Sunday, January 29, 2012

Failures and Successes...

While it may seem that I (among many other bloggers) sail through projects without any problems, need for lifelines, and never have to frog, I'm here to tell you, it ain't true.

Case in point: This January. Fail, fail, fail, fail and fail (with one or two successes along the way).

I already documented some of the fails (the ill fated slippers, which I even sent through the laundry and they still came out THE SAME SIZE), however, I've got a few more here.

1. Zipper insertion on sweaters. FAIL. I tried to do it myself. Failed miserably. Sent it off (with lots of trepidation) to our local tailors, who did an amazing job, but... used my beautiful attached i-cord as a folded under selvage and kinda sorta ruined the lines of the sweater. It's still wearable, and it looks totally fine, as long as you're not a knitter.

However, there is a silver lining here, as the attached i-cord looks really amazing around the top of the collar. And honestly, this is some of the best work that I've ever done. I'll have to get Bruce to model at some point.

2. Two major failures on Georgia's sweater. The first is the pattern. It sucked. Honestly. The second is my decision to put attached i-cord around the neck of the sweater. I thought that it worked out so well on Bruce's, that I'd put it on Georgia's. Not so much. (there is a third failure, but that was basically due to incompetence on my part, i.e. a really craptacular button band. Embarrassing.)

However, as I said on the above sweater, there were some high points. The steeking went really well. REALLY well. Totally not scary at all. Just make sure that you use grippy yarn. Here's a picture of the inside of the steeks (please ignore the embarrassingly bad button band):

3. I was completely felled by Ene's Scarf (by Nancy Bush). Totally. Yes, I can read charts. I absofruitly HATE them, however, because 99% are way too small and my eyes can't track across them very well. Even when I enlarge charts (or miraculously, they come REALLY big, thank you Jared Flood), I still have to mark them up pretty obsessively in order to be able to read them. I highlight every other row, I count all of the incredibly annoying little boxes and put the number of stitches in them so I don't have to put down my knitting and count 16 times just to make sure I'm knitting the proper number of stitches.

I knitted and ripped the first 15 rows of Ene's Scarf FIVE TIMES before I finally got the stupid stitch count right. It's supposedly a simple pattern, but it just didn't gel with my brain. Anyway, on try six, I finally got the stupid pattern right, and you know what? It still looked like crap. So I ripped the whole thing out and picked a new pattern. Which, by the way, I'm completely pleased with. It's the Vermont Shawl and I love it, and I'm already trying to figure out which yarn I should make my next one with.

Here it is:

Sunny and happy and just right for January (madelinetosh prairie in chamomile). The color also attracts the eye and I've had more people talk to me about my knitting since I've been working with this yarn than any other project I've worked on while riding the subway.

My next post will be with on January playlist, which I've been listening to all month while knitting. It's kept me out of the total emotional doldrums whilst being sick all month.


  1. We'll figure out a way to make the lines on the sweater work perfectly. In the meantime, it's still TOTALLY AWESOME!

  2. You are right, there's always some FAIL mixed in with the good knits. I've frogged Juneberry shawl this week, but it was because of my handspun yarn. It didn't feel right at all. I've knit socks recently for MYSELF, where the heel stuck out like a growth! As if I've never knit for myself before. I've thrown the socks in the washing machine and dryer to make them tight(smaller), but miraculously, they grow with wear to the same annoying size.
    I love your sunny shawl! It will be gorgeous!

  3. Thanks for sharing your failures -- it does seem like you just sail through projects! The Vermont Shawl is gorgeous -- and I hope that will compensate for some of the others.

    Zippers, apparently (I wouldn't know from first-hand experience), are very difficult. My MIL is an expert seamstress (she even makes men's shirts!) -- and even she says she struggles with them.