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Restarts revisited

In my last post, I waffled lyrical about one of my favourite features of knitting: restartability. Cock it up? Yank it back and start afresh. You usually don’t have to do a complete reboot; you can just unravel to the last set of increases or whatever and then restart from that point.

Another kind of restart, not unique to knitting: restarting without rebooting.  More like resurrecting. Having zoomed through the olive restart vest for Mumini — I need her to try it on before I go any further — I screeched to an abrupt halt, as though I’d hit a “Knitting Ends in 200m” sign. Now what?

While rummaging in the stash for inspiration, I found this sleeve:

Well, well, look what we have here...

Potentially baffling, exciting and enigmatic, I’m luckily a tediously organised person and cracked the case in a minute or so. The sleeve was still on its needles, with its pattern (DROPS jersey knitted in stocking sts and rib in the waist with “Muskat”: a name to titillate if ever I heard one) and gauge swatch, in a ziploc bag. The pattern was even carefully marked with the size I was making and what size needles I got gauge on. So the real mystery is why I never finished it.

My Ravelry page assures me I started this in October 2007, but it stalled for reason or reasons unknown. On Ravelry, I’ve commented “I realised that I could expend the same amount of stitches on a whole bunch of smaller projects as I could on a sweater, so I’m letting it float in the hibernation pool for a while, so I can finish up some smaller and more satisfying Christmas projects.” which, while pretending to informative, is meaningless upon re-reading. What were the smaller projects? Why didn’t I restart after giving it a rest? What got in the way? Did I have a nice Christmas?

There’s no problem with it that needs unravelling and correcting; there’s no mystery about where in the pattern I’m up to; the gauge is right, the yarn nice and needles sharp. None of the usual speedbumps that slow me down. Could this be — I don’t want to spook the mojo, so let me whisper it — could this be a really cool project that I just forgot about?

One murmuring background theory is the smaller guage: it’s not very fine (21 sts x 28 rows), but maybe in 2007 it was too small for my impatient fingers. Perhaps I’ve had to grow, mature and ripen as a person in order to deserve this project? Yes, that must be it! This is my reward for personal growth! Like earning a scout merit badge, I have earned this project. Aw. (On the other hand, there could be some screamingly horrible problem with either pattern or yarn that I have yet to rediscover — something big enough to stall me but not so big that I would give up and unravel completely, which is the worst kind of screamingly horrible problem. Still, I’ve worked 20cm on the back and nothing has given me hives or a headache yet.)

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