looks horrified ;-).

Wool is a wonderful yarn to work with.  There are many, many times you wouldn't want to just pull out the needles and haphazardly ravel out the yards and yards of yarn.  In this situation and this yarn, I had no fear.  See how well the wool holds it shape and keeps the stitches "stuck" in place?

I just carefully slipped the needle back in, right to left, making sure I was picking the stitches up facing the right direction.  This is probably the biggest lesson I have learned (so far) with knitting. Learn to recognize the front and back of a knit stitch.  The front is obvious to see here, the loop over the V.  Just put the needle in from the underside and the stitch will be the right direction.

My mascot held the pattern charts as I sat out on the Wool House porch all Saturday afternoon.  It was warm and just a little breezy.  Nothing like the -65 in Alaska.  

And as the light started to fade, I turned on my beloved Red Lantern.  A gift from a friend who reminded me that I could leave the lantern on as long as I needed.  And I mushed on into the night.  I will make it to Nome.

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