Here it is. One of the Mantova Lacy Top’s sleeve. Last week I wasn’t so sure that I was actually going to be able to work this to this end. I was utterly and completely frustrated after working 12 rows of this little piece of a sleeve. And why the frustration? Well, I would have been a much happier knitter if the instructions haven’t left me guessing.
I don’t believe I’m wrong to say that most knitters (or even crafters) will find a project so much more enjoyable when the instructions are crystal clear, and there is no guess work involved about how you should be doing what you’re expected to be doing. I’m very disappointed to say that I’m currently not enjoying my Mantova project. I’ve mentioned a few times about how the pattern hasn’t been very clear, and the last week has nearly pushed me to the brink of shelving the entire thing and perhaps not touch it for as long as I can.
Yet, a challenge set is a challenge set and I’m so close to the end I’m kind of refusing to cave in to that kind of weakness. Besides, I have promised to make a top for my aunt, and a promise is a promise.
ARGH…there was so much frustration!!! First part of it comes from trying to work out the Cable and Lace Pattern to be used for the sleeve (first safety line). There is only one row of instruction for how it’s to be done and it seems to suggest that its start is offset from the Cable and Lace Pattern used in the front and back pieces of the blouse. The next line of instruction following this was simply ‘Work even in Cable and Lace Pattern as set for 9 more rows.’ Well, it wasn’t very clear where and how to continue with the ‘as set’ because 20 rows make up the pattern! I can’t just continue from any point I like now can I?!?! That only row of instruction didn’t even start from row 1 of the 20-row repeat pattern!!!
I so wanted to tear up the instruction sheet! But instead I found myself staring and staring at the alphabets on that sheet of paper. Then I got out a clean sheet of paper and a pen, and figured things out on my own. Some knitter out there please tell me a good pattern writer never reaches the stage of making a fellow knitter do this. I really didn’t feel I should be doing that; I should be happily following a pattern and getting the results the pattern writer intended, easily.
My pen, paper and head sorted all that out well enough. Yet it wasn’t long till I hit another wall of frustration (second safety line). I seriously don’t think it’s very helpful for the pattern writer to just say something like ‘Bind of A number of stitches at the start of the B number of rows, C number of stitches at the start of D number of rows, and E number of stitches at F number of rows. X number of stitches remaining after’, then leave the knitter guessing what is to be done with all the number of stitches in between that weren’t used for binding off. Do I continue with the lace pattern or do I work even??? Both produce very different results. I was so angry at that point I no longer had the capacity to fight it out in my head. So I just left the stitches sitting there feeling unloved.
A few days later, I decided that following the Cable and Lace Pattern will produce a more beautiful result than working even, so that’s what I did. And that’s what you can see from the photo above. It seems like a really simple and straightforward piece of sleeve…yet truly it was filled with lots of agonising moments. To all those who’ve ever received a hand-knitted piece of item from someone, I do implore you to think about the amount of love and work that’s been put into it, no matter how small the item may be, or how you may think it’s aesthetically lacking. Because behind that piece of work may be a whole lot of struggle from the knitter to figure a way out to finish the project or fix a mistake…and even a highly experienced knitter can still encounter difficulties!