Earlier this week, I was knitting merrily along on the Oriel lace scarf, getting ready to start the second half of the very last repeat before I’d call this project done, when I realized I’d miscounted rows and knit almost an entire row as a right-side, rather than a wrong-side, row. “OK,” I thought. “I’ll carefully tink back and be on my way.”
Easier said than done. Just about every yarn-over on the entire row became twisted or attempted to disappear altogether, so it was quite a tedious process. About an inch from the end, I needed to tink a rather tight k2tog, so I decided to drop the stitch and gently pull it out to free up the two stitches it contained.
Now, I knew better than to drop that stitch on purpose without using a pin or a stitch holder or something. I’m working with slippery, two-ply laceweight silk. I have assiduously avoided intentionally dropping stitches for any reason whatsoever, fearing that they’d take off for a run all the way down the length of the scarf. I don’t know what made me tempt the Knitting Fates in that way, so close to the end of a project, but I did, and boy, did I get rapped on the knuckles for it!
Before I could reach for a stitch holder, pin, crochet hook, or paper bag to quell my hyperventilation, I’d not only dropped the intended stitch, but several more, and they’d made a run for it down the scarf. I managed to stop the runs before catastrophic damage had been done, but the damage was bad enough: probably 14 or so rows lost in that one section. Now the question was how to fix it?
I fished out my tiny crochet hook and started working stitches up the ladder, but then abandoned that plan. Unless I could replicate the lace motif perfectly, I’d have a bungled-looking finish to what has, to this point, been a pretty well-knitted article. No, I’d have to rip back, and either decide that a 54-inch scarf is long enough, or re-do the last repeat or two to get me to the 60 inches I’d planned on.
Do you have a lifeline, you ask? Well, actually — no, I don’t. Yes, that’s living dangerously with lace knitting, but I’ve managed this entire project with just a few minor tinks back, plus the odd make-ones and k2togs to fix small errors, so I thought I was in good shape to finish the thing up and never bother with a lifeline.
So, whether or not I decided to cut bait and simply finish off the scarf at 54 inches (which would be fine, given that I’m quite short), or re-knit the last repeat or two, I’d still have to thread in a lifeline so that I wouldn’t wind up with an unmitigated knitting disaster here at the very end of this project.
Dealing with this would require 1) good lighting, 2) patience, and 3) a decent mood (at least at the outset), so I put the project aside for a few days until I had time to execute the rescue mission.
Today, I pulled out the knitting and threaded in a lifeline, hoping I really wouldn’t have to rip back quite that far. Unfortunately, I did, because I placed the lifeline at a point in the pattern with the fewest yarn-overs, which ended up being the best place for me to pick up all of those stitches.
I breathed a sigh of relief once they were all back on the needle. Next, I had to figure out where I was in the pattern. Row 1 (naturally). I was very tempted to simply knit up the last 8 rows of garter stitch and call it done at 54 inches, but instead, I draped the scarf over my shoulders and went to the nearest mirror to look.
Although I am quite short, 54 inches wasn’t quite long enough. True, I could call it done, but another six inches will look really nice. So, off I go to re-knit what’s probably going to amount to three more repeats. And this time, I will definitely not intentionally drop a single stitch.