I am not a surgeon and even if I was, I could N-E-V-E-R attempt brain surgery. I know this for a fact. I can’t even keep a steady hand when fixing lace knitting!
A week or so ago I was lamenting the fact that I had to wait for my Dale of Norway yarn. Project stalled. What to do? Hands are idle. Workshop for the big “D.” Must knit. I have a few easy peasy projects going, but when I have a big chunk of at-home time, I like a little challenge.
That brings us to a WIP I have been working on: Last fall I started another Niebling doily called Gloxiniaeflora.
Picture from Ravelry Pattern Page (on larger thread!)
I pull it out from time to time when I feel like it. It is being knit on Size 30 crochet cotton with Size 000 needles. With 75 rounds done, it is the size of a postage stamp. It has been one of the physically most challenging things I have ever knit. Some of the sts are literally impossible to do. But, I enjoy it. I am a masochistic knitter apparently!
So, with Dale of Norway out of the picture, I started working on Niebling again. Then I noticed a big mistake. One of the flower thingies was growing out of the meshwork instead of its own little set of yarnovers. The flowers are started thus:
Rnd 1: YO
Rnd 3: YO, k1, YO
Rnd 5: [k1, p1, k1, p1] in each of the 3 sts just created = 12 sts
So 12 sts essentially sprout from these 3 YOs. Mine had somehow sprouted from the background meshwork.
I examined my options:
1- fudge the meshwork and try to keep going — did not work (believe me, I tried!)
2- rip it out — impossible to get the sts back onto the world’s smallest needles…doing k2tog is difficult
3- tink back the 5-6 rounds — I would have to commit myself!
4- repair it — eek!!
Of all my options, the 4th seemed like the [almost] sanest solution. I had read a blog post years ago by Romi Hill where she described a harrowing lace repair and showed some pictures. I decided to dive in.
First, I determined exactly where the problem was on the chart and how much I needed to rip. I enlarged the chart and drew a red box around the area I was going to repair.
Next, I assembled my supplies: Ott light with magnifier, reading glasses, tweezers, the tiniest dpn I have ever seen (from my husband’s great aunt), pins, small crochet hook, a dark colored bead mat, and some balls. Big brass ones.
I made sure the real knitting needles were placed so that they held the “good” sts on either side of the repair. Then I pulled out each row and pinned it in order of its removal:
I ripped down until I thought I had passed the point of the mistake. Man, at that point you are committed — there is no turning back!! I was sweating and shaking like a leaf! If I was in your brain, you would be toast!!
I then “knitted” each row back according to the chart. That sounds way easier than it was! I should have taken out more sts, but would have ended up into the previous flower section and that was way too daunting…so I just fudged that part of it.
There. I have moved past the mistake and it seems to blend in just fine. Whew! While I enjoy a challenge, this was truly ridiculous!
PS from Susan — Thank you for all of the great and supportive comments. Lisle asked me the following questions:
“You neglected to tell us how many hours it took. How many? I’d love to know. I’m so slow about that sort of thing. And pinning the rows in order–GENIUS! That’s the hardest part of repairing.”
I think it took 1 to 2 hours. I did not really time it. And the genius of pinning the rows in order is what I learned from Romi’s post. I could not find the original post to link to so I just linked to her blog, but that is what I learned from her and found so helpful. It gave me the confidence to make the attempt!!