Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Step Away From The Knitting....

It's gorgeous.

In fact, it's quite possibly one of the most beautiful things I've ever knit....and given my portfolio, that's saying something.  For sure, it's the best sweater I've ever knit.

I've been so focused on this particular project that just about everything else in my life has gone by the wayside lately.  I'm not spinning...or knitting anything else...or reading as much... or blogging...or fill-in-the-blank.  (While this is certainly productive for me, it doesn't exactly make for the most entertaining blog for you. There's only so many times I could say, "I knit x # of rows today," before your eyes would glaze over.)  But that's ok, because - honestly - it's been a pleasure.

The thing is...

I knew from day one that the pattern was problematic.  It was written in the 80's during a time when the popularity of knitting led designers to try to honor traditional styles.  Unfortunately, in their attempts to modernize the patterns they managed to mangle the traditional methods of construction.  Ultimately this was misguided.  The old methods existed for a reason, serving to make a much nicer finished product.  The new pattern instructions - intended to "simplify" the process for a modern knitter who hadn't been taught the hows and whys of traditional knitting - actually complicate things and create multiple potential problems.

So I knew from day one that I was going to have to take this poorly written pattern and return it to it's roots in order to get the sweater I wanted.  Really, this wasn't THAT difficult.  All I thought I had to do was to add in steeks for the sleeves so that I could knit the whole thing in the round.  I consulted a couple of Fair Isle reference books, and that was that.

Crazy how the rows can build up without you even realizing how much you've accomplished....but that's exactly what happened.  After weeks of work, I laid it out a few days ago to check some measurements and fully realized just how big it had become.  Today was going to be important.  Given how much I've been able to accomplish over the last few days, I thought I'd be able to finish the body today.  With that done, I'd be on the downhill slide with just the sleeves left!

The problem became evident when I pulled out the pattern to figure out the shoulder shaping.  I read through it once.  It didn't make sense.  I read through it a second still wasn't coming together.  I tried a third time, and that's when I realized that the pattern was completely, hopelessly messed up.  I've done this before.  I always assume the published pattern is written correctly, so if there's a problem with the pattern I go into this weird confused state until I am able to see that yes, in fact, I was right and the pattern is wrong.

In this particular example, there are multiple errors.  For starters, there *should* be instructions for neck shaping incorporated in there somewhere.  Next up, the shoulder shaping is completely off, part of the instructions are repeated, and the stitch numbers don't match up anywhere.  There are several choice words I use about this bad of a muck up in private.

Now, I'm a smart knitter, and I have a big personal library of amazing reference books.  I can and will be able to figure this out...although I freely admit that it may not be much fun to do so, and that I'm nervous about how much I'm going to have to alter.  Ordinarily I roll with mistakes without too much of a problem.  They happen.  I can fix it.  It's just what happens.


I'm not real happy right now.

I'm annoyed that my plan for today has now been thrown away.  I'm irritated by potential lost time.  I'm angry with myself for not having done a better job of reading the pattern/planning from the get go.  I know better than to trust a pattern too blindly.

So for now I'm going to set the sweater aside.  I think I'll take some time to work on some lace or a nice, simple sock until I'm in a better frame of mind to tackle this.



K Frer - cozycapecottage said...

It really IS gorgeous! Good luck reworking the pattern.

Kelley said...

I completely understand! There are times when I have to step away from the knitting.

It may be because of my own error or a mistake in the pattern. But, I do consider myself lucky in that I have enough experience to understand what is wrong and fix it. I get frustrated when I think of new knitters running into such problems without the experience to understand what has happened.

I've found that a little bit of outside assistance is necessary for me to get over the obstacle. A cup of high quality hot chocolate, a good movie, maybe going to a local coffee shop, etc.

From what I see, your project is worth it!!

Knit on!!