A couple of months so ago, I took on what seemed like a not-very-difficult challenge - I was going to knit a modest sized shawl for a friend of mine by March 7. When I first started it, we'd discussed a shawl that just sort of covered the top of her arms. As long as it was big enough to get around her shoulders, she was good with it.
I figured we were aiming at, oh, 45 - 50 inches wide or so (a standard size). And, as it turns out, the shawl she chose was, originally, about that size. That I could do in plenty of time. But, of course, she hadn't exactly said.
Over time, that estimate morphed a bit.
I kept asking "no really.... how many inches are you looking for?" And I kept knitting...
It was hard to figure for sure, since she didn't have anything that actually worked, even to fake it, to compare it to. And ya know -- grabbing a tape measure and wrapping it around your shoulders doesn't actually give you much information about how a shawl will fit. Eventually, she found something that was just the size she wanted.. and it even worked for the March date....it was about .. 60" give or take. (I confess, I slowed down a bit then, because that gave me an extra month to finish).
As it turns out, that "small shawl" needs to be more like 69". Oh well. I've got plenty of yarn, so the only question is time. But I did want to finish reasonably quickly.
I thought I was getting close. I really did. (Well, close to the 60" goal anyway.) I thought I'd gotten close enough to start the top border pattern. I even went so far as to start it.
I can't even pretend that the problem was that I was on target for 60 but not 69....
Ugly wake up the first: the shawl was, in fact, at only 45 inches wide. I discovered this crisis, pulled the puppy off the needles, and confirmed that by measuring as though blocking.
Wile the border adds a few inches, it does not add 24 inches to the width. Sigh. I frogged back the four rows I'd done that commited me to the top border, having failed to take picutres while it was all spread out and starting to look like, you know, lace.
Of course, there was no life-line involved. So, while I was trying to get the stitches back on the needles, the lovely slippery yummy fine yarn slithered around trying to drop stitches. It took me long enough to finish a full repeat to get it all back on the needles correctly.
I need to do a serious push on this shawl. (Time to stop designing stuff and just KNIT this thing -- she'll be back in town by the end of the week!)
The there's other ugly wake up call. ... not quite as easy to get past.
We have defective shingles on our roof. That means that for the past ten years they've been flying off in every serious storm, and every so often we've had a small leak. Now we've got more leaks ... only this time we can't fix it by patching the roof. Evidently, the defective shawls have failed to the part where ... well... we have to get a new roof.
We can't go to the company who made our defective shingles to honor their original thirty-year warranty, because, well, they went out of business. (I wonder why).
So... A new roof. (Can I change colors??) Theres a time honored tradition of putting a new roof on top of the old roof until you've got, oh, three layers up there. (That may or may not make changing colors more challenging). The roof on our house is it's first (as it should be, the house is only 15 years old). Ordinarily, in line with that there time-honored tradition; we'd be slapping new shingles up on our roof. Alas, that time honored tradition is not one we get to follow. We're special you see, ... our shingles are defective. That means that they're also warped. In order to put one roof on top of another roof, the existing roof needs to be flat. Warped shingles do not leave a flat roof.
Ugly wake up number two: not only do we have to get a new roof, we have to have a tear off (they rip the old roof completely off ... down to the plywood (which we're really hoping is till good), and start over pretty much from scratch. (At least that makes it easier to change the color.)