On Friday evening, I had the house entirely to myself. I put on a classical CD and sat down to cast on the baby skirt. I cast on 216 stitches. While I believe I mastered the counting skill many many years ago, I seem to have a difficult time casting on an accurate number, and the higher the number, the greater the margin for error. So I made sure I had no interruptions, and counted aloud while I cast on. It took forever! Then I carefully counted the stitches, again outloud, to confirm that I did indeed have 216 stitches.
Next up, I had to knit in a (k3p3) pattern. This is equally a challenge, so I worked quite slowly and deliberately. When I came to the end of the row, my stitches didn't come out even, so I knew I had goofed. I went over the row very carefully, and on the second try, I found both errors. I picked back about 130 stitches and redid. This time, I got a perfect k3p3, but I still came out one stitch short. I went back over the row again, twice, and the best I could conclude was that I was dealing with only 215 stitches. Sigh. So I increased one stitch in the middle of the purls. Does that make me a bad person?
I knit several rows of pleats, and then decreased slowly in the purls, making a skirt with a row of pleats along the hem. The skirt is a few more stitches around than the panties that will go underneath, with a row of decreases at the back just as it approaches the waistband, to make the stitches line up.
While I thought the line of pleats would be cute, they don't flair enough for my tastes. While I had thought the skirt would be a little boxy, I think it's a little too boxy. I studied it carefully for a while, and finally concluded that the pleats have to go.
I think I've read that it doesn't work to rip out the cast on, rip back, and reknit backwards. But I want to explore that for myself. It's worth the time invested to see what happens. So right now, I'm in the middle of picking out the cast-on edge. This means that every single of the 215 stitches that I carefully cast on are now being individually untangled. I'm half way through the skirt. Back to work...