Monday, October 19, 2015

Abject Failure

There are times when the knitting gods are with me. When I'm inventing on the fly and it's like it was always meant to be. When I drift blissfully from one finishing high to another. (Actually this just recently happened to me and I have a bunch of stuff I'm excited about to photograph and show you.) But today ... was not that day.

Since Saturday, I've been working full blast on a new project, a top-down child's sweater with a round colorwork yoke. I've been doing this slightly complicated thing where I combine a picture of the colorwork I want (no actual pattern, but it's fairly straightforward and I can mostly count stitches to figure out what to do) and a computer-generated pattern. I entered my stitch gauge (stitches per inch) and row gauge (rows per inch) and the dimensions of the sweater I wanted to end up with, and the computer spat back a pattern.

Which I've been knitting, which has given me ... this.

Which bears no resemblance to how human beings are shaped. People (ideally) have these things called shoulders. Which is a good thing, I suppose. But less good for my very strange, shoulderless sweater. Short of a sleeve for a sumo wrestler, this sweater is pretty useless.

How did this happen?

Well ...

First of all, I think I'm going to be much more wary of computer generated patterns in the future. Having a human being at the design controls is maybe a good idea.

Second, I think I completely bombed measuring my gauge. I rushed over this part because I wanted to print out my pattern, and this was a terrible decision. PSA: you get a much more accurate gauge if you cast on enough stitches to make a 4" or 5" square, measure 4", then divide by 4 to get your gauge. Don't round up! Decimals and accuracy are your friends!

Third, I really (really really) should have figured out this sooner. I now have a heartbreaking 6" of of colorwork to unravel. My only explanation is that I was using the Magic Loop method, which allows you to knit with a longer circular than really fits your number of stitches, and it's not a method I love and it causes you to focus on a smaller section at a time. Lots of not seeing the forest for the trees.

Sigh. I guess I'll know better next time.

It's been an educational evening.


  1. So very sorry, Libby! But, couldn't you turn this into a cowl-like neck warmer or something? The pattern is absolutely beautiful! KGF

  2. Hmm, I didn't think of that. It would have to be a Munchkin-sized cowl, which I don't know if he would go for, and it would be oddly humped on one side because I knit short rows on one side so that the back of the neck would be higher than the front. However, it's now a moot point, because it's already been unraveled. :-(