This has happened before, and you would think that I would have gotten the message, but nope--I had to go through it again! Put simply, if you start a knitting project and walk away from it for weeks or months at a time, you will (A) have forgotten how to do it, or (B) changed gauge so drastically that you have to rip it all out.
(A) happened on the raspberry lace scarf I was knitting for a friend. Usually I can memorize a lace pattern pretty quickly if it's not a million-row repeat, but this pattern, although not difficult, has forced me to keep the book on my lap and mark off each row as I go. I had gotten into a groove when I started knitting the scarf, but when I picked it up again a few days ago (after at least six months of neglect,) I had totally lost track of what was going on. I thought I got it sorted out and started knitting away. After two days of work, I discovered that I had NOT gotten it sorted out and had made a huge, obvious error right where I picked it up. So everything I had done had to be undone. Not only was it frustrating to have lost so much work, but it was a pain in the neck to rip back the mohair yarn. Grrr...
B happened last night when I stopped knitting the second sock of my blue Panda Wool pair and really LOOKED at it. I had waited too long between finishing the first sock and starting the second, and for some crazy reason the second one was knit waaaaay more tightly. The darn thing was a full half-inch narrower than the first, and the difference in gauge was quite noticeable. So there went seven inches of sock--RRRRRIP! Back to the beginning we went, my poor little sock and I. I've gotten at least four inches done again, so the pain is starting to fade. But alas, when I pulled it out of its little pink tote this evening, I found that somewhere along the way today I had broken the size 0 circular I was using. Just a slight setback; I had to mentally adjust from working the Magic Loop to using DPNs again, but I'm back up to speed. At least I feel justified for having bought all those Harmony needles from Knit Picks, because I had the right size DPNs!
But this gives me a qualm when I look in the unfinished project basket. What will I find when I start working on the shrug that I put aside half-done more than a year ago? I do remember that I had to use a row counter to keep track of that pattern. I shudder to contemplate what awaits me.
The moral of the story is...oh, heck, you KNOW what the moral is! Maybe now I'll remember it!