I am knitting with bated breath, row after row, hoping against hope that the gauge I so carefully measured is still right. Paralysis strikes me when I think of actually checking it; it might still be right, but I can tell that there is something wrong with the sweater anyway. Because even the correct gauge doesnt make my sweaters right. After all, there is still the neck band. It seems simple; pick up these many stitches in this space, this many in that space, this many in that space, and then, there it is, the finishing, unifying element of your sweater.
Now I know that in theory it makes sense to follow directions; but why would the designer tell me to pick up just those many stitches when there are clearly so many more?; and even though I know that you might pick up two for every three or three for every four, she seems to be asking for SO many stitches less than that that (predictably) I picked up as many stitches as seemed necessary to me. This IS a free country, after all.
And that defiant, small exercise of personal freedom has been the source of the sinking feeling that has accompanied every thought about actually finishing this jacket. Because, you know, some mysterious something is just WRONG with it. So yesterday, I felt courageous enough to actually bring it out and try it on in front of the StitchWitch Mary, and she looked it over with a critical eye and said, This neckline is wrong. You need to take this out; there are too many stitches in the band. And so all of a sudden! everything! made! sense!!! I had picked up too many stitches and it had done this thing and looked like this! I get it!!!! Im glad I understand it now; I have evidence of what happens when you pick up extremely too many stitches around the outer edge of your jacket!!! I am such s smarter knitter than I was before! (Notice: this event has not been photographed.)