The wisdom of sons

I’ve realised I’ve made a mistake in the proper poncho (so called as it’s made from real wool). Not just a ‘tink back a couple of rows’ mistake, but a ‘I need to start again mistake’. It requires a decision, one about whether to start again or to relinquish the whole thing to the WIPs drawer never to emerge again.
Which takes me to a story. Once upon a time, in a far far away land (ie Nottingham) I started knitting. Now as a child I was fortunate enough to have a very lovely Nanny (not the paid variety, it’s what we called our Grandma) who, along with my Mum, taught me to knit. Well tried to. I was not that interested once I discovered that it took longer than half an hour to make a jumper.
However, it left me the legacy of knowledge of the basics, that is to say, how to cast on and knit (not purl).
Years later, after a life changing visit to Skye, I picked up the needles again and the rest is history. The first thing I knit was a very ropey garter stitch scarf, with holes and the problem of how to cast off. With the help of a book and the blessed Internet I learnt more essentials and decided, with a whiff of arrogance and a touch of over confidence that my next project would be an Aran jumper.
Not just any old Aran jumper, a Rowan Aran jumper involving vast quantities of rather expensive yarn and a pattern marked ‘experienced’.
Bare in mind, prior to this I thought a cable needle was something rather painful that nurses used. I bought some needles in the right size then discovered I needed different needles for the ribbing, stitch markers, a cable needle or two plus I needed to learn how to read a knitting chart. Easy right?!?
Surely I, as an educated professional could manage this without a problem? I gainfully set off on my journey and cast on. The ribbing looked lovely and poor old hubby was required to put on his admiring face regularly.
However, by the time I was several inches in to the cabled part, it didn’t look quite right. Being my first proper project though, I decided to ignore this fact and carry on regardless; maybe once it was all sewn together and ‘blocked’ (whatever that meant), it would look alright.
Now in Nottingham there is a lovely department store with a large Rowan Yarn section and display models of some of their patterns, including, at this time, a copy of the sweater I was making. It looked like the pictures, not my slightly grubby knitting.
I returned to the pattern, re read all of the symbols and just couldn’t work out what was wrong.
One evening, I finally had a Eureka moment! I realised I’d been reading the chart from left to right. As you may well know, knitting charts, for some obscure reason (probably so the Knitting Gods can have a good chuckle at people like me) they are to be read from right to left, like Arabic.
The only thing was, I was on the last sleeve – gulp. I calmly put down my knitting and said ‘oh dear’ (actually I suspect it was slightly more colourful than that).
I didn’t know what to do. Should I just finish as I had been doing, surely no one else would be the wiser? It looked ok, just not like the pictures. No one would know. Except me.
I asked the advice of those around me (no doubt already a bit worried following my immediate reaction). My son poked his head up from his DS and said the now infamous words
‘It depends how committed you are’ and returned to his games console.
After some more choice phrases, I undid the lot and re knitted it. I’m quite proud of that now and I’m very fond of the jumper.

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Back to the poncho; to be honest, and applying that principle, I’m not that committed. Off to the cupboard it goes.

2 thoughts on “The wisdom of sons

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