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It is finished, she sighed.

This project was over three years in the making. Granted, for 2 1/2 of those years it was in time-out, but still! Here is is, modeled by Blue:

I used a plain cotton worsted yarn from The Hub Mills in Lowell. Easy wash and dry fabric that might shrink slightly at first, but not enough to worry about. There was no fancy fair isle color work, or complicated assembly (according to the directions). It was a devil in the details, however.

Clarity in directions is so important, but rarely found. Remember the last time you tried to read a user manual or an assembly instruction? (Ikea seems to manage it well, but they don’t do knitting patterns—others follow their style with humorous instructions for science fiction assemblies) But I digress… )

In real life, people reading patterns are not able to ask questions on things they think are obvious. Why would they, anyway? It’s obvious! Then again, what you think is obvious and what others think is obvious are *so* different! I once worked on a newsletter where the admin was horrified at the finished peice. I agreed. It was awful. The printer substituted fonts, causing text reflow, messy rags, and an almost ransom-publishing look. It was not the file I sent them. The admin continuted her rant. “The pages have wrinkles and creases in the wrong places!” “But what about the text?” I asked. “What? That’s fine. I can read it okay.”

So when I read the instruction for the Tree of Life Afghan, I remembered to read them all the way through for the main portion before beginning, because I know this can alleviate frustration later on. The directions clearly said to take into account that there was a 4-stitch garter edging on the sides of the afghan and that these were not included in the stitch count of the main pattern areas.

So I added them to the left and right of the afghan as I knit it up.

I really should have read the edging instructions along with the body pattern notes.

By the time I got the to the third section (which was a repeat of the first section), it was very obvious that my count was off by 8 stitches too many. No errata is given for this several-years-old and made-hundreds-of-times afghan. Therefore, I must have (oh crap! not again!) made a mistake.

Remember those four stitches I added to the left and right of the afghan? They were supposed to be part of the edging, which is done last. The edging included a leaf and four garter stitches that would go all around the edges of the afghan, not just the left and right of it.

Now, I *could* have frogged the 2/3 already done and start over (I really didn’t like that option). I *could* have continued and left the leaf edging off (it would forever look unfinished). Or I could figure out how to meld on the leaf border once the main part was done (howzat???). I *could* put it in time-out until I could decide/come up with an option I could live with. Yup. Done deal. Time out, back of the closet. I wouldn’t bring it out until it behaved better for me (read: until I figured out how to handle the edging).

Ditto (grandchild #4) is arriving at the end of the month. I have made baby afghans for his older 3 siblings. He deserves a special blanket as well. I looked at my stash. I thought about the afghan in time-out. I pored through patterns. I looked at the afghan in time-out.

I got out the offending afghan, determined to figure out how to meld the garter and leaf edging. Being a a stubborn sort, I did manage it. I reused to allow myself any other knitting until the afghan was done.

See? You can’t tell I futzed with the edging.

*FO=finished object

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