Tag Archive | knitting fail

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.

Knitting Fail

Well, I screwed up. Not big time, but still enough to be annoying. One of my WIPs is in timeout while I think about what I did. This project was one where I knew what the yarn was going to be as soon as I got it home. It was a project I was anticipating. It’s a purse made out of alpaca, so I waiting to start it until a little closer to fall. It was my celebratory back to school knitting. It started out well enough, though since I was using such large needles (size 10) and one strand of yarn, the fabric felt a little…loose. IMG_4807

I kept knitting away, and soon I had two sides and the gusset, which grew into the handle (that wider section).IMG_4895

I didn’t worry about it until last night. I was waiting for the girl at flute lesson, knitting away on the handle section. It’s all garter stitch and it was so open and stretchy. The pattern calls for it to sewn around a ribbon for reinforcement, but it just didn’t seem right.IMG_4896

I went back and checked the pattern in the book: it called for Rowan Alpaca Chunky. and I was using Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky. Should be the same, right? Wrong. Apparently the Rowan Chunky is a Super Bulky, and Cascade is just a bulky. Substituting the yarns but not the needle size meant the product was coming out much differently than the original. (YES, I KNOW! All you smug gauge-testers are laughing and shaking your head and saying, “I TOLD you so!” You did. I ignored you. Shut up.)

Once I figured that out last night, I stopped knitting. I don’t know what I want to do with it now. I still want to make the bag. I don’t really want to frog the two pieces that are already bound off. I don’t mind their size or level of openness, especially since this whole piece will be lined. It’s just the handle that’s bugging me, even though it’ll also be reinforced and shouldn’t stretch out with use. Do I frog the handle section? If so, what do I do instead? I have enough yarn to double-strand the handle. Or I could knit the handle with smaller needles to make it a closer knit. What would you do?