I had a Dr. Frankenstein moment this weekend after much swatching, ripping, researching decreases, swatching and more ripping. When it all came together late Sunday night, despite all the distractions the fates threw at me, I knew the deep satisfaction and amazement Dr. Frankenstein felt when he screamed “It’s alive! The Monster is alive!” (I don’t actually remember if these were his exact words but they were mine, replete with hair standing out on end and a crazed look in my eyes.)
I morphed into the mad scientist mode when faced with having to shape and turn the seed stitch hood of the baby carrier while maintaining the seed stitch pattern. Decreasing and maintaining the seed stitch pattern seemed to be diametrically opposed goals. Lots of swatching. Lots of ripping. Lots of angst.
Adding to the anxiety, the decreases had to be directional, left leaning and right leaning, to get the hood shape. My basic idea was to turn the hood the way the heel of a sock is turned. But a sock heel is knit in stocking stitch, which easily lends itself to the simple p2tog and ssk decreases. These decreases stand out like a glaring mistake in seed stitch.
After researching, more swatching, more ripping I came up with 2 unorthodox decreases that worked in nicely with the seed stitch pattern on a very tiny swatch. The big test was to see if they worked correctly shaping both sides of the 67 stitch hood down to 23 stitches.
At this point, my hair looked like I had come through a tornado and I had a persistent tic in my left eye. Anyone with any sense would have taken one look at me and stayed far away. But I live with a human and a dog, neither of which can read the nuanced signs of someone who is coming apart. That’s why I stood in the middle of the living room and announced that I was now sitting down to work on the hood and I couldn’t be disturbed. I paused for a moment to let my left eye tic away for added emphasis.
It wasn’t long, maybe the second or third row, before the math and numbers show The Skipper decided to watch threw off my internal counting of rows and stitches. On the 5th row, Yarn Rascal sat in front of me dangling Mr. Dragon from his mouth as a warning that if I didn’t pay him attention Mr. Dragon was going to be toast. At about the fourteenth row I started to hear a strange noise. Sometimes it sounded like a raccoon had gotten into the wall, other times it sounded faintly like a gurgling stream. Without pausing my knitting I asked The Skipper about the noise. The man who can hear a flea cough in the next county said, “What noise?”
The tic in my eye became more pronounced and I was beginning to get pain in my jaw from clenching it, as I increased my knitting speed and repeatedly asked these two questions of The Skipper: What is that noise? and Where is the dog? The tension built as I continued knitting, the stacked decreases needed little adjustments here and there as they began shaping the hood, the noise continued on and off, Yarn Rascal was MIA, and The Skipper now began discussion about the math and numbers show.
Upon the completion of the last row, I jumped out of the chair, held the carrier up, saw a hood had formed without ruining the seed stitch pattern and yelled, “It’s alive! The baby carrier lives!”
PS: Mr. Dragon needs his arm sewn back on. The noise I heard was really two different noises. One was Yarn Rascal. He excavated the tile in the upstairs bathroom again. The second noise was the washing machine draining the water onto the floor. As for the math and numbers program it was something to do with the cosmos. The Skipper yammered on about it while mopping up the wet floor.