One project finally off the needles is the square baby blanket. I finished grafting the garter stitch last night for the second time. You read that right, for the second time! I actually finished knitting it earlier this week, then put it aside until I had time to graft the seam.
A day or so later, I pulled out my handy, dandy, Knitter's Handbook for help in grafting in garter stitch. (I've never done this type of seam before and needed a little assist.) I found a wonderful illustration and explanation on page 81. I prepared to graft. I pulled out the provisional cast on and put the stitches onto a circular needle. I lined it up parallel with the stitches on the other needle, threaded the yarn tail into a jumbo tapestry needle, and started stitching. Once I got into a rhythm, it was easy and relatively quick to sew together. This wasn't so bad. Then I took a closer look at the seam. I was beginning to suspect that all might not be well. It looked ok but something wasn't quite right. I flipped the blanket over and...
Instead of a nice garter stitch ridge seam, there was a glaringly different, flat, stockinette seam. This is so not right.
I tossed it to one side, trying to convince myself that this was a mistake I could live with. It was only an acrylic baby blanket. It was fine. Any baby worth their salt wouldn't care about this mistake. Yeah, right.
Now the thought had crossed my mind as I finished knitting the final rows of the blanket, that you had to end on the correct row to have the seam turn out right. I blindly followed the pattern directions and thought I was safe. I should have known better. And I should have read the grafting instructions in the book a little closer. The stitches on the lower needle should come out of purl bumps and those on the upper needle come out of smooth knit stitches. I took a close look at the seam. Yep, that's what I thought. Even though I followed the pattern instructions, it had me knit one too many rows to get the seam to come out right.
Then it sank in, I'll have to rip out the seam plus one row on the lower needle. It laid there for 2 days, taunting me and blowing raspberries each time I saw it. I surrendered last night. I put lifelines through both rows of stitches, slowly removed the seam stitches, and then ripped back one more row. Threaded my needle, placed the book on my lap open to the seaming page, and started slowly seaming it back up. I turned it over every inch or so to check on my progress. That looks so much better! Finished the seam and wove in the end. Now you can't tell the right side from the wrong side. Glad that's done. :-)
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Improvement to triangle shawl listing: Someone posted a comment asking if I'd somehow identify all the free patterns on the list. It was a good suggestion. For easy identification, all of the free shawl patterns on the main list are now set in bold type. You'll find a link to the triangle shawl pattern list in the sidebar under "Freebies."
Now for a teaser. I've been keeping a big secret for the past week. You'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what it is.