Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Increasing frustration

After an oh, two-month hiatus, I'm back to knitting the swatches for the TKGA Level 1 master program. Before I started knitting them, I read through all of the "On Your Way to the Masters" articles that are available to TKGA members and learned absolutely invaluable things about weaving in ends, doing certain stitch patterns and decreases properly, colorwork and more. There is a wealth of information in there and I am a way better knitter for having read and applied the information to my knitting. Even if you have no plans to do the TKGA Master Knitter program, you should read these articles. The information in these articles alone is well worth the price of membership.

I worked the first 5 swatches with no problem, with the "On Your Way to the Masters" articles under my belt. Swatches 1-5 were a breeze, and then I got to swatch 6. I figured it too would be a breeze, but I was wrong!

This swatch has you do mirrored lifted increased. I had never done a lifted increase before, nor had I heard of it. I figured it couldn't be that bad, googled it and gave it a try. It's a bit fiddly but not hard. However, I kept screwing it up, over and over. I'd cast on the prescribed number of stitches, knit an inch of Stockinette and then try an increase row. The swatches have you place the increases 3 stitches from the selvedge on each side. First, I managed to screw this up. I placed the lifted increase wrong. Then, I'd get the right-leaning lifted increase right (by far the easier one to pull off), but then I'd get the left-leaning lifted increase totally, tragically wrong. I'd end up with something looking like a yarnover, or I'd accidentally drop it when purling the next row. ARGH! I ripped this damn swatch back 4 or 5 times, thinking similar thoughts to the ones I thought in algebra class in high school. "This is stupid. I'm never going to use this!"

Then, after all the ripping and swearing, it clicked. I got it. I learned a new increase. I got the lifted increase down!

Mind you, I still hate it and will never use it on purpose, when there are easier, lovelier increases such as my favorite M1 and of course the bar increase, a.k.a., KFB. But I learned it. I didn't let myself get frustrated and skip ahead to the next swatch and come back to this one, or bail on the Master thing altogether. I persevered and I got it.

Along with all the other wonderful things it is, knitting is character building.

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