Unraveled Wednesday #6.

The afghan has left the Kingdom of Squareness and entered the Empire of True Rectangularity.


Unhappily, this transition has also caused the laws of physics and mathematics and knitting to no longer apply. Allow me to explain.

Every mitered square is formed by casting on and/or picking up a total of 43 stitches: 21 on two sides of the square plus one spine stitch in the center. I count these 43 stitches at least twice before beginning to garter stitch. This worked perfectly on nearly every square during the first half of the blanket. Oh, sure, occasionally I might have to tink back to perform a missed center double decrease, but generally the knitting proceeded in a calm and orderly fashion.

Since leaving the KofS and entering the EofTR, not so much.

I have had to frog large portions of roughly half the squares due to user error.

Stitch count wrong.

Missed center double decrease.

Garter stitch error.

(Well, that last one never required actual frogging; my handy-dandy garter stitch fixer hook allowed me to merely unravel one column of stitches back to the error, fix it, and garter back up to the needle.)


The last row of squares, however, has taken the afghan into an entirely new dimension of time and space, one where stitches magically appear and disappear in contradiction to all logic and rules of knitting.

I start out a square with the correct number of stitches, 21 on a side plus one in the center — remember how I count them at least twice? In an orderly universe, slipping the first stitch of every row produces an edge of precisely 21 slipped stitches, one per garter ridge, and thus making it nearly impossible to screw up the next square.


Red circles indicate markers that remind me that these squares have the wrong number of stitches.

More then once, however, I have ended up with 22 slipped stitches along an edge after finishing a square that began with 21 stitches on that side. Even worse, there have sometimes been 21 slipped edge stitches on the other side of the same square! How can that be? What is going on?

I don’t get it. 

On Sunday I had to put the afghan aside because it was driving me batshit crazy. One hopes that sanity and reason and proper knitting rules will return soon.

Mousling update: The final total of mouslings appears to be seven (7!) after one more was discovered, then two more. All have been *released* into the yard to assume their proper role in the Great Circle of Life, e.g., to be some larger critter’s lunch.

Mousling update 2x: The mouslings always looked a little too big to be newborn mice, but they had to be newborns because their little eyes were not open yet. On Monday morning Smokey found a drowned animal in the downstairs toilet, either a giant mouse… or a rat. So we are now presuming those mouslings were actually ratlings. (Ewww. Somehow ratlings are much nastier than mouslings.)

This entry was posted in afghan, knitting, Squares, Unraveled Wednesdays. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Unraveled Wednesday #6.

  1. ninlouise says:

    I feel your pain. The knitting frustrations will fade because there will be new ones, but the memory of the rat-lette in the toilet {poor nursing mother} will linger. In one of my previous housewife incarnations I found myself hostessing a litter of {almost endangered} bullsnakes in our garage. We co-existed unhappily for awhile… I heard the meter reader scream when he almost stepped on the big momma. {The afghan is very lovely, rectangular or not. The colors are so great.}

  2. Kat with a K says:

    Sometimes counting is the hardest part of knitting (okay, maybe most of the time!) And, bravo to the circle of life! (however, ewww to the ratlings to which some thing else will say yay ratlings) lol

  3. gayle says:

    I’ve always felt there was knitting-counting and real-life-counting. Not the same thing in any way at all…
    Wishing you rodent-free toilets!

  4. Mary Jo says:

    I think you should get a Maine Coon cat. Cats and knitting go together. Cats and mouslings/ratlings–problem solved. Love your blanket. I love gadgets, but have resisted buying one of those hooks. I am now ready to get one after finding some split yarn stitches in a garter shawl–8 rows down.

  5. What with mice raining down on you, I’d be batshit crazy too. No wonder the garter fool proof is making you crazy. Give it a good time out. You will come out fine in the end, that blanket is too pretty not to love

  6. =Tamar says:

    Ratlings are far worse. One once invaded a former house and I learned that their droppings are far nastier. Luckily I found the entry point (the dryer hot-air exit) and blocked it with aluminum-with-small-holes-in-it (so the dryer would still work). After a few days of trying-to-chew-metal-chew noises, the critter gave up.

  7. Nicole says:

    Ugh. Raining ratlings or raining mouselings, I still and super-glad I have a cat. Though… based on the noises I’ve heard coming from my roof area, I suspect that the squirrels who live in my condo complex have decided that our many connected roofs make a lovely home. Rarely have I been so glad to have an HOA…

    The blanket is lovely, though, even if it deserves a time-out to think about its sins. Great idea to alternate color with neutral blocks.

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