I think that I'm a pretty decent knitter. Good even. On a good day, I possibly even qualify as advanced. Nothing about knitting intimidates me. A pattern with 9 different lace charts? No problem. Half a dozen different cable patterns in the same sweater? Bring it on! A 17 color intarsia pattern - in cotton? Okay, there might be some swearing and occasional throwing of the sweater across the room, but sure, I'll go for it.
Point is, most of the things that I knit (not all of them - there are Projects of Shame hidden away that will never be spoken of) even if they're rated as "challenging" come out pretty well. So why then, I ask, am I having so much trouble with this particular shawl?
This is not going to be my shawl - I'm knitting it for a friend. Betty from Moose Manor Handpaints requested volunteers to do some sample knitting for her. She offered to pay in yarn - she didn't exactly have to go begging for volunteers. I'm working with an alpaca/silk lace weight in a colorway called Summer Berries. Betty's only stipulation was that the pattern be done with one skein of yarn and that, if possible, it be a free pattern available online. So keep in mind, that it was me who chose this pattern.
It's not at all a difficult pattern. It's translated from Finnish, but I don't think that's what's causing the problem, because I'm working from a vey clear and easy to follow chart. Yet for some reason I haven't yet managed to do a single row of this shawl without having to tink back or re-count something. Even the wrong side row that I just did, where I basically just had to purl every stitch, I somehow managed to knit every stitch.
Just before I performed that particular bone-headed maneuver, a man sitting next to me on the subway asked me if it was difficult to do. I told him no.
Apparently I lied.