I have been absent from this space for a week…that is a long time in blog-land, especially when one is just embarking on the journey! It was a week of remembering you all, wanting to reach out and shout for help, and wondering when would my little life-boat ( pun intended) right itself. A little spunky baby bonnet came out of my mind and transformed into a giant slayer. The giant being yours truly– a knitter who had believed, like many others before and after her, that there was nothing which she didn’t know about knitting/ couldn’t find an answer online or on her bookshelf. I have eaten humble pie, choked on arrogant dust, and emerged humbled and downsized and ready to acknowledge the dark caverns of ignorance in my knitting landscape.
http://needlestosaymore.com/knitting-some-sunshine/ was the start of the adventure. Cables and moss stitch panels came together to make a lovely baby sweater which made me smile and dance around the table. The front and neck bands needed a couple of knit-and-rip-and-swear sessions before I got it right, but last Sunday, I had finally nailed it. A quick aside– when picking up stitches for the front borders, its better to err towards more stitches than less. The former can be tightened while knitting, the latter just look pathetic, even after vigorous pulling and heaving.
When it was time to cast on stitches for the bonnet, I planned to insert a cable at the periphery. Easier said than done, and ravelry.com didn’t come up with any suggestions either. I was looking at the free patterns of course—no spending precious credit card dollars on a baby bonnet pattern! And wasn’t I a knitting genius in the making?
The cable strip with a moss stitch panel was knit first. Stitches cast on using scrap thread and crochet hook. it was long enough to encircle the head and quick enough to lull me into a false sense of secure accomplishment! I would complete this bonnet in one evening. I just needed to pick up the stitches from the edge and knit the rest of the cap. And that is when the transformation happened.
Stitches were picked up TWELVE times…from each row, twice from each row, alternate rows …you get the picture?! It didn’t work. I would knit 2 inches, look at the deformed shape, and rip the knitting back to that cable strip. There were frills, contorted cones, fans and every other shape in-between. Sunday evening, Monday morning to evening –and there had been no progress. That cable strip smirked and taunted me and then began my helter- skelter week of face-saving measures..all aimed at avoiding that cable strip.
- Attended a beautiful, traditional Kumaoni wedding which lasted the entire day (more in my next post)
Baked banana-chocolate chip-muffins for the first time. I figured that if I can fish out a recipe from the Net and follow it, I could figure out a way to handle that smirking cable strip.
Invited a big gang of friends for a vegetarian, sattvic lunch (cooking without onion, garlic and meat turned out to be a challenge which could rival that cable strip)…yes, lunch was delicious and the company was heartwarming.
Cleaned out a cupboard, threw out old papers and basically went berserk over everything but that yellow piece of knitting.
And then, last evening, watching those indefatigable soldiers practicing their parade moves from dawn to dusk under hot blue skies , without loss of a single decibel of volume and without the loss of a single joule of energy, I realized that I need to find that inner will to find a way to fit the cable strip into the bonnet of my dreams. Sometimes, one needs to keep on trying, keep on practicing and keep on working to reach perfection. There is no place for complacency and arrogance if one wants perfection to reside in one’s life.
I started with a square of garter stitch, picked up stitches on three sides and knit up a little baby bonnet with an edge as long as the strip.
Clipped them together and sewed them carefully into a bonnet which still looked weird.
Unpicked the scrap yarn used to cast on the bonnet, gathered all the stitches and made a border with some smart decreases, a button-hole and viola—mission accomplished.
And self esteem regained. Phew!! That was a close call folks..