I'm delighted to report that, bar a hiccup or two where I couldn't remember how to cast on and couldn't make my fingers do what I wanted them to do for a little while, I'm back in business!
Over the last couple of days I've managed to finish another square in the Shaker Style Throw from "The Art of Knitting" partwork that I've been receiving for the last year or so, (and only now got round to putting in its binders and actually doing anything with it) Hurrah! Well - half a hurrah. Let me explain.
This is the one I finished last night. Very pretty, I'm pleased with it. The crosses aren't perfectly offset as they are supposed to be - but the thing is supposed to be 'rustic' in appearance, so I'm not going to give myself a headache about it. It needs blocking to turn it into an actual square, but one thing at a time. It's the second square I've completed, the first one being a plain garter stitch square in a sort of burgundy colour. This one is actually the third in the sequence.
With the second in the sequence I met my Waterloo. It has been started and then pulled out no fewer than 5 times, each time with mounting levels of rage and frustration (and on one occasion when I was almost two thirds of the way through it). Eventually I chose to skip it, complete the third to give myself a break and go back to the second later.
So now, here I am, staring the second one in the face again. The pattern is described as "Little Ladders", and really is the most desperately uncomplicated thing you can imagine. Observe:
Knit a row.
Purl 4, Knit 2, Purl 4. Repeat this to the end of the row.
Knit a row.
Purl 1, Knit 2, Purl 3, repeat until the last 4 stitches then Purl 1, Knit 2, Purl 1.
A 4 row pattern, composed of nothing but knit and purl stitches. That's it. No lacework, no increasing or decreasing, no intarsia or anything of the sort. I knitted a lace cowl back in March when I'd been knitting for no more than 8 weeks, for goodness' sake, this should be as easy as hell, but for whatever reason I can't seem to manage it. I either miscount, or end up working on the wrong side, or drop stitches when trying to switch from knit to purl - pick any or all of the above. Unfortunately as yet I don't have the confidence to recover a dropped stitch or to unpick back to where I have made a mistake - if I did it would probably have saved me an amazing amount of aggro by now.
So - tomorrow evening I'm going back for another go, with care, patience and, crucially, the judicious use of a row counter to keep my place in the repeat. This time, I'm going to win. Wish me luck!