#2 daughter got safely back to school.

At the party on Sunday, I was talking with a woman about my age who has a daughter about the age of #2. Her daughter went to Texas to visit an errant boyfriend and moved in with him and became a Beer Girl. Now, of course I would still love my daughter if she had made those life choices, but I am so grateful that she didn’t.

By this time next month she will be completely finished with school and will have a home of her own. She has a job. We sent her back up with a planner, a working wardrobe, a budget, and a set of dishes.

A friend called her yesterday morning to ask her plans for the Fourth. “We’re going to eat,” she said blithely. It is true. There was a fresh peach pie, and fried chicken and deviled eggs and potato salad and baked beans and corn and really all sorts of things. After #2 daughter left, the boys went to visit friends outside the city limits where firecrackers are allowed.

My husband watched TV. He likes to watch about eight programs at once, switching back and forth among them in a way that ensures that any one of them that actually interested me would only be on for about six minutes.

So I sat with him in a companionable manner, ignored the sports events and gunfights whizzing past on the TV, and finished the front of the Silken Damask Jasmine sweater.

There’s a bit of history here. During Spring Break, I made an idiotic mathematical error and decided that I needed a smaller set of needles to knit this sweater. Really, I needed a larger set. Had I been able to purchase a set of  0s and swatch with them, I would have discovered my error straightaway and nothing more would have happened. Instead, I set off on a road trip with my knitting, figuring that I would surely find the right size of needles somewhere along the way.

By the time I finally found a yarn shop that stocked those needles, I had finished the piece of knitting on the wrong needles. I knit these on size 1 needles, thinking I really needed 0s, and — here is the crux of the matter — skipped the bottom ribbing. I figured I would add it with the 0s when I found some.

I found the needles and quickly discovered my error. I actually needed 2s to make the gauge. So I set the piece of knitting aside, intending to frog it later, and went ahead and made my friend’s Jasmine sweater.

Having sent it off, I then got going on my own — the pink one. Yesterday I finished the front and went to get the piece to be frogged so I would have enough yarn for the back.

Knitters, you know that feeling. You are looking at something lovely, something that took a long time to make. You know you must frog it — rip all the stitches out and start again. It is a poignant moment, isn’t it?

But then it occurred to me to measure the piece that was doomed to frogging. It is only a little narrower than the newly completed front piece. I had just read a suggestion at Sew Intriguing to knit the front in a larger size than the back if you are buxom, so I thought I might actually be able to save the piece and use it for the back (back and front are identical in this pattern).

Here they are, the old piece lying on the new piece for comparison, and there is the problem: the length.

It is nothing to pick up the stitches along a stockinette edge and knit on a ribbing. No one will ever know. However, the old piece is 3 centimeters shorter than the new one, before the ribbing. One might think that one could pick up those stitches and do a couple of rows of stockinette. But stockinette knitted up and stockinette knitted down are going to be half a stitch off from one another.

Feel free to say “Huh?” if you have never tried it. But it is true. Garter stitch can be done up or down with no difference, but stockinette just doesn’t match.

Will this be noticeable over two rows? Should I go right into the ribbing in order to avoid that little mismatch, and have the front 3 centimeters longer than the back? Should I go ahead and frog it and do it over properly? Decisions, decisions.

Ladies, in going over #2 daughter’s plans for the school to work transition, we determined that the final thing she needed in order to be completely prepared (besides a car, which she will have to get for herself) was a proper grown-up handbag. I will be getting her one for her birthday later this month, and I want to fill it up. Thus, a poll. What, apart from your cell phone and PDA (both of which she owns) do you keep in your purse? Or what do you think you should keep in your purse?