Sweater Kerfuffle

A sweater project started in late July went to the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival with me with the intent of making serious headway on it during the three evenings in the hotel.

The the smooth yarn was a pleasure to work with and the pattern wasn’t hard, other than keeping track of the stitch pattern, especially when it came time to increase. Twice my stitch pattern erroneously jogged over one stitch creating noticeable disharmony which required painstaking tinkling and properly re-knitting. Eventually the two front panels simultaneously grew downward to where increases curved under the arm in anticipation of  being joined to the back. Picking up the provisional cast-out at the shoulder top and knitting down the back to the bottom of the arm hole went fairly quickly.

The front panels and back had been just been joined. I was glad to be at the point of simply knitting (continuing in the pattern stitch) back and forth until the final length was achieved. Sitting outside on a late August Sunday afternoon, having joined the three pieces the evening before, I was contentedly knitting away suddenly a jog in the knitted fabric jumped out at me in the bright sunlight. Oh no! I’d missed a “knit-through-the-back loop, purl, ktbl, p, error right in the middle of the front right panel that caused the pattern to jog over one stitch on an increase row before before the join under the arm. How in the world had I previously missed it?

Weary of fixing the error, once again, I contemplated ignoring the glaring change that flowed down the subsequent rows appalled by tinking back eight rows, including the join rows, when only that one front section had gotten off track. 

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After a bit of studying I decided that it’d work to drop down and fix each row, working one at a time from the point where the stitch pattern jogged until I reached the underarm row where my count at the join had gotten me back on track.

Two sessions later, the jog was gone, the rows were neatly stacked in order.

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By that time I was disillusioned with the entire piece. I was tired of the color (it’s for my daughter who loves this shade of green), nor the overall messy look of the knitting, even though I knew the stitches would even out with the finish washing. My enthusiasm for the project was gone. The partial garment was banished to its project bag until I was ready to face knitting it again.

Determined to finish the sweater before Christmas (Ha!) I took it to the CGFF. When I took it out and laid it out on the bed to show my roommate I was shocked to see the front wasn’t lining up evenly across the bottom edges. What in the world? They’d been knit at the same time on the same needles. How could they not be the same? Tugging and shaping did no good. Close analysis proved that the two front panels were knit at different gauge. Stunned and thoroughly bummed. Talking with one of the knitting experts/workshop teachers/pattern designer, Michele  of PDXKnitterati–who happened to be rooming just down the hall, she told me knitting two pieces of the same item at different gauge is not uncommon.  I’d long been aware of not being successful at knitting two socks, or wristlets, equally though with them the slight difference had never been a problem but I was aghast at the result of the small change of gauge between a right side piece and left side piece in the sweater. I’m still baffled by how that’s even possible even working directly across the needle from one piece to the next and then back again.

So bummed was I that the entire thing was frogged without even thinking of taking a picture for evidence.

Two weeks later and I still haven’t cast on a new project. I have been mindlessly spinning instead. Perhaps one of these days I’ll finally finish up the pound+ of fine laceweight alpaca that’s destined for weaving material.

What’s your “Oh No! story?

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