Associate Professional, Crochet Guild of America                            CGOAlogotiny.jpg

Also a member of CGOA local chapter, The Happily Hooked on Crocheting Club8bc2.jpg

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Knitting lesson #1

I found a project on Ravelry one day.  A jacket by Lynette Harvey.  I absolutely loved the lines of this jacket, and after reading in the description of of it that it was written in a way that even a beginner knitter could do this, decided to buy the pattern.

I'm using a sock yarn for this jacket, Cascade Heritage Paints in the Londonberry colorway.  The pattern calls for casting on 254 stitches.  So far no problems.  The first 48 rows are done.  The next section calls for doing some more shaping in the center area for another 38 rows before moving on to an increase section.  I'm on the 34th row of the 38 when I realize that I'm looking at my finger poking thru the fabric where it shouldn't be.  Oh, oh.  Not good!  I found that somehow I had dropped a stitch, and by the time my finger had poked thru the hole created by this dropped stitch, the loop had dropped down 12 rows.

Did I have my crochet kit with me that day?  No.  Did I have any other means of capturing this errant stitch?  I thought so.  But then I found that it was too far down to be able to use the needles themselves to ladder this stitch back up.  By the time I got done doing more damage to the fabric, I ended up pulling 20 rows out, found my sewing kit in the pocket of my work-bag and took out the sewing needle that had the biggest eye on it, inserted the threader into that eye, used part of the next skein of yarn for thread, and tried to pull it thru the eye of the needle.  I did get a part of the yarn to come thru, but with it doubled over, it didn't come thru easily.  I pulled my threader wire loose from the finger grip, and was left with fine wire caught in yarn stuck in the needle.  Hmmm..... so I pulled the wire out and used my teeth to catch that bit of nub sticking in the needle and pulled.  Yay!  the yarn came thru.  I was in business to try running what knitters call a lifeline thru 254 loops of sock yarn stitches on a moving train at 4:00 in the morning when the sun wasn't out yet, and the lights inside the train car weren't that bright to begin with.  The lifeline is used to prevent exactly this.  If you drop a stitch, it will only go down as far as that lifeline because the stitch's downward path is blocked.

It took me 1 1/2 hours to get the stitches onto the lifeline.  It took me another 45 minutes to knit  that first row to make sure any and all twisted stitches were untwisted.  It took me another 5 hours to get back to where I originally stopped when I found the original dropped stitch.  I am now ready to get started on my increase section.  I now know the value of the lifeline.  Hope you do too, after reading this story!

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