Icarus Indeed

From Wednesday to Friday, I toiled over the Icarus. I finished the second skein and dug into the third. Friday night, I went through an EP and a full-length mix CD on the bind off alone. But I was determined–I would finish that shawl before the weekend officially began, or bust.

Well. I finished the Icarus at 11 on Friday night. And it was a bust.

Like its mythological namesake, it fell from the sky of expectations a blazing ball of folly.

The fault did not lay in the late nights spent knitting, although I admit to a fair number of fudges in the last chart. No–the die was cast much, much earlier.

Looking at the monstrosity long enough to take a photograph is more than I can bear, but here’s a mental image so you get the idea: the top edge has a silhouette similar to the leading edge of the wings of a Eurofighter. It is supposed to be exactly the opposite, with a perfectly straight top edge and deeply v-ed bottom.

You guessed it. I didn’t take my gauge before starting.

Yes, I know–gasp! swoon! cry to the heavens!–what was the girl thinking? I wasn’t. I pulled out a size 4 needle, started knitting, and never looked back.

I was furious and am furious. Not taking gauge is the classic beginner’s mistake, which is what makes it sting so badly for someone 9 years a knitter. I haven’t lost a great deal of money in the endeavor–Malabrigo is shockingly inexpensive–but I have lost a great deal of face. The only thing that is keeping me from ripping the entire thing out, making a mongo gauge swatch and starting over is a) the fact that doing the whole thing once took an entire semester and I am Icarused out, and b) I gave the beast to Mum to keep out of my sight so I wouldn’t do anything rash like ripping the whole thing out, knitting a mongo gauge swatch, and starting the whole thing over again.

While I wait to see whether my perfectionism or my common sense wins out, I am taking refuge in a stash project out of some Jaeger pebble wool that was, if the color is any indicator, was manufactured in the 70’s. The pattern is my own, and I can rip and reknit to my heart’s content while I nurse my bruisèd confidence.

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