The Things You Learn

First, for all the folks finding this site due to the Mardi Gras references, I am sorry. You will be sorely disappointed.

I am starting to wonder if I just need to put down the needles for a day.

Last night, I hit a new snag on the Vernal Equinox. It was bad enough that I gave serious consideration to binding off the entire thing on the next row. I didn’t do that, fortunately.

That being said, just because I haven’t given in yet doesn’t mean I won’t. This catastrophe is a doozie. I came up short on yarn (again) so I went to see if I could scrounge up something even close to the same dye lot at Michaels. I got there and was stunned to see my yarn in its basket, bearing the exact same dye lot number!

I bought it, with gusto, and didn’t even let it trouble me too much that the color name was called Admiral and my yarn had been named Marine, but it was the same color, same brand, same dye lot. What could go wrong?

*cue ominous music*

It began as I knitted the new yarn in. It felt *different*. I couldn’t identify it, it was just different. I held the new yarn along side the old, and it seemed fine. The colors do match perfectly. I knitted along and held up the knitting and couldn’t see a problem. Still, the niggling feeling that something was wrong would not leave me.

Finally, I got the wrappers to intensely compare them. Yeah, same brand – Bernat. Same sub-brand – Satin. Yeah, same dye lot. I compared the actual front of the wrappers. Same lame free pattern picture. Same coloring. Same everything. Same name?

Original Yarn= Bernat Satin Sport
New Yarn= Bernat Satin

Wait. Not the same yarn. There is a really important word missing off the new yarn’s wrapper. I have been knitting a sport weight. I am now knitting a DK weight.

I was stunned. It was like being punched in the gut. I had screwed up something really really important; the basic structure of the shawl is now endangered by this mistake.

Tears were staved off by the knowledge that I had at least successfully knitted my first entrelac swatch only hours earlier. If I could manage a couple of tiers of entrelac, I must not be a hopeless knitter, right?

Ultimately, I put down the shawl. Absolutely stunned by my failure but still in awe of this really pretty lace motif of Clue 6a, I cast on a scarf in cobweb weight wool and began working the same motif of 6a across a rectangular scarf. It was penance for stupidity. I knit to near blindness with that blue cobweb weight on red 3.5 mm needles. It was cathartic and I was happy to see something really beautiful begin to appear out of the wisp of that yarn. I am stupidly slow at knitting that cobweb weight yarn, but I don’t care. It is pretty and made me feel smart knitting it.

This morning, the morning after, I dragged out the Equinox shawl again. I inspected it closely. I looked at the purl side and the knit side. I gave it lots of thought and even a little prayer. This shawl was supposed to help me generate a donation to the Adrenal Disease foundation in memory of Andie. I knew it wasn’t ever going to be perfect, but it needed to be nice enough that someone would buy it for charity’s sake.

Ultimately, after much examination and soul searching, I picked up the needles and began the next row. It isn’t going to be “just fine.” It will probably skew the whole shawl. It won’t be acceptable to anyone else. It is barely acceptable to me, but I am getting used to accepting failure, learning from those failures, and moving on to new things to fail at.

I have learned so much from this shawl. I have gained real insight into lace. I have learned patience and perseverance though seemingly unending rows. I have leaned the basics of constructing an EZ Pi shawl.

I am even learning a bit about myself through it all.

But the number one thing I have learned through this ordeal?

Stick to wool. You’ll just be happier.


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