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Monday, January 11, 2016

True Confessions.

...from a knitter who should definitely know better.

I've broken two of my biggest rules on two of my most recent projects. In both cases I skipped a step because I was in a hurry. and yeah, you guessed it, in both cases the results weren't good.

First up, my Fiona Coat. It's a top-down seamless cardigan with raglan sleeves. My big rule for top-down sweaters is that you ALWAYS put the stitches onto waste yarn and try it on (preferably with help because it's hard to really see how it fits if you're squirming around to see it in the mirror) before you separate the sleeves. If you haven't knit a sweater like this, that last sentence probably makes no sense. However, I've made at least a dozen of them (and taught students through maybe 50 more) and I should know better.

But I'm knitting the sweater on size 3 needles and there are so many stitches...I sort of just put one sleeve over my arm and decided it was good. Last weekend, I'd made enough progress down the body - I was ready to start the 3rd band of color - that I could try it on easily. So I did. and discovered it was way. too. small. I couldn't even bring myself to take a photo. Instead I ripped. and ripped. out came that 2nd band and nearly a full ball of the 1st one. (probably a week's worth of knitting). I re-worked the increases to add more stitches and more rows. Then I tried it on (with Katie's help) and think I'm back on track. A week later and I'm still not into new yarn, but at least I think I'm knitting a sweater that will fit.

This next one is really embarrassing because it's a sample for this week's newsletter. Here's my finished piece, photographed on top of the designer's sample. Can you guess what rule I broke this time?

I'm pretty sure even the non-knitters who read this blog might know the word "swatch". Yeah, I didn't. Thank goodness one of my dearest friends is a very tiny person. I'm sure she's going to love having this pretty piece once the shop is done with the sample. and now I have to knit the entire thing all over again to have one for myself (makes that one day I might've spent on that swatch seem like a bargain).

As you might imagine, my two latest projects - both sweaters - are getting extra special attention. For Paloma, not only did I swatch (and wet-block and hang it up),

I even blocked the back to be sure I was on track before I cast on the remaining pieces.

And that purple sweater I mentioned on Friday...the swatch worked out, but the cast-on convinced me I had the wrong yarn for the project. The yarn is four thin strands with nubby bits... I decided it needed to be a simple piece without lace or texture. Yesterday, I started the Shore Cardigan. It's a top-down seamless cardigan with raglan sleeves. I've got seven more rows before I separate the sleeves try it on. Stay tuned.

I've certainly broken my own knitting rules before; and I'm sure I will again...but it might be a while! So I'm curious - what knitting rules have you broken lately - and has it worked out....or not? (remember, this is true confession time!)

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Blogger Carole said...

We all get impatient sometimes and, let's face it, swatching feels like a waste of time. But you illustrated just how important it can be. I hope you're into "new" yarn on that first sweater, soon, I know how much better you will feel about it then.

Monday, 11 January, 2016  
Blogger Kym said...

I hate when that happens. And . . . sadly . . . it happens to all of us. No matter how long we've been knitting! (Lucky tiny friend, too.) XO

Monday, 11 January, 2016  
Blogger margene said...

I break my own rules all the time and almost always pay the piper. My latest sweater has been slowly growing and I am just ready to block the back, something I always do to know I'm on track.

Monday, 11 January, 2016  
Blogger alexa said...

Ouch :(. But a lesson re-learned for another few years? I admire your persistence. I'd probably have binned the lot...

Monday, 11 January, 2016  
Blogger Bonny said...

I do have to thank you for your true confessions so the rest of us can hopefully learn from them. I don't break many knitting rules, mainly because I don't knit sweaters. You don't have to swatch for Hitchhikers and fingerless mitts that you've knit from the same pattern eight times! I have just ripped out a cast-on three times because I twisted the stitches when joining, but that was nowhere near a week's worth of knitting. Hoping you're into new yarn soon!

Monday, 11 January, 2016  
Blogger Penny said...

I don't know if I'm into knitting anything with rules yet ~ my knitting is still pretty simple. :) Knitting sweaters is just a dream for me at this point. I have stitched things and crocheted things where my work has had to come out though and it is never fun. Took a look at the Fiona Coat and I'm in love with it!

Tuesday, 12 January, 2016  
Blogger Vicki Knitorious said...

I get impatient and break the rules ALL.THE.TIME! Sometimes it works and sometimes not. ;)

Tuesday, 12 January, 2016  
Blogger Lydia said...

Oh boo-all that knitting on the coat. I haven't broken any rules "lately", but am sure I will before too much longer!

Tuesday, 12 January, 2016  
Blogger Honoré said...

Knitting rules? One has to knit first in order to make/break the rules...having said that: thanks for sharing your experiences and reminding us to wave impatience goodbye! Sorry for your experience but glad we can all benefit from it.

Saturday, 23 January, 2016  

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