04 April 2009

Knitting Update

Last weekend was full of knitastrophe.

My friend Kendra had her baby a skootch early, so I wanted to finish this baby jacket I had started in December. I got a pattern from the LYS near my mom's house in Missouri for an adorable little jacket.

I had decided to make a few changes: I got rid of the pockets (what is a baby going to do with pockets besides get her fingers stuck in them?), got rid of the buttons (I'm just not a huge fan of buttons on baby garb if they aren't necessary), and I was doing the one without the hood (if they aren't using the hood, it's stuck behind baby, potentially making baby's back uncomfortable, and it's not like baby can tell mommy that the hood is hurting her back).

It's done in several pieces: back panel, front left, front right, two sleeves. I got all of the pieces finished, and had started the seaming. Then I realised that the armhole shaping on the right front was two full inches higher than the armhole shaping than the left front. However, the finished length from hem to raglan top was the same for both panels. Right here, my mathematical brain told me that something was afoot.

However, only being a three-year-old knitter, I bravely forged on, figuring that I needed to trust the pattern. I thought that maybe, just maybe, if I re-did it, it would work out correctly. After a consultation with Sara, I decided to frog the panel until the armhole shaping matched the back armhole shaping (and thus the left front armhole shaping), then start the armhole shaping from there.

Once that was done, I realised that, although the armhole shaping matched now, the two front panels were, indeed, of different lengths. Again, my mathematical brain told me that what I now had were two similar triangles (or "tree-ahngles," as my Ukranian pre-calc professor says), and that no amount of re-doing would fix this situation. However, I once again bravely soldiered on, deciding to trust my pattern. It couldn't be the pattern that was wrong - I'd examined the pattern closely several times and it was the exact same except for the direction of the shaping. So maybe it was my knitting or my tension, maybe the yarn on one side was mysteriously puffier than on the other.

Making a very long knitting weekend short, I frogged and re-knitted the front panels for a total of five times. Yep, FIVE times. Maybe one panel was too tall, maybe one panel was too short, maybe if I did it while watching a race instead of while watching Law & Order: SVU... maybe while Fe sat on my lap instead of Ocs.... I was the epitome of the maybe baby.

After the FIFTH time, I was in tears. I consulted with Sara and Kirsten. Kirsten even stopped by to look at it. It was decided that this pattern sucks ass, and I should do something else. Sara, Kirsten, and I worked on finding a new pattern. After deciding that a pullover wasn't the best idea for a baby, and trying three times to get gauge on one pattern that I really liked, I finally chose to work on the Daisy cardigan by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Once again, I was doing this without the hood, and I decided to do it plain - no snakes and no daisies.

I never once had to frog. This pattern was brilliant - it was super-easy, Stephanie's directions were sublimely easy to understand, AND they included the eating of chocolate! That's right, one is DIRECTED to eat chocolate at certain intervals in making this pattern.

I am happy to say that I now have a baby cardigan done. Unfortunately, you can't see it because my camera is off being repaired. I'm trying to figure out how to take a pic with my built-in web-cam, so maybe you'll get to see a pic before the weekend is out.

AND, one more baby project was resurrected from the UFO pile. I had started the Wrap Top about two years ago, but ran out of heart for it when I realised I was out of yarn just several rows shy of being done. And, of course, I'd chosen a colourway (a light tan called "toast") that was discontinued. When I was in North Carolina last fall, Sara and Mish helped me pick out a colourway that was complimentary (a sage) to what I'd started with. The plan (based on my incorrect recollection of how the pattern was worked) was for me to undo the bottom of the wrap and do the bottom portion in the sage.

But, of course, since this was the weekend of knitastrophe, when I pulled the wrap out of the UFO bin, I realised My Grave Error. I couldn't practically undo the bottom, and (of course) just taking up the bottom of one front panel in a different colour would look exactly as if I'd run out of yarn and needed to use a second colour. Not the best option. So Kirsten and I discussed it, and I decided to completely frog one of the front panels and do it in the sage.

I present to you the completed Wrap Top!

Special thanks to Kirsten, Sara, and Mish for their mad knitting, searching, colour-matching, brainstorming, and talk-off-the-ledge skillz.


  1. A pattern that includes chocolate eating?? why oh why do I know no preggers peoples??? I must say I admire your voracity ( I think that's the right word) I never would have made it through 5 froggings! There would have been gasoline and matches before that!!

  2. It is indeed beautiful.

    But after tax season, remind me to show you the easy baby cardigans I knit. No stress. Srsly.