Sometimes you get a good idea. You run with it, work on it, love it, and notice that maybe, even though it's a good idea, it's not quite right. So you tinker, modify, adjust, (curse quietly), frog, rework, evaluate, (mutter under your breath)... Maybe now it's to the point you wanted in the beginning. But maybe it's not.
"The Knot" isn't there. I dragged it with me to my Monday Knitting Night, and got to show it to.. one person. It is Christmas week, after all. I should have anticipated it. But Monday night is so very important to me that I'd almost skip out on family to go. Okay, I DO skip out on family to go.. but it's my family and my husband can handle it one night a week!
Spread out on the table, still on the blocking wires to hold it, it was all too clear that The Knot still wants to be more circular than square. There is more fabric at the center of each edge of the square than there ought to be in order to lay flat. I could still work around this. I could work more rows and expand at the corners until things are straight. I could do a few short-rows to compensate for the wider-at-the-middle-than-the-corners problem. I could also realize that after all this work I still have no idea how to put it in the back of my sweater... a back that I suddenly have realize is not square, itself.
Back when this was a design where "square" was the name of the game it was logical to stick a square in the middle of the back. As I searched through many, many cardigan patterns, I opted for raglan shaping at the arms and shoulders rather than Kate Gilbert's "innovative" shaping in the original "Cardigan for Arwen". Yet, despite these changes, in my head the back was still square. Last night I realized that.. um.. there are now ARMHOLES. Armholes! These won't be square! I'll have to figure out how to graft in The Knot not AND decrease for armholes!
I just can't do it. I could sit down and figure it out mathematically, but my intuition tells me it doesn't fit. I'm pretty logically minded, and most likely correct in my estimates. My raglan-shaping will "eat in" to the already knit square (that still doesn't lay flat). My ruler agrees.
I'm afraid I must give up on The Knot. I've found a lovely alternative. I had continued my search as The Knot became harder and harder to work. I happened across Continuous Cables. Lots of great material here! Lots of information on how to work, and design, circular, swirling, twisting cables knit on a background of plain old reverse-stockinette. There's even a pretty knot that I think would do well on the back of my sweater, as-is.
I still love The Knot. I'm thinking I'll get some pretty, paler wool that will show off its delicate curves and knit it once again to cover a pillow. That way I can enjoy it often and remember all the things it taught me. And maybe, in the future when I've learned a few more tricks of the trade, I'll figure out how to put it in the back of a very lovely cardigan that I designed, myself.