My sister has decided to get married on the spur of the moment. Well, actually, that’s not true. She decided earlier this year that she was getting married. What she did NOT decide, dear reader, was to set a date. Until last month. And the date is in just two weeks.
When she announced that she and her betrothed were, indeed, betrothed, sis and I discussed the idea of me making a lovely afghan for their wedding gift. She was all for the idea. I set about finding a nice pattern, picked out some yarn, and set to work.
It was a disaster.
The pattern I chose was called “Wedding Ring Quilt“, a crochet design from Coats & Clark based loosely on the traditional hand-sewn quilts of Early Americana vintage. I saw a few finished versions on Ravelry and was liking the mock-quilt look of the thing. But my version had a heavy hand to it. It felt more like a rug than an afghan, much less a quilt. Perhaps I had been away from crochet too long and was not used to the thicker fabric? In any case, I couldn’t bear to work on it. It was a miserable failure. To top things off, there was no date set yet for the wedding, so I didn’t have a looming calendar date to kick my ass into gear. Thus, it languished (languishes, still) in the big Afghan In Progress box.
Then, I got a phone call from my mother out of the blue, announcing that August 16 is now the magic date. Yes, August 16. One month away.
My brain works best under pressure. Without a deadline, I can’t get my act together. In fact, if it weren’t for the Last Minute, I would get nothing done. Well, here was a deadline. I scoured Ravelry for a new pattern, finally deciding to forget the whole crochet business (even though it works up much faster, I know) and go with a knitted object. And did I mention my sister is honeymooning in Ireland? Cables. Must have cables. Have I mentioned I have never really done cables before?
I finally settled on a free pattern from Lion Brand, called the Lover’s Knot Afghan. It’s pretty, and even though it has cables all the heck over it, there’s really only two different cable motifs, and they alternate across the width of the project. This means that it’s pretty easy to follow, even for a cable novice like meself.
My sister and I settled on wool, even though she is a little bit concerned about washability. I convinced her, though. And for ease of shopping plus economy, I had her choose a color from the Knit Picks Wool Of The Andes line. There are plenty of colors, it’s a decent quality wool, and for $1.99 a skein, who could go wrong? She chose the Mink Heather, which would have been my pick exactly. (Did I mention she’s my sister?)
Days later, a lovely box of wool (20 skeins’ worth), a new set of 40″ interchangeable circular needles, and two sets of tips (9s and 8s, just in case my gauge was off) arrived in the mail.
What a happy day! I love getting packages, particularly when they’re full of yarn.
It doesn’t hurt that Knit Picks is very easy to deal with. I’ve placed two orders so far and been extremely happy with the quality, expediency, and accuracy of each.
Of course, I ripped into the box right away. Who could resist?
It was damn difficult not to just cast on right then, right there.
But I resisted. And good thing, too. Because when I did finally cast on, I learned a terrible, horrible lesson firsthand:
When using interchangeable needles, don’t trust your sweat-laced palms to tighten up the tips. Use the damn tightening key. That’s what they sent it for.
Yeah, that would be after knitting two rows over 230 stitches. Yup. The tip worked itself off and … SPROING! Many, many stitches went flying. They were not recoverable. I ripped and started over. And that was the SECOND cast-on attempt. The first try actually went swimmingly, but then I started knitting Row One with the second cable motif instead of the first, and by the time I got to the end and realized what I had done it seemed like a much better idea to just frog and cast on again, seeing as this was just the first row and all.
The THIRD cast on attempt was more successful. I am, of course, highly paranoid now about tips coming loose and all, and so I check them multiple times each row. But so far, they’re staying put. And I’m liking them. I like those nickle-plated tips. And look at me, with about 12 rows completed:
Wish me luck. I have 19 days to finish this sucker (yeah, RIGHT.)