I have conceded the fight.

Adamas is no more, at least, for now. I unknit and knit, purled and knit, cursed and wished I had more booze in the house, and in the end, it was too mangled to recover and the more I tried to fix it, the worse things got. I ripped as much as I could rescue, but Zephyr doesn’t rip very well and I lost some of the yarn.

I am kind of devastated becuase, it is simple. Crazy simple. It is the kind of lace people recommend as a first time lace knitter’s project. I mean, Clue 3 of the Vernal Equinox shawl was harder than this pattern, and I managed that, but I couldn’t keep Adamas straight.

I should have known how it would end when very early on, there was one miscounted row that off-set the center “spine” of the shawl by one stitch. Being intimidated by ripping back Zephyr (it really is never the same once you have ripped it; it loses some of its shine and gets a little fuzzy), I let it slide. It wasn’t until there were some missing yarn overs and one of the little diamonds melded with one of the large diamonds, and then I dropped a stitch, and then I got off count, and then all of my diamonds were off-set, that I conceded defeat and, almost in tears, started carefully ripping back.

I was angry that I kept skimming the pattern and assuming I knew where I was in the chart – I didn’t.
I was angry at myself for not marking my repeats – I know better.
I was angry at my rough hands for snagging the Zephyr constantly. I am trying to rectify that, but I have the hands of a scullery maid and not much is helping.
I was angry at my needles for being too blunt and making each SSK stitch a little taste of hell.
I was angry at the Zephyr for being too beautiful for my wretched skills.

My confidence is totally rattled. I want to try again but if I screw up again, the Zephyr won’t survive another rip. The truth is that I am totally in love with lace, particularly Estonian-style lace, but my skills do not match my love.

Lace is tough to practice too. I am doing alright with the Vernal Equinox shawl, which is all lace, all the time, but I am working on 5.25 mm needles and a sport weight yarn. Try it again in a lace weight on 3.5 or 3.75 mm needles and see if I succeed. And try finding lace weight yarn that is inexpensive enough to ruin…I figured I was doing pretty good paying $12 a ball for the Zephyr. And how about needles that work well for lace? I am killing myself with my stupidly blunt Boyes. Clovers aren’t any pointier. I don’t know what easily obtained brand of needles is out there that would be pointy enough to make knitting this lace easier.

What do I do now? The answer is to keep working on the Vernal Equinox. I have 10 rows left of Clue 6a. I only did 2 rows last night before I got the bright idea to go mess with Adamas. I need to stop looking up lace shawl patterns, finish what I have started, and go knit a sweater.

The Yarn Harlot has seriously inspired me to give February Lady a try.

Right. Because I suck at lace and I haven’t done a sweater yet. Yeah, this is a totally good idea, but hey, I am not planning to do it out of my own handspun. That would be, in the words of my beloved husband, cray-to-the-zee. Unless you are Stephanie. Then, not crazy, just cool.

By the way, it is Ash Wednesday. If you are interested, take a look at what Father Rolheiser, one of my favorite Catholic writers, has to say about beginning Lent.


2 responses to this post.

  1. I saw your comment on the Harlot’s blog and came to see what you’re about…
    1) Thank-you for the lace knitting pattern links; I will add them to the pile.
    2) If you enjoy wine and chocolate thought that you might want to visit my blog…
    3) Addi lace needles are amazing!! Not cheap, but amazingingly pointy! Knitpicks are pretty good too.
    Enjoy your knitting!


    • Posted by laruse on February 26, 2009 at 10:41 AM

      I couldn’t leave my response on your page since I dont have an account with Blogspot.

      Thanks for the comments! I have thought of getting Addis, they are just so expensive, and a few people I know say they are too slippery for them, but most people rave about them.

      I might also give KnitPicks a try.

      I LOVE the Noro! Beautiful work. May I add you to my blog roll?

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