A friend asked me to give her something quotable to put on the Lyra blog so I sent her a lot of stuff to choose from. But to me, now that I've calmed down a bit, it was good therapy to write it all out. So I think I'll post it here for posterity. :o)
Challenges, well... not getting too sidetracked, like I did for a couple of months knitting other things. And while I was sticking to it, trying not to think about other things I wanted and needed to knit. Knitting something like this with my style of "combined" knitting. Blocking it was a major challenge. I bought those ABC jigsaw mat pieces off eBay to block it with. Would have liked a bigger, sturdier platform that I could mark lines on. I did mark on the back of a corner of one of the pieces with a fine point Sharpie. Then I rubbed it with a dampened clump of the cotton thread I was knitting with. Sadly the color came off onto the cotton. I could have stretched it even more than I did to get it more square. But I ran out of mat and was a little afraid to as well. I was worried about feeling let down when it was all over too. So the minute it was pinned out I started knitting myself a warm shrug. I was also worried abut the kitties wanting to lie all over it while it was trying to dry. I got very lucky there!
Frustrations - getting 3 different numbers on 3 separate counts of the same segment. Finding that I had dropped a stitch that raveled back through 2 weeks of work. When the work was young and the rounds were shorter I used lifelines. Later I couldn't bring myself to do it. Sometimes I would tink back to fix an error and create a new one by dropping a stitch during the tinking. Finding I didn't have the next size circ I needed to do the round version.
Revelations - I learned how to find an error many rounds back and unravel a group of stitches all the way down and reknit using separate dp needles and a crochet hook. A couple of places I just couldn't figure out how to do that so there are a couple of errors that are very visible to me, although nobody else seems to see them. I learned how to tink carefully. I learned how to tell right away if I was on track by "reading" my knitting as I was doing it. Stitch by stitch I could tell where I was by how the stitch felt when being made. It is something very hard to describe!
Joys - believing I could even try to do something like this! I've been collecting patterns like this that I never really thought I could do. Now I know I can. Seeing it turn into real lace as I was blocking it. Hearing my husband say that it was beautiful. His usual praise is "fine" or "OK". Showing the work in progress to my Mom and watching her go cross eyed and shake her head. :o) She taught me to knit when I was 5. And the best joy of all will be when Mary opens it on Christmas day.
Observation - I think the stress on that last set of flower leaves could be relieved by narrowing that fat, outer part of the calyx. I would love to figure out how to do that. I would also love to figure out how to add a long straight center to make this into a long oval tablecloth for my own table. I do dream don't I? :o)