Sheltered Poncho In-Progress

I feel like I’ve been working on this poncho (Sheltered by Andrea Mowry) for a long time.

This is probably because I HAVE been working on this poncho for a long time. I’ve been knitting my long-coveted poncho (with Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter) almost exclusively for nearly two months. All my design work has been set aside as I treat myself to a (substantial) knitting vacation*.

It’s been marvelous although perhaps nonstrategic on my part.

Although eight skeins in, I’m excited to move on to my next project (Knitting Vacation, Part 2) and starting to wonder just what I will do if this (magnificent) thing doesn’t fit. There’s nothing like knitting up more than 1,000 yards/meters of exquisite (expensive) yarn only to discover you really screwed up and selected the wrong size.

Because I’ve never done that before…

I can already tell this finish poncho is going to be SUBSTANTIAL and am slightly concerned I may feel like I am wearing the fleece of an entire sheep when I eventually put this thing on.

I guess that’s why they call a poncho a poncho.

The pattern itself is fabulous, although I’ve been humbled by it. After knitting for nearly two decades, it’s forced me to realize I don’t know how to knit.

At least I don’t know how to twist stitches.

I won’t drag you down with the technical details except to say I’ve swatched and swatched and swatched and just can’t figure it out. I can quickly twist stitches no problem when knitting in the round, but, For the Life of Me, I CANNOT efficiently twist stitches when knitting back and forth.

I can knit stitches that twist to the right one row but twist to the left the next row.

And I can knit stitches that twist every other row.

I can also knit stitches that simply do not twist.

I CANNOT knit stitches that just twist every row in the same direction all the time without first picking up the stitch, flipping it over to twist it, and then knitting the darn thing. Takes forever. Sadly I have had this problem before, and it has taken me a long time to even begin to understand what in the hek is going on.

I think, but am not positive, this is because I might be a Combination Knitter.

That’s right. I don’t even know if I am or if I am not a Combination Knitter.

But I suspect I am.

This is when I wish I had a lifelong technical knitting expert super-geek living next door that can help me with this stuff. Knitting alone in the middle of nowhere with only the company of YouTube has it’s drawbacks. Nothing can replace the company of other knitters and the ol’ fashioned knitting guild. Nothing.

YouTube doesn’t really give you much when you search for why is my knitting screwed up, am I or aren’t I a combination knitter, and how to twist stitches with combination knitting (even if maybe you are not a combination knitter?*!?!???).

Trust me, I’ve tried.

How can something so easy and straightforward be so…well, difficult?

Nevertheless, I have plodded on, albeit slowly (I’d probably be long done by now if I were just working in speedy stockinette). I’ve enjoyed the slowness of it all, taking my time. Not rushing. Very unlike me but pleasant all the same.

I hope to finish the front today. The back is already done. Then there’s some seaming and cowl/hood, which I hope is knit in straight stockinette and not twisted stockinette.

Time to go read my pattern and check. Gulp.

*I believe it’s essential to knit patterns designed by others to continually learn new skills and approaches to knitting and generally broaden one’s knitterly horizons. And, to remain humble and grateful for the talent and artistry of others.

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