Sunday, November 29, 2009

When Good Knitting Ideas Go to Hell, Part 1

I shall ease you into the abyss slowly, by starting with a tale of one project that began well this spring, and didn't end too calamitously right about now. At least I was able to effect a rescue. This is a pattern called the Slouchy Cardigan, from a rather nice knitting book, Greetings from Knit Café, by Suzan Mischer (Stewart, Tabori, Chang 2006). It is possible to download errata for the book's patterns from a website, and I did this, so I was pretty sure the sweater, which I was knitting in two shades of blue cashmere-merino blend, would turn out all right.


Since I didn't have enough slate-blue yarn to knit the entire sweater, I decided to knit the sleeves partly in periwinkle blue, and add a matching periwinkle stripe to the hood. Everything went along fine. The sweater was a quick knit, being entirely in stockinette. The problem revealed itself when I attached the hood to the body of the sweater, and realized that either the hood was sized for a shrunken head, or the sweater was meant for a baby with an adult-sized body. I don't, actually, conform to those specs. But I had followed the pattern directions correctly, and all my measurements matched the instructions. The pattern was, simply, wrong, at least for the part concerning the hood.

What's a mother to do? I frogged the hood, of course. This meant that I now had a sweater with no hood, and two bicolored sleeves that seemed out of relationship to the rest of the design.

After much cogitation, and consultation with knitting cognoscenti, I decided to blanket-stitch the inner edges of the cardigan with the lighter blue shade. (I considered knitting on an edging, but that would have excessively weighed down the triangular left and right fronts.) I may also, at a future date, embroider the lighter blue sleeve panels with trailing vines and flowers in the darker shade of blue.

On the Richter scale of knitting disasters, this is is about a 2. Yes, it is disappointing that the sweater doesn't have a hood, but it's still a nice sweater. I offer this example as a prelude to a much worse knitting scenario, to which I've already alluded in an earlier post (June 6th, 2009), "The Fascination of the Abomination." Stay tuned.

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