Won’t You Take Me to Tinkertown?

If you’ve been following along on my Instagram Stories lately, you’ll be familiar with what I’m about to share. If not, strap on your seatbelts and come along for the ride!

I’ve been working on my Wavedeck shawl (also known by its project name, “LoveWave”). You may remember in my last post, “Draggin’ the Line”, I wrote that I hope it “…doesn’t hit another snag.” Well, guess what?

It’s hit (at least) two snags.

Snag the First:

I’ve been trying to work Row 11 in Tier 3 for the last couple of days. Well, when I attempted to finish the row, I noticed that my stitch count was off and I wasn’t able to complete the chart row. I then remembered at one point I had knit three together because I had found an extra stitch where there wasn’t supposed to be one. So I tinked back to where I had knit the three stitches together and took a look.

One look at both the front and back of those stitches gave me a hunch: I may have slipped a stitch on the wrong side row instead of purling it and then purled the next stitch, thus creating a yarn over when I didn’t need one. So I decided to surround the offending stitches with some stitch markers and then tink all the way back to the same point in the previous row. I took one look and my suspicions were confirmed. Easy fix, just tink back to just before the slipped stitch, purl that stitch, and continue purling to my edge stitches, which are in knit garter stitch.

I then work my way back to where the offending stitches were on the wrong side (which I kept marked), and this is what I saw:

And this is what I was able to do:

So far, so good, right?

Wrong!

Snag the Second:

I’m merrily working along trying to finish this damn Tier 3, Row 11, and then just a little ways past the first troublemaker, I encounter this baby:

And I notice that something in this section is throwing off my groups of ssk, yo (slip slip knit, yarn over) on this end of the repeat. I decide to mark this group of offending stitches to take a closer look at what may be throwing off my lace here.

I notice that I may have made an error in the previous right side row, specifically placing a knit 1 in the wrong place, because looking at the chart, I have a knit 1 below a ssk instead of a yarn over, or something like that.

I think it’s just a couple of stitches to the left of that stitch marker where I may have screwed up.

So, it looks like I’m back on the train to Tinkertown, because now I have to tink back not only the rest of this right side row, but now the entire wrong side row that I had just fixed plus the previous right side row up to where I believe I made my mistake, then examine the chart on that row and if my suspicions turn out to be correct, then fix that row. (Yes, I know the Yarn Harlot did a whole post on how to fix a small section of lace without tinking, but I lack the labels, a spare circular, and the proper double pointed needles that would work best in this situation. And I’m using two different sized needles, too, which adds another layer to the Cake of Complication. As much as it sucks that I have to do it, tinking is my best and only real option here.)

And this is how far I’ve gotten. As of this post, I have successfully tinked back to the end of Row 10 (the wrong side row), and am preparing to tink that row back to the end of Row 10, which will then be tinked back to the suspecting section, and I will rework that section to see if my hunch is indeed correct.

And here is the song that inspired my post title, “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc.

Draggin’ the Line

So, I knit through two charts on my Wavedeck/LoveWave shawl with little to no issues, and then I get to Tier 3.

So, the first time I try to knit it as written, including the increase row from the end of Tier 2 and the following wrong side row. Row 1 of the chart puts me a couple of stitches short.

So I tink (that’s “knit” spelled backwards, and refers to unraveling a row stitch by meticulous stitch) to the beginning of the row and try to work row 3. I still end up stitches short.

So then I decide to tink the wrong side row preceding the chart so that the yarn overs at the end that I was told to knit together with the last edging stitch on each end are preserved. During this point, I confirm that I did not, in fact, skip stitches where I was supposed to work a yarn over with each stitch within the increase row (not including the edging). I rework the wrong side row, preserve the yarn overs, and prepare to work Row 1 yet again. Though the lace doesn’t line up, I manage to finish the chart row with the exact number of stitches I have. Woot! But is the chart lying to me and I could come across another issue?

I don’t know, but I’m not risking it. I’m putting in a lifeline, blitches!

Let’s hope I don’t hit another snag.

Here is the song that inspired the post title, “Draggin’ the Line” by Tommy James.

Ten Days Out…

As of this post, my sister-in-law is ten days away from her due date. So far, I haven’t heard of anything out of the ordinary going on, and so I’m hoping that the last days of her pregnancy are going as smoothly as possible. I remember when we found she had gone into labor with their first daughter: my dad got a text from my brother saying she’d gone into labor and was in the hospital (we later learned that her water had actually broken while she was at church and my brother was working, and it was an hour or two before they finally headed to their hospital across the county). After waking my dad up to let him know the news, my first action was to find the YouTube video for “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder and play it into my earbuds at full blast. She ended up being in labor overnight and gave birth at about 10:00 the following morning. The three of us met R for the first time about five hours later.

I hope by the next post the Bambina will have finally arrived. And I think I’m gonna keep calling her “Bambina” on this blog. I like it as a nickname.

As for her baby blanket…I’ve hit a bit of a plateau, and now I’m not so sure I’m gonna finish it by the time she’s born. I have about four and a half rows of squares and a border to make. If all else fails, I’ll just tell A. that a blanket is on its way, and given its size (about 36 inches x 36 inches), the Bambina could probably even use it as a play blanket when she’s a little older.

I’ve been working on another project as of late, which I think has been alleviating my fatigue with the baby blanket.

Last week, I had to go to the local Walmart Supercenter for the grocery shopping instead of the Neighborhood Market because we were in dire need of new towels and washcloths. While I was there, I decided to see if there was any yarn that would make for an interesting project, and I found some Lion Brand Wool-Ease Cakes. Now, my regular readers will remember that I’ve previously done a couple of projects in Lion Brand’s Mandala line: the crocheted Virus Shawl in Unicorn and the knitted Close to You in Mermaid. I kept looking through the display for two matching colorways and ended up finding two cakes in “Aphrodite” (of course, the Ancient Greek goddess of love).

Two cakes of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Cakes

It took me a few days to figure out which knitted shawl pattern I wanted to use for this yarn, but eventually (after seeing a bunch of examples of this pattern knitted in Mandala, which is almost the same as Wool-Ease cakes except for slightly different fiber content: Mandala is 100% acrylic, while Wool-Ease is a blend of 80% acrylic and 20% wool) I settled on Wavedeck by Canadian designer Kate Atherley, whose patterns I have knit or attempted to knit a couple of times before: a Doctor Who themed shawl called “Bigger On the Inside” (which I actually still need to get to its recipient, who does read this blog…so you know, I do intend to send it to you, and you know who you are, and when I eventually do send it to you, you are absolutely going to love it) and a sock scarf called “In Gord We Trust”, which she designed in tribute to Canadian singer Gord Downie (who fronted an incredibly popular Canadian band called The Tragically Hip, who unfortunately never took off in the U.S.), who at the time the pattern was published was dying from brain cancer (he has since passed away). Downie was known to wear socks tied together and wrapped around his neck as a short scarf, almost like an ascot. I attempted to knit the project once before Downie’s passing, but it eventually ended up abandoned. Perhaps I could see myself working this pattern in the Wool-Ease, though? I’ve linked to all three patterns mentioned here, which are all available as free patterns on Knitty (which she also happens to work for as the site’s Managing Technical Editor and Editorial Assisstant). Knitty has been an important part of my time as a knitter pretty much from the time I was finally able to learn how to purl (which took me about a year after initially picking up knitting).

I ended up giving the project itself the name “LoveWave” on Ravelry, well, for three reasons:

  1. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, and “love” portmanteaus nicely with “Wavedeck”.
  2. “LoveWave” is the name of a song that represented Armenia 🇦🇲 at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, sung by Armenian-German singer Iveta Mukuchyan, and once I decided on the Wavedeck pattern, I couldn’t get this song’s chorus out of my head. (The song itself finished 7th overall in that year’s Contest, which was won by Ukraine.)
  3. I hope to have this shawl done in time for this year’s Eurovision final in May, but at this rate, I may finish it much faster than that. (A Ravelry friend of mine, who also reads this blog…hello to you in Sweden 🇸🇪…knit a shawl for a friend of hers to give to her on the night of the final in 2016 and named the project Bucks Fizz after the winners of the 1981 Contest, who represented the UK 🇬🇧.) If it’s aired again this year, this year’s Final will mark its fourth year being aired on U.S. television (although I still have to find other sources to livestream the semifinals, last year I used the Swedish and Maltese livestreams).

I only cast on a few days ago, and I’m already halfway into the Tier 2 chart and just into the first color change in the cake.

This one was taken halfway through Tier 1

And this one was taken about halfway through Tier 2

I’ve been using two different needles to knit this one (not an interchangeable needle with a different sized needle on each end, but two separate circular needles, as I don’t own an interchangeable needle set; it’s a bit cumbersome, but it works). Why? Well, it turns out when I work stockinette, my purling is much looser than my knitting and it results in very uneven looking stockinette. The smaller needle is used for the purl (wrong side) rows. So far, I see no major issues with my stockinette.

My dad decided to take most of this past week off from work, partly so he’d have the day of and after the Daytona 500 (the first race of NASCAR’s top racing series, the Monster Energy Cup Series) off from work, but he’s developed a pretty nasty cold the last couple of days. He’s currently sleeping and I seriously hope he gets all the rest he needs. He’s been taking cough syrup and NyQuil and even tried to eat some Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup 🍜. He’s usually pretty miserable when he’s sick 🤒, so I’ve just been trying to keep him as happy and comfortable as possible. I’ve done just about all the laundry 🧺 and now I have a bunch of dishes to wash. I’m currently feeling okay at the moment, but it’s been a few years since I’ve gotten sick. I’d hate to get sick this close to my niece being born!

It’s been busy times lately, for sure.

For the Chronically Single…

Last year, I wrote about my own experiences being chronically single on Valentine’s Day.

So, why do I use the term “chronically single” instead of something like “perpetually single” or “bachelorette”? I see my singlehood as a persistent condition that could someday be healed, but I know chances of that happening anytime soon are pretty low. And “spinster” seems so old-fashioned and depressing. That’s the last thing I want to feel!

As a chronically single person, this time of year can often be depressing, upsetting, or just plain frustrating. You’re bound to feel every emotion in the book whilst being bombarded with teddy bears 🧸, pink and red everything, and women bragging about all the flowers 💐 and gifts 🎁 they got from their other halves. Heck, you may even come across a friend showing off their brand new engagement ring 💍 because their significant other finally decided to propose. You may feel like you’ve been lost in the shuffle unless you have an awesome dad or father figure who’ll bring you flowers or chocolates just because you’re his little girl and he wanted to show you how much you mean to him. As I’ve said before, each and every one of these emotions you may be feeling are absolutely valid.

While Valentine’s Day generally celebrates romantic love, it must be realized that not everybody is lucky enough to have such love in their lives. So, if you’re chronically single like me, remember that there are so many different kinds of love that you can celebrate, even if you don’t have the romantic variety in your life right now: love of family, love of friends, love of your furry friends (if you have any pets), and most importantly…love of self. We sometimes forget to appreciate and take care of ourselves in the hustle and bustle and pressures of life. I’ve learned that the hard way recently. If you’re chronically single like me, take a little time this Valentine’s Day to treat yourself to whatever you think you deserve, whether it’s a day out doing a favorite activity, putting on a favorite movie and eating a favorite meal or dessert, or just allowing yourself a little time to decompress and relax.

With that said, I’ve decided to post a list of a few songs that I think chronically single people can appreciate. These are not love songs, because I believe that love songs are for people in love. And yes, most of these songs are by women.

  • Robyn, “Dancing on My Own” (Yeah, I might be hurting on the inside, but I’m not gonna let you see it on the outside.)
  • Beyoncé, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” (The ultimate raspberry to the one who got away.)
  • Cyndi Lauper, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (Don’t hide beautiful girls away from the rest of the world!)
  • TLC, “No Scrubs” (Because we deserve better than a guy who thinks he’s fly and is also known as a buster)
  • Yes, “Owner of a Lonely Heart” (An owner of a lonely heart is much better than the owner of a broken heart.)
  • Lesley Gore, “You Don’t Own Me” (Don’t tell me what to say, don’t tell me what to do…)
  • Gloria Gaynor, “I Will Survive” (Need I say why?)
  • Dion, “The Wanderer” (The narrator in the original version is kind of a cad and a Casanova, but could you imagine a woman putting herself in The Wanderer’s shoes and being as cavalier with the guys? I think that’d be an interesting take.)
  • Kelly Clarkson, “Since U Been Gone” (Who hasn’t wanted to sing this ode to post-breakup freedom at the top of their lungs when no one else is around?)
  • Janet Jackson, “Nasty” (No, my first name ain’t “Baby”, it’s Janet…Miss Jackson if you’re nasty. Classic.)
  • Sia, “Elastic Heart” (Whether you’re singing about Katniss Everdeen or your own love life…this song works.)
  • Macy Gray, “B.O.B.” (An ode to the “Battery Operated Boyfriend”, if you’re so inclined; not necessarily for everyone.)
  • Eric Carmen, “All By Myself” (I know Céline Dion did a version of this, too, but there’s just something just heart wrenching about a man singing about his loneliness.)
  • ABBA, “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” (An infectious pop jam all about a single woman looking for a booty call. And for you chronically single guys out there, there is also a cover by Swedish heavy metal legend Yngwie Malmsteen where he sings “Gimme, gimme, gimme your love after midnight”, and it is awesome.)
  • The Weather Girls, “It’s Raining Men” (Whether you’re lady looking for a man or a man looking for a man, this song speaks to each and every one of us who hopes that Mother Nature is, in fact, a single woman, too.)

And while I will spend tomorrow being once again single, I hope my awareness of it will be muted somewhat. At least I know I won’t be alone in this tomorrow. To all you chronically single people out there, give yourself a hug and take a little time to appreciate yourself tomorrow, however you want to do that.

Reality

This week has been kinda rough on me. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s been one of those weeks where nothing seemingly is going right when it comes to my mom. I’ve been feeling just about every negative emotion in the book, and on top of that I’m also stressed, exhausted, depressed, and possibly hormonal (thanks a lot, menstrual cycle). I’ve at times felt like yelling at the nearest person at the top of my lungs and going full ogre. Nothing seems to shake it off for long. Sometimes I feel like I’m at the end of my rope.

Sometimes I feel like I just want to disappear for a while, find somewhere I can feel at peace with myself. My mind aches to go to the beach or a seaside cottage where I could just shut myself away from the world and all the noise and find some inner peace. Just have a week completely to myself with little to no distraction, just me and some books, some knitting, and a place to sit and listen to the waves and smell the ocean breeze. I just want to be able to sleep soundly for just a few nights where I don’t have to worry about anyone else. I want to feel something other than angry, sad, or tired. I want to come out of it feeling like I can handle anything.

And then reality hits me again like a ton of bricks. This was something I never volunteered for, I just happened into it. Sometimes I feel like a complete failure in everything I do, including trying to care for my mom. I don’t know if it’s depression or just burnout, but I know I don’t like what I’m feeling one bit. I’m an amateur doing a pro’s job for no salary. Is this what exhaustion feels like? I know I’m not alone in what I’m feeling, but the pressure to admit my vulnerabilities is far exceeding that to try and keep a stiff upper lip.