I Hereby, Solemnly Swear, Never to Knit Lace Around Small Children
Then, later that evening after the kids are in bed, I pick it up again I'm knitting away and loving life, when I notice a blob of knitting "gook" that shouldn't be there.
As you can see from my lovely visual aid (the black arrows), there are nice neat rows of knit stitches that form a line, every 8 stitches, that line up through the entire pattern.
The white arrow in the middle of the knitting, pointing upward, refers to one of those columns that has gone badly awry. The circle marks the spot of the mangle. The neat column of knit stitches takes a left hand jog amidst a clump of gook-y stitches that just aren't supposed to be there.
The thing I have discovered about lace, is that the key (for me, anyway) isn't to count the stitches after knitting a row, or even to memorize the pattern. For me, the key is to analyze what the pattern is supposed to "do", and watch every so often, to make sure that it is doing what it is supposed to. For instance, in this lace pattern, there are those knit stitch columns that line up every 8 stitches, all the way through the whole thing. So every time I get to that 8th stitch in the pattern I glance down to make sure it is lining up with all the others. Good.
So, why I wasn't paying attention to the 8th stitch, and how I could get four rows past such a mangle, I have no idea. (Well, I suppose I do have a good idea. Refer to the title.)
I analyzed the mistake for quite awhile and came up with a few possible solutions:
1/ Leave it as is, and fudge some yarn-overs to get the amount of stitches I need, and continue on.
2/ Run the offending stitch down a few rows, and try to knit it back up.
3/ Frog back about 4 rows, and put the whole thing back on the needles.
4/ Go back to my lifeline. In this picture, the black arrow on the right is pointing to my last lifeline, about 5 inches down. (At least 2 days worth of knitting.)
I put it down for awhile and came back to it later. I analyzed again, and realized that there were two clumps that threw off an area of about 16 stitches, that the problem was four rows down. I have heard all these horror stories about how it impossible to fix lace.
But it occurred to me that it might be possible to fix it by running that particular section down 4 rows and knitting it back up. This is what I have done with regular knitting, and now that I could see exactly what the problem was, if I was careful, why couldn't I do this with lace?
If it didn't work, I could always try to take the whole thing off the needles, frog four rows, and get it back on. Worst case scenario, I would have to frog it back to the lifeline. It would be painful to lose two days of knitting, but I wouldn't die.
I marked the area I needed to correct with the green markers. I secured some double decreases with the orange markers, in case things got out of control when I took it off the needles. Then I carefully slid the stitches between the 2 green markers off the needles.
Lace off the needles is a bit panic inducing.
Here is one row carefully unraveled.
Here we have 4 rows unraveled and the live stitches are put back on a third needle.
Here 2 rows knit back up.
Here are all 4 rows knit back up and all the knitting is back on my original needles.
And I am ready to knit back across the row.
Whew. It worked, just like it works with regular knitting. You just have to be more careful with lace, because of all the yarn overs and decreases, but it works just fine. Onward ho!