I'm working on a project (that I can't show you right now -- top secret for the next couple weeks!), and I was inspired to do a geometric intarsia pattern for part of it. I've never done intarsia before (big clowns and flowers and Mickey Mouse faces smack in the center of sweater fronts just aren't my style), but I can read a chart, and I've done Fair Isle knitting, so I've dealt with multiple strands before...so how hard could it be, right?
Not that hard, I reasoned. So I started and was just humming along, it was looking good, and then I made the fatal mistake of gloating, just the teensiest little bit. Not even out loud, mind you. But karma, she has her ways. She heard my silent gloat and proceeded to stick it to me.
This particular intarsia pattern is symmetrical, thus when there are, say, three stitches of Color A here, there should be three stitches of Color B there. Thus, when in Row 21 of the 24 row repeat I found that I had three stitches of Color A here and five stitches of Color B there, I knew I had a problem. And when I started counting and realized that the mistake that led to this stitch count discrepancy apparently happened back in freakin' ROW TWO, I knew karma had been by for a visit.
So, I put it all down, walked away, taking deep breaths, and went out to mow the lawn. You know I need a time out if I go mow the lawn, because I never mow the lawn. Not my favorite job in the world. (With the husband's broken ankle and the son's seasonal allergies in full bloom, it looks like I'm going to be mowing the grass for at least the next few weeks. Let's hope I don't have bad knitting to walk away from every time I do it!)
Now the lawn is mowed, and the 21 ill-fated rows have been ripped back and I am ready for Take 2. Honestly, it's probably a good thing. While my first try (error withstanding) was looking pretty good, I had been figuring things out as I went along, so the later rows were definitely a little neater on the back side than the earlier rows. Not so much that I wouldn't have been happy to leave them alone, but this way is probably better. It's is yet another of life's learning opportunities. Yeay. I feel so enriched.
(P.S. I realize that not all intarsia patterns are gaudy and tacky and unattractive as I may have inferred above. My comment basically comes from the many intarsia patterns we used to have in older books and leaflets in the discount racks at the yarn shop. I have seen some absolutely beautiful intarsia work, but as a style, it just doesn't usually float my personal knitting boat.)