This is the back of the jacket. I cast on, three times, and kept going wrong. Finally got going once I realised that what had confused me is the fact that I'm used to working the Aran patterns on the front of the garment and simply knitting or purling all the stitches as they present themselves on the back of the garment. This baby has blackberry stitch panels, which you work on the back of the garment. Very tricky! I'd change to do a panel, then carry on working cables or whatever on the wrong side. What a mess! I've mostly got the hang of it now, though.
See the lovely ladder? That's the most I've ever unravelled, but I'd made a mistake far too many inches down to even think of going back and frogging it. Several of the panels had 4 purl stitches separating them. You decrease in three places over the first 10" or so, in order for the back to nip in towards the waist. Good idea. But, two of the panels are moss stitch, and when it got down to the last two purl stitches, I got confused and took them into the moss stitch. Holding my breath, I unravelled down and redid it properly - it worked lovely! Rather to my surprise!
Mistakes in blackberry stitch on the other hand are a nightmare and not recoverable. Well, not by me, anyway! I've made a couple, but after trying to fix the first one and realising it couldn't be done, I've simply left them. (They can't be done because you knit three stitches into one stitch, which is a lot of twisting and arranging, then on the next row, knit all those three stitches together. Which is a lot more twisting and arranging. To undo one stitch then, instantly involves you in a tangle of six stitches. Live with it, or undo the lot!)
Cabling without a needle is not going any better! I have developed the habit now, which is quicker than stopping to pick up a needle, of holding the stitches with my fingers in a certain position depending on the cable twist. Pulling one purl stitch behind two knit stitches has a different tension to twisting two knit stitches over two knit stitches. One or two twists seem to work OK, because working the next stitch doesn't automatically pull the yarn out of the loop, but most of them come undone, at once, unless I hold them tight. This yarn is particularly smooth, which doesn't help. But I think if I were going to get the hang of it, I would have mastered it by now. I will stick with my hybrid method though, because it's quicker.
I have finally finished my degree - which was keeping me too busy to post about knitting. HURRAY! As a treat, I sent off for Elizabeth Zimmerman's knitting workshop.