Tag Archive | knitting fail

What color is your pompom?

Well, that sounds weirder than it did in my head. To follow up on yesterday’s hat debate, I ended up going with the two-color pompom. I was overthinking it to a great degree and finally had to realize that it would be cute no matter what color the pompom was. And it is!

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So that will go off to my work friend this week. I also finished the scarf for my other friend and it will be blocked today. I’ve got a busy day ahead of me today, but wanted to share my Spring Rain “progress”.

Spring Rain is a two-color shawl with alternating garter and lace sections. The lace sections are 22 rows, no repeating rows, and I had a little trouble keeping track of where I was at times, but I was doing all right. Maybe had to fudge a stitch here or there, but it all worked out. Then, disaster: the needle slipped out of about ten stitches! GASP! With some knitting, that’s not a big deal. But with lace, where you have yarnovers and SSKs and K2TOGs and SKPs…it’s bad. Very bad. I was in denial at first and thought I could fix it. I picked up what I thought were the stitches and kept knitting. The first lace row after that was off by two stitches, so I added two and kept going. The lace row after that, I was off by four. Yes, it was bad. No, I had not put in a lifeline. Apparently I live on the edge. By this point, I was 17 rows into the 22-row lace section. It was the last lace section of the shawl. I could have kept faking it, but I knew the lace wouldn’t look right, and since it was the outer edge, I didn’t want it to look wonky. I needed to frog.

My first step was to find a long circular needle in a smaller size, I think they were size 2, and thread it through the last row of garter stitch.

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I did that all the way across without any issues. See the two needles in there?

img_5801-1Then I pulled out the original circ and frogged all those rows of green lace. It was satisfying and sad at the same time. And this time, when I started with the lace again, did I start using a lifeline too??

No, I did not. But wait, hear me out! I did start putting in a stitch marker after each repeat in the lace rows, so when I lost track, it was easier to find my mistake(s). And since then it’s been going pretty well, though it’s been on the back burner while I focused on some gift knitting instead.

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I am glad I frogged, even if I did lose a good chunk of progress. I love this shawl and really want to it to be as close to perfect as I can get it. It’ll be done by St. Patrick’s Day at least!

P.S. I ended up giving Grace her monthly injection for her Addison’s disease a day early and it made a huge difference. She’s back to her bouncy obnoxious self, licking all the faces and roughhousing with Duncan. Fingers crossed it lasts!

Moving forward

Thanks for all the kind words and suggestions on my shawl dilemma! As several people suggested, I decided to frog the lace section and start it over with a contrasting color. I have a cream in my stash that will be quite lovely with the green. Last night I threaded the needle through the last row of stockinette (or so I thought) and started frogging the lace. Of course once the lace was gone, I didn’t exactly have one row of stitches on my needle, but it was simple enough to go through and fix that. Tedious and time-consuming, but simple. With that done, I was ready to pick up with my cream and start the lace section anew.

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I love it! I think it’s going to be a perfect Christmas shawl this way, maybe worn with a red sweater, or is that too much?

Also this morning, I made a quick trip to the craft store for felt and safety eyes so I can make this baby sloth. Found the felt easily enough, but can you believe they don’t carry safety eyes?? Craziness. It’s not for a baby, so I can substitute tiny buttons and it will be fine. Still, I couldn’t just buy one 40 cent sheet of felt, could I? Plus all the yarn was on sale! Plus I stumbled across this new jean yarn and it’s awesome, even if it is acrylic.

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I may have bought enough to make this sweater. (And for only $21!!) I know, the pattern is DK and the yarn is worsted, and I’m going to have to swatch and do math and all that. I’m okay with that! I can swatch sometimes, when I have to.

Speaking of swatching, the crochet hat that I struggled with is done. It seemed to grow a little bit in washing but I’m crossing my fingers that it will fit. It is pretty, at least! It’s the Ski Lodge Beanie and you can see my Ravelry notes here.

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I’ve discovered the best part about getting an extra hour today is not an extra hour of sleep (I have three dogs, are you kidding me?) but an extra hour of knitting!

What would you do?

Okay, so I’m test knitting a shawl. I like the shawl; it’s a pretty pattern and it looks very nice in the yarn I chose.

 

 

BUT. I ran out of yarn. I still have two and a half repeats of the lace pattern and I’m down to 4 grams of yarn, just enough for the bind off. I thought about binding off early, so I put the stitches on waste yarn, and I don’t think it’s long enough. I don’t want to spend $25 buying another skein of the green, so what now? I have a few options:

  • Continue with a contrasting color or coordinating variegated
  • Frog and reknit with a different size needle (But what size?? My gauge is right!)
  • Reknit in a different yarn that I have more of
  • Throw it in the corner and forget it about it

So tell me, what would you do??

 

A New…Sweater??

Well, apparently I’m crazier than I realized. After knitting my first sweater last year, I said I never wanted to do it again. Getting gauge, determining size, having enough yarn, miles of endless stockinette, the hassle of sleeves…why would I want to do that again?

I still don’t know the answer, but I now have a new sweater on my needles. I was browsing Ravelry the other day and was overwhelmed by the urge to make a pullover. I didn’t want to have to buy yarn for it, though, which limited my options. Since I never committed to being a sweater knitter, I don’t buy sweater quantities of anything. That made my decision easier, because all I had available was some value-pack acrylic from Joann. (I know, I know, I prefer natural fibers too! But this is pretty good acrylic, feels soft and not too plastic-y. And I’ll be able to machine wash and dry without worrying.) I had 2100 yards each of purple and gray, more than enough for a pullover. Once I put all the filters into Ravelry, I started browsing and the only one that caught my eye was this Textured Pullover by Joji Locatelli.

My gauge came out pretty darn close on the first try, close enough that I was willing to take the risk. I decided to do gray with purple stripes, and cast on over the weekend. It was exciting! My first pullover! The short rows, never my favorite, went smoothly and the yarn was pleasant to knit with. The textured pattern is perfect, because it’s not all stockinette so I’m not getting bored out of my mind. The stripes help a lot with that, too. For the last few days, I’ve thought about this project when I wasn’t knitting on it, and it’s the only thing I worked on at home. Last night I was so excited because I got to the point where I was ready to divide for the sleeves, and just to double-check, I counted my stitches. They’d all been right after each previous section, so I felt confident. Wrong. My stitch counts were all wonky.

I went back and re-read the pattern, looked at my sweater, and realized that my BOR marker wasn’t in the right place. Somehow, mine was between the back and the left sleeve, and it was supposed to be between the back and the right sleeve. Nope, I don’t know what I did wrong. And yep, it made a difference, because for the last 10 rows, I’d been increasing the sleeves when I was supposed to be increasing the front and back. ARGH. There was no way I was going to frog back farther than absolutely necessary, so I found a smaller needle and threaded it through the stitches of the row where I wanted to start over, and frogged back all 10 rows that I’d just knit. By then it was after 10 and I was tired and annoyed, so I set it aside. But all day today I’ve been thinking about it, waiting for when I can get home and get it all straightened out. I think this sweater is going to be finished a lot faster than my first sweater, and with any luck, it’ll fit better too. And if it’s happily ever after, then I’ll feel confident enough to buy a sweater quantity of GOOD yarn! (Malabrigo, here I come!)

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Frogging Time

I frogged two projects last weekend. Two completed, lovely projects. Maybe some of you are shocked, wondering if I’m crazy. Or maybe some you (knitters/crocheters) are nodding in commiseration. WHY did I do this, after spending hours carefully making pretty things? I swear it was for a good cause: I was rescuing the yarn. In both cases, the yarn was gorgeous and expensive, and I wanted to be able to wear it and enjoy it.

The first project was my Hill & Dale cowl. It knit up beautifully, showcased the colors nicely–but I could not get it to look or feel right around my neck. One loop was too big. Two loops made a giant mass of fabric that felt suffocating and looked ridiculous. Plus I couldn’t get the ribbed portion to lay neatly like it does in the project photos. I tried to wear it twice and both times took it off before leaving the house. It’s very possible mine came out slightly shorter than theirs; I didn’t measure. So I don’t blame the pattern at all. It’s a beautiful pattern, makes a lovely cowl. Just not right for me. That was two full skeins of Malabrigo, knitters. I did NOT want that to go unworn in a drawer. So, I frogged it and now I have that yummy yarn to play with again!

The other was an older project, a little shawlette I called Chocolate Cherries. The pattern is Find a Penny, and again, the pattern is fine. Well-written, lovely shawl. I’d bought two gorgeous skeins of cherry chocolate yarn that made me think of my dad and his love for chocolate-covered cherries, and this shawl used one. It was beautiful!

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Sadly, it was also too short for me, too short to wear around my neck like a scarf. I even blocked it as much as I could and while it helped, it wasn’t enough. I might revisit the pattern and see if I can use both skeins to make a long version, since the reason I chose it was for the round eyelets reminiscent of cherries. Or I might pick something else completely different! Right now the yarn is happily resting in my stash, waiting for its time to come.

Have you ever frogged anything that looks beautiful but isn’t what you expected?

Henry’s Hat

It was supposed to be a quick project, an interlude, a break from my big WIPs. A Tangled Yarn blogged about Henry’s Hat, an adorable earflap hat, and it just called to me. I had to make one for my nephew, maybe two nephews, maybe more. I had the right yarn in my stash: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Aran in Dusky Green. The pattern was only $3, and we were taking a day trip with about an hour’s drive each way, so I gathered my supplies and cast on as we drove off.

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It started out well. The earflaps and front flap were quick and looked good. I pulled out the circs and knit around, picking up stitches on all the flaps, and started knitting around. Still, it was going fine. The pattern was simple, and despite Tangled’s experience, mine looked like it was going to be tall enough. I made good progress on the way home.

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Last night was gymnastics, so I knit and watched and knit some more. It wasn’t until I hit the crown decreases that it occurred to me I was very close to running out of yarn, and that my hat looked big. Like, BIG. I’d chosen the child 6-8 size, since my almost-4yo nephew has a big head. But after a brief hesitation, I put the hat on my own head. It dropped down easily, the earflaps hanging below my ears.

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This would NOT work. Not at all. It was late and I was frustrated, but I frogged back to the flaps so I would be ready to start anew today.

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I just wasn’t sure how to proceed. I’d followed the pattern exactly, so why did it come out so big? Especially when Tangled’s hat came out small? I could try the smaller size. I could switch to smaller needles (and hope the hat body didn’t look too different from the flaps knit on the bigger needles). I could switch to worsted weight yarn instead of Aran, but I don’t want to waste the flaps that are already knit. So, without thinking about it too much, I started again at lunch today knitting the smaller size. And so far so good, but it’s still too soon to get a good sense of size. If it’s too big for my nephew, well, I guess I’ll find someone else who needs a cute hat and try again.

Have you ever had such a complete gauge fail?

Knitting Fail

Well, crap. I have made an error. You know that Marcelle Wrap I’m knitting? I ordered the right amounts of yarn, cast on, and knit away…and then I got toward the end of the striped section and ran out of the cream yarn. IMG_6208

I double-checked the pattern and yep, I did it as written. Yarn amounts? Yes, I should have had enough. So why? Why did I run out?

Needle size. The pattern called for 4.00mm, and I mistakenly grabbed a size 4, which is 3.5mm. Now, I haven’t been knitting long enough to understand how or why the heck that would screw it all up, but it’s the only variable. Dadgummit all. Guess I’m ordering another skein of yarn, and until it gets here, this project is going in timeout.