Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Amazing Lace Challenge #2: Xtreme Lacing

When Theresa and Rachel, the hostesses for the Amazing Lace, posted the latest diabolically clever challenge to the Lacers, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to rise to the, er, challenge. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I could do that would be Xtreme lacing. I thought, and I thought, and I thought. Then I thought some more. I spent so much time thinking that I despaired of ever coming up with my idea of Xtreme lacing before the deadline.

At first my musings took the natural route: photos of Merry and me hang gliding, or rappelling down the Eiffel Tower, or free climbing the Empire State Building. But then my thoughts turned to the nature of extreme sports. An extreme sport is one that pushes the envelope of that sport through speed, height, danger, or spectacular stunts which produces an adrenaline rush. Is hang gliding or rappelling or free climbing really demonstrative of Xtreme knitting? Does it make the knitting more dangerous or does it make the sport more dangerous? I posit that knitting during these activities is in fact extreme hang gliding or extreme rappelling or extreme free climbing but not extreme knitting. What, then, could I do to push the envelope of knitting and get an adrenaline rush to boot?

That’s when the light bulb went on. Or should I say that it went off?

Xtreme Lacing: Team Balmoral knitting in the dark

Lest this demonstration of xtreme lacing look attractive to you, let me insert a Public Service Announcement right here. Xtreme lacing can lead to disaster, especially if you are knitting without a lifeline. For example, this

should look like this

Clearly I was having trouble reading the chart in total darkness. But that’s okay, I’ve been here before with the Wedding Ring Shawl. I know that I just need to isolate the stitches, drop them down and knit them back up. Only one problem: I can’t just drop them down like with the WRS because there isn’t a series of yarnovers to stop the drop. Further, I can’t just pick the row that I want to drop down to and insert the dpn into those stitches; it was too hard to see what stitches were on what rows and that could lead to an even bigger disaster. There was but one option left open to me. Yes, I had to tink back each row, one at a time. I gathered my materials (three dpns, a tiny crochet hook, a point protector, and a bottle of wine) and got to work.

Step 1: I've isolated the block of stitches that need to be fixed and have tinked back the first row onto a dpn.

Step 2: Another row has been tinked.

Step 3: I've finally reached the row where everything went wrong.

Let's take a closer look before we knit it back up.

Step 4: Knit up the seven tinked rows.

Step 5: Continue working the current row by knitting the repaired stitches off the dpn.

Step 6: Sit back and relax. Commence post-op protocol which, as with the WRS surgery, calls for alcohol.

Screw the wine. This repair took up all my knitting time Sunday. I went straight for the


At 1:10 PM, Anonymous alice said...

Wow--you certainly deserved the hard stuff after all that! Kudos to your impressive repair!

At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Melissa said...

Is that a Balmoral Thistle shawl I detect there? :) Looks great! And you're much braver than I, tinking back part of your work. I just fudge and move on :) Great job!!!

At 3:44 PM, Blogger KnitNana said...

I bow to greatness! Wow...I aspire to the ability you just displayed!
Three cheers and I second your Tanquery!

At 9:09 AM, Blogger sloth-knits said...

Great repair job! I actually held my breath until I saw that everything turned out fine!

At 11:36 PM, Blogger Theresa said...

This is definitely extreme - and a nice twist on the theme. Maybe even the theme. Hmmm . . .

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Lorri said...

Seeing all of those stitches off the needles almost made my heart stop. Good job! Hope your WRS is going well. Looking forward to some pictures.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger HoJo said...

ok, the darkness wasn't extreme, but the repair was! Congrats on being a finalist and good luck!

At 10:15 PM, Blogger Jeanette said...

Gooood NIGHT! You're a much braver knitter than I will EVER be. NO, no knitting in the dark! And I can't believe how you fixed your work!


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