So there I was, happily knitting on the back of the Desert Island cardigan, when I was seized by a bout of OCD Imperfection Intolerance. I was about 6 pattern repeats up the back when I realized that I simply could not abide the centered double decrease called for in the chart I was using. I had done it as charted 6 times in my swatch. I had done it as charted 30 times in my sweater back. And that was it; I couldn't do it that way any more. I realized that I wanted it how I wanted it, and now there was no choice but to ladder back. 30 times.
Here is the diamond motif, as charted, with a classic centered double decrease:
See how the stitch from the top of the lower diamond kind of squirms itself up and over into the next diamond? Like it wasn't even invited? Like it just sort of stopped by and then decided to stay for the party? For reasons only my therapist can tell you, I simply couldn't have it. What was wanted, I realized, (30 repeats later) was this:
This is your trusty garden-variety SL1, k2tog, PSSO maneuver. See how he keeps the riffraff from the diamond downstairs from sneaking up into the festivities above? Cordoned Off, my friends. That is a diamond who has itself sorted, and once I thought of it, no other diamond would do.
Once I found myself unable to deny my need for disciplined diamonds, I faced the classic conundrum: Ladder back or frog it? For some reason, it felt like a real frog-out would be admitting defeat in some way. After all, the other cables and the side panels were all behaving themselves perfectly well, so why should they be mercilessly ripped apart? No, only a ladder-down seemed fair, which I (maniacally) deftly managed while watching a documentary about sushi (Note to self: subtitles are no friend of laddered cables).
After that was done, I smugly forged ahead, finishing the back almost completely before I noticed one little diamond up near the shoulder. It had somehow managed to invite one of those ill-behaved center double decreases over, right under my militant eye. Nothing for it but to ladder back again. At least this time (I told myself), there was only one diamond to fix. And hey, it was only 3 repeats ago. These things are sent to try us.
By this time I had pressed an uncommon degree of service out of my Brittany glove needles (super-sexy wee DPNs that are only 5" long) They were perfect for the job because they were so short I could easily work the 7-stitches of each repair row without any undue tangling or snagging. Even if you don't knit gloves, I highly recommend you get a set of these little cuties, just for such emergencies. But don't treat them unfairly, like I evidently did:
They really aren't much more than cocktail picks, after all. Alas, poor DPNs, I'm sorry. Your sacrifice was not in vain, though. With your help, I have at last achieved Sweater Back:
And my new cast on book has arrived, just in time for me to see if there isn't some better option available than the one I picked for the back. And no, in case you're wondering: If I find one, I will not be laddering back to the cast on to fix it. That would just be anal.