So, as you will have seen from my elated post on Friday night, I won the battle with the Little Ladders square, finally! As to why, I think it was a combination of things really - partly having more experience than the first time I tried it, partly having more determination than the first time, and partly coming at it from the previous square which meant I had recent, solid experience in both of the stitches required. I was also able to see the stitches in a way I haven't before, I could tell the difference between a knit stitch and a purl stitch immediately on sight, and wasn't having to spend ages working out which I was looking at.
More than anything though, this little thing saved my hide.
How it works - it sits on your needle (so you can't lose it!) and you turn the ends of it to count rows up to 99 - at any time it will show the number for the last row you completed. You can use it one of two ways - either to count the total number of rows in your project or to count where you are in a repeat. With the Little Ladders square, the pattern was an 4 row repeat - and knowing for sure where I was in the repeat made all the difference as my short-term memory is very poor. Since then I've completed another square, this time with an 8 row repeat and used the row counter in the same way to great effect. Of all the little gadgets and gizmos I have relating to crochet and knitting, this is my winner for "most useful".
If you're a techie type like me and in possession of an iPhone, as with most things these days "there's an app for that". "Knit-n-Count". It allows you to store several different projects and keep a running row tally for each of them. Nifty little thing (which has the added bonus of making a frog noise when you hit the button to go back a row...) but even being the techie I am, I prefer the traditional row counter. I can't forget to take it with me, wherever my knitting is, the row counter is there too.
As I said further up, I've completed another square since the Little Ladders one - the Mock Rib with Garter Stitch Ridges (pithy...) square. To be fair, after the Little Ladders square it was a walk in the park.
It has to be said, I don't think I would have arranged them in the order that they did if I'd been the one putting the partwork together - but I suppose there's no limitation to the order in which you choose to knit them. So far I've done 1, 3, 2, 5 and am about to go on to number 4 - which is a stocking stitch square with an intarsia diamond in the middle of it. The prospect of the intarsia part is giving me nightmares already... watch this space!