Knitting this pi shawl is supposed to be a personal adventure experience, right? Adventure-grrrr! Ok, so I knit the center 3 times until I get it right/to my satisfaction. It's not my style to have to redo things multiple times to get it right, but hey, it's just the center and it's not that big. I only wasted, uh, spent about 5 hours having a "learning experience" with nothing to show for it. OK, it's not that big a deal and besides, I had to reknit because I made mistakes.
So here comes the 2nd big mystery clue on Friday. I finish the last few rows on clue 1 and am ready to to move on. Clue 2 has four options: snowdrop, leaf, corn, or bumblebee. Corn is definitely out. I swatch the bumblebee since I have no idea what it looks like--it gets vetoed quickly too. I just don't love the huge holes left by double yos. Snowdrop sounds interesting, but I'm not sure that's what I want after looking at some images online and in the BW treasury. I like the idea of the leaf motif coming after the swirls of the russian peas--kinda like the leaf canopy formed by the trees falling just below the swirls of clouds & sky. The bonus is the allover design of Mindy's leaf which should look nice as a transition from the swirls.
With the decision made, I set off to knit leaves. I follow the chart exactly as written, but the 1st set of "leaf" motifs look more like swirls than leaves. That might not be awful, but they swirl in opposition to the swirl of the russian peas. The second set of leaf motifs are straighter, but they are still a bit askew from the 1st set of leaves. I'm skeptical, but still trusting the pattern & the process. After all, it is a mystery adventure, right??? Then late last night I catch up on my email and read the group digests where other participants are asking if there is an error in option B because the double decreases in the first leaves didn't line up and went sideways. Arrrrgghhh! So it wasn't my problem after all. No, to get the leaves all straight you had to shift the markers back one and slip the stitch *prior* to the one you think you are supposed to slip in order to get things to line up. I am *not*, repeat **NOT** a happy camper about this.
I'm too irritated to stop and reason out where the problem is. Is it because of the circular knitting? Is it because the chart is in error (well yeah, sorta). Is this a deficiency of charted versus text directions. Maybe there should have been a note warning of this issue and suggesting a remedy in advance of working (well yeah, that would have been a good thing). Maybe I have unrealistic expectations. Maybe it's because this is my 1st pi shawl (uh, maybe). WHATEVER! The bottom line is I hate how it looks and I have to actually *use* that lifeline I put in. I am not happy.
I have never had to frog back to a lifeline and pick up stitches and start over before. It is a real PITA (pain in the a**). I dig out a set of size 1 dpns to do the deed after discovering that picking up with the size 6s I'm knitting with is a complete nightmare. I down my afternoon pain meds with a diet coke, take a bunch of deep breaths, a dive in. My mom comes out to join me and starts to chat/talk at me. I growl something about bad timing and pick up my weapon, uh dpn. Lifelines may save you from having to start over from the beginning, but they sure do squiggle around and get in the way of picking up and knitting real stitches. They save your life but they are a PITA. Nevertheless I capture all those little buggers, redo my doubling row and am ready to start clue 2 again.
Releasing the shawl from the needles before frogging gave me a chance to get a good look at the leaf pattern. I pull this way & that on it and decide I don't like the leaves at all. I check out the snowdrop chart (option A) again and decide that it is better. At least I won't be battling shifting markers and slip stitches. This time I will trust my instinct and experience more than the chart. I will trust my eyes and good esthetic sense. I plan on knitting this section again only once. Adventure--- GRRRR!