Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Knitting Fail.... sort of

A week or so ago, I helped Chey find her outfit for the day (translate: I made her wear a dress.... to school.. the absolute horror) and came to realize that almost every knit item in her closet is too small. Darn, right? I must now knit my daughter a cute little cardigan that she can wear with her dresses and skirts... my life is rough, eh?

Being that I am an incredible mother who always puts her children first (I had a rough day yesterday, give this one to me, OK?), I immediately went through my queue on Ravelry and chose the pattern and yarn for a cute, cabled, short-sleeved, cardigan. The chosen garment pattern was "Sea Princess" By Elena Nodel and the yarn was a cotton and silk blend by Misti Alpaca in a colour called Orchid, which Chey immediately took an intense dislike to.... "It's PINK! I hate pink! It's too GIRLY!"

This should have been my first warning that this project might not go the way it was intended. I persevered, however, and managed to convince Chey that the yarn was more purple than pink (slightly more acceptable, but not perfect) and cast on... The astute among you will notice that I never mentioned a gauge swatch. That would be because (don't tell anyone, particularly my knit club students), I NEVER knit a gauge swatch for a child's item of clothing. I normally pick a size larger and yarn & needles appropriate for the pattern and go... This always works out because if my gauge is tighter (i.e.: smaller), the sweater will fit because I chose a larger size and if my gauge works out the other way... kids grow and it will fit, eventually. Besides skipping this step means that  I've saved myself the 15 minutes of time (OK, more like 1 hr including washing and drying, which we should all do, right?!) it took to knit the swatch (knitters will understand the absurd nature of that statement... 15 minutes vs. many, many hours... time well spent when it comes to saving your arse because you took the time to knit the swatch, let me tell you)

Back to my story... I cast on the sweater, organized the knitting charts (one for each front, each sleeve and the back) and went to work. After several inches of smooth sailing, I checked the pattern to see when I should start the armholes (it is worked top-down) and noticed that I had made a fairly large mistake, or rather I made two mistakes, a largish one and a larger one. The first mistake was that I missed a cable cross (it was two crosses, actually)  several rows back, but as I had missed the same cable crosses on the matching front, I decided I could live with the error. That's when I noticed the larger error.. I PUT THE WRONG FRACKING CABLES IN THE WRONG FRACKING PLACE(S).... GAH!!!! Instead of placing the arm cables, you know, on the arms where they belong... I had put them on the fronts and put the cables for the fronts on the arms..... Total rookie mistake (or maybe a mistake of the too self assured??). Fortunately, the cables were easy to fudge and I was able to switch charts and blend the different cables into their correct locations. After a good smack in the head and some breathing exercises (I wish I drank alcohol at times like these... as an excuse for the error and a nerve steadying tonic, but alas, I do not drink), I worked out how to blend and exchange the charts and started back to work. The cardigan was going quite quickly, although I'll admit, not as quickly as I would have thought for a child's cardigan and eventually I came to the end of the body and cast it off.... For some reason, this is when I noticed that it seemed a tad.... large

Remember that I didn't do a gauge swatch?? Well, my thumb to the nose directed at the knitting gods has rebounded.... Gauge for the pattern: 19st=4"... my gauge: 15sts=4".... that's nearly 22% larger.... 22% larger on a cardigan that was already going to be fairly large???

That would be a sweater, not for my six year old daughter, but for me....... and it's even big on me...

I probably should have noticed sooner and if anyone points out the mis-crossed cable (some were done on purpose), I will hunt you down.

still needs buttons and to be blocked

As a final flip of the bird from knitting karma? Chey is right ticked off that she is not getting the pink cardigan that she wanted.......

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