Yesterday I finished knitting my first rug. It is not a large rug, but it was lovingly made. Actually, lovingly is probably not the best word for it. I sorta did myself in right from the start by using yarn with a different gauge to that of the pattern. Instead of doing the same number of stitches as the pattern, I increased the stitches by two to make the rug come out the same size as it was supposed to be. Oops, it’s an oval rug.
Soon came my introduction to short rows with the mysterious ‘w&t’ command. After conquering this thanks to YouTube videos, I soon realised that my bend was not bending far enough thanks to my changing of the number of stitches. That was when I had to call my knitting master for back-up. She introduced me to spreadsheets for calculating how many stitches to do to keep everything in proportion. I love spreadsheets. I learnt an important lesson: don’t change the number of stitches in a pattern that curves in any way. I had to unpick a lot of rows. Undeterred, I plodded on with my rug, facing the same challenge at the bend of every new strip. There was a lot of unpicking and a lot of figuring out. If I had just started again, I probably would have gotten it done faster, but hey, the stubbornness had kicked in.
The other problem was that I initially stitched the strips together a bit too tightly, which caused some bumpiness. I soon learned how to stitch together nicely. Things were going well until my next problem – I ran out of yarn in the final strip. That ball was purchased from Spotlight on special as a clearance item. I checked anyway but there was none left, and extensive googling proved fruitless. I pilfered every piece of that yarn that I could. I stole the centre strip from the rug, which was the same beige and grey colour (and I’m still mourning its loss), and replaced it with another colour, which, incidentally, allowed me to fix some of the bumpiness. I tied in every scrap piece of that yarn that I had in my knitting bag. And then I had to attach the strip a little more tightly than I should have. I even tried to bleach some of my dark brown and grey yarn. Finally, I resolved to using a plain beige yarn to fill in the last small gap. Don’t look too closely.
Boy, this rug was a mission, but I can’t complain because I brought it upon myself. When I look at it my brain still hurts and I keep wondering if I should add another coloured strip round the outside, but I think I’ll just leave it alone for now. As it sits on the floor I am slowly starting to appreciate it. Also, I have just started my next knitting project. It’s another rug. Ha, but it’s not oval! Although it will be bigger…