The thrill of victory, the agony of de feet

At last, I have achieved a hard-won victory over the insidious Victorian Lace Today‘s Lilac Scarf! My first cast-on was with a bamboo 4-ply; a month later, that was ripped out and I attempted it in a hand-painted mohair. I just couldn’t get my mind around the pattern, which was probably due partly to some permanent brain damage from being hit by a bus, but more so to the horrendous amount of stress I was under two years ago. No matter how I tried, I managed to mangle the first border section in at least three more attempts, and frankly, I was getting just a wee bit discouraged. Maybe I was never going to be able to knit lace – and this was the simplest introductory pattern in the book – and I was almost resigned to being a few yards short of a full skein forever.

Then I was browsing the sale racks at Full Thread Ahead and grabbed eight balls of Tahki Dream – four green, two each of purple and black – thinking that this might be the solution to my dilemma. I cast on last summer, I think (you could check my Ravelry pages for the exact time) and managed to get the first border done after only three tries! Then it was the tedium of row after row of a 2-row pattern; true to form, I managed to screw this up a number of times as well. I’d be going along thinking it was working fine and suddenly realize that I was either one stitch over or one stitch under, and rip it back to the border again.

After about 8 repeats of this adventure (what is it they say about repeating the same process and expecting different results?) I figured out why lifelines are so beloved. Once I got hip to this cleverness, I really started making progress, and had it up to about 80 of the prescribed 110 repeats when I pulled it out and stretched it a bit to show a friend the design. That was when I found out I had a dropped stitch somewhere back around row 12…

Finally, I started at the border one more time, determined to see this through or poke my weeping eyes out with my Harmony circulars. Repetition, determination, a greatly improved understanding of how to read my knitting, and two years after the start, I give you:

The Victorian Lace Today Lilac Scarf – just imagine the stems and leaves of the lilac bush if you’re thinking the color is a bit off – blocking in the back yard this morning! And here’s the artsy shot draped over a wooden chair:

In the meantime, I am working hard at getting my new business, sERRANDipity Solutions, on a firm footing. At the moment, most of my work is tending children under the age of 2, with a sprinkling of errands and organizing. I’m thinking of ways to move the business forward, and in the short term, looking for new clients who will need help during the summer. Most of my childcare is for people who go away for lengthy periods – touring musicians who also teach where I used to work – so come mid-June, I will be adding a few select new clients to cover the summer.

And about my “de feet?” These are my beloved and worn to death first socks – I managed to get about 7 months of wear before I went through the heels. Lest you think I am unimaginably hard on my feet, I should tell you that I probably wore these at least 3 days a week from the time I cast off until the untimely (at lease for me) demise of the heels. I do still have enough yarn left to redo the heels, and I’m seriously tempted to do it. But there’s that other pair that’s been languishing, and maybe I should just keep moving.

I guess I could just have the socks bronzed…

2 Comments to “The thrill of victory, the agony of de feet”

  1. Congrats on the lovely lace! I had the most awful time with the photo of the socks – I kept seeing the negative space, sort of like one of those “do you see 2 faces or a goblet?” things ;)

  2. Gee, Joy – I hadn’t even thought of that, but I doubt that this goblet would hold water!

    I feel like I’ve climbed the Everest of the knitting world after spending two years trying to get the scarf to look like it’s worth wearing. Really surprised me how warm it is relative to its size/weight. I tried to over-dye it, as the color isn’t a big favorite of mine (just a bit too bright) but that didn’t work. The laciness eases the color a bit, so I’m going to live with it as is. I’ll be darned if I’m going to give this one away, which is what happens with most of my knitting.

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