i am an idiot and don’t do what i did

How many mistakes can one knitter make in one project?  Let’s outline below.*

Remember Kayla’s Lace Cardigan?  This is the project that my friend Julie picked as a birth gift for her daughter.  Who will be turning 2 later this year.  Anyhoo…

I’d started the cardi last year after translating it from Norwegian.  Yeah.  I got about 4″ into it when I found an error in the stitch counts that I couldn’t work out.  I emailed the publisher and had to put it aside to work on something else.  At some point I slipped it onto smaller needles so I could work other projects, and it languished in my knitting bin.

This year, once some health issues and timing and sleep and such were worked out, I knew that I needed to regain my focus and get back to work.  It’s not fair that Kayla is almost 2.  (Although lucky that I was always going to knit the size 2 size).

I’ve been working on it steadily for the last 3 weeks.  The pattern is written by dimensions, not rows, as in “when the work reaches 10 cm work a decrease”, or “when work reaches 25 cm BO 2 sts at markers” and so on.  I’d already worked out that my gauge gave me X rows per 2cm, so I had gone through my working copy and written down the row I should be at for each of the length notations.

Tuesday night I’d knew I’d have the whole body finished by the end of the night.  The body is worked in one piece up to the armpits, then the right front, left front and back are worked separately.  Early on in the evening I’d finished the right front, my first of the fronts.  I eagerly laid it flat on my couch to measure to ensure I’d reached the required 44 cm.

It was 38 cm long.  I couldn’t believe it.  I measured from the bottom up to the first button hole which should have been 20 cm – it was.  I remeasured the length – still 38 cm.  What?  Ok, I thought, it was my fault for measuring on a couch.  I went and got a foam tile and my pins, laid it out and remeasured.  Even with SEVERE blocking, there was no way it would reach 44 cm.  I realized maybe I’d counted my gauge on the couch last year.  Stupid me for not pinning it out!  That will teach me.  I patiently wrote out my current (supposed) gauge, then remeasured a section down towards the cast on and wrote down the number of rows per 10 cm that I got.

They were exactly the same.  WTF???  How could I have the same gauge but not have it work out?  I remeasured a 3rd time – spot on.  Ok, enough of this.  I’d had enough trying to figure out where I’d screwed up.

I would have to rip.  I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong, but I assumed I must have fudged a row count somewhere.

The easiest spot to rip back to and know what row I was on was the armpit row, since it had the easy-to-find bind offs.  (Remember, it’s an allover lace pattern).  I yanked out the needle, ripped back to the armpits (over 60 rows) and painstakingly reinserted the needle into 197 tiny lace sts, decs and YOs.  I worked one row to reorient my stitches properly on the needle and pick up any accidentally dropped stitches, and had enough.  My eyes were going squinty, my head hurt, and it was late.  I went to bed.

Wednesday I kept picking it up to work on, but suddenly something new was bothering me.  The bottom of the cardigan, from the cast on upwards, is worked in an allover eyelet lace pattern.  Then after about 4″ of work, you insert markers where the armpits will eventually be, and a few times over another 8″ you decrease at the markers “keeping pattern going across”.  Well apparently I’d interpreted that rather loosely.  On rows where the pattern fit into the remaining number of sts on either side of the markers, I’d worked lace.  On rows where they didn’t quite fit, I’d worked stockinette stitch.  For some reason it never occurred to me to work the lace across the markers.  Anyhow, looking down at my work I now had these unsightly panels under each armpit, with a mix of half-formed lace and stocking stitch.  Not pretty, and not what I wanted for Kayla when she finally got her sweater.


It was staring me in the face- I had to rip back.  I called Maaike and told her of my plans to rip.  She convinced me to wait until I saw her later that night and not to rip in the heat of the moment.  I managed to wait, but she agreed with me- it just didn’t look good.

Yesterday I brought the knitting down to my ball winder.  I knew I’d be ripping back the better part of a ball and a half of sock yarn, and wanted it properly wound, not just wrapped around the ball band.  I ripped, and ripped, originally intending on stopping just before the first set of bind offs.  That way I could at least salvage my original 4″ of work.

In the end I just ripped the whole thing out.  I figured that I must have made some mistake somewhere to wind up with such a difference in total height, so I would be better off just starting over from scratch at this point.

This afternoon I put Henri down for his nap and made a glass of tea and settled down with recordings of So You Think You Can Dance (both US and Canada) and my knitting.  I cleared my mind and glanced at the pattern to see how many hundreds of stitches I needed to re-cast on.

My translated notes read: CO 197 sts w/3mm needle

I grabbed the needle I’d been working with (an Aero) and started to cast on.  Then I thought “hmm…I don’t remember owning a 3 mm Aero needle”.  I pulled out the needle slip bags from my larger knitting bag.  There were 3 in there from way back when I’d been in the swatching stages.  There was an empty 2.75mm Aero bag, an empty 3mm Addi Turbo bag, and a full 3.25mm Addi Turbo bag.

Oh crap.

Anyone want to guess what screwed up my knitting?  Did you pick it up already?  I mentioned it way up there…

I’d started the cardi last year after translating it from Norwegian.  Yeah.  I got about 4″ into it when I found an error in the stitch counts that I couldn’t work out.  I emailed the publisher and had to put it aside to work on something else.  At some point I slipped it onto smaller needles so I could work other projects, and it languished in my knitting bin.

I can’t believe it.  I never put it back on the proper needles.  My gauge, that I’d remeasured in the bottom 5″, was from my original knitting.  So it was spot-on.  Everything after that, everything I’d knit in the last 3 weeks had all been done on the 2.75mm Aero that I’d used as a stitch holder so I could use my 3mm for other projects.  Had I left myself a note, had I even looked at my needle properly, I would have switched and by now had been done the entire body and be at least halfway through the sleeves.  Had I even looked before ripping I could have ripped back to that 4″ point to at least save that much reknitting.

Sigh.  I didn’t look.  I didn’t notice.  And now I’ve got an entire project to start over. At least I can restart my “start date” in Ravelry.

….grumble grumble….


*Yes, I’m ignoring the loooong delay in posts, and all the missing posts on the boys and knitting in the last 2? months.  They’ll come when they come- if I didn’t get this post up I would just not bother.  To make up for it, here’s a mosiac of my boys, both at 8 months.  Can you tell who is who?



16 and 17 weeks, and knitting

2009-04-29 16 wks 01a

Mommy with Henri at 16 weeks old.

This photo was actually taken a day before Henri turned 16 weeks.  Our cousins had their son (the one I knit the kangaroo and joey for) and we had the bris, and my mom took this photo of us.  It was great to see that side of the family again, and after being accustomed to Henri’s size, it was so strange to see a baby be “baby” sized!


My “Anne’s slippers” are no more.*  I didn’t even realize there were holes in them until I stepped onto a cold tile the other day.  I peeked down and saw this mess.  Hmph.  I’m guessing it was from throwing them into the washer and dryer whenever necessary.  Still- I’m tired of saving my knits in pristine condition without any use so they don’t show wear.  What’s the point of spending all the time knitting if you’re not going to use the final result, right?  So while I’ll have to toss these slippers, I’ll at least always know that I made them, incorporating my grandmother’s vintage yarn (the pale purple) and some vintage buttons from my stash (that I’ll cut off and recoup).  This is my first knit to wear out, and I’m kinda proud to know that I got good use from something I made.  It feels good.


Here’s a peek at the finished Log Cabin Squares blanket.  I’ll put together my “finished object” post soon. 

2009-05-05 01a

Here are those two teeth I told you about!  2 teeth, both out before Henri “turned” 4 months old.


This is the progress so far on Kayla’s lace cardigan.  This is the pattern that I translated from Norwegian so I could knit it.  The color is beautiful in real life, a smoky gray/teal.


This was the progress on the Unbiased Purse I’m knitting.  I stopped working on it once I got the blanket squares from Robyn and Amy so I could concentrate on finishing the blanket in time for the shower.  I’ve since completed the second triangle.  The purse is knit by working 4 of these sections then seaming the outside edges and inside joins.  The unfortunate part is that the purse center is only as high as the narrow edge- which means if you want a deeper purse you need to keep going until the outside edge is practically huge.  I browsed some finished purses on Ravelry and found that a few people had worked up a cool solution- they knit an additional triangle to fit in between the purse sections, upside down.  I’m currently at that point now- I worked on it last night at the Montreal Knitting Guild meeting and am just about halfway done that triangle. 


As a reward to myself for finishing my squares and the seaming of the Log Cabin Blanket, I restarted a sock yarn blanket for Henri.  At the hospital, waiting for my c-section, I had started a blanket for Henri.  I had decided to make octogons instead of mitered squares like Jakob’s blanket, and had finished the first one using the deep red yarn you can see in the blanket above.  After Henri was born, however, I found the octogons too “girly” and put the blanket aside waiting for another idea to strike.  Inspiration hit after working on the Log Cabin Blanket.  The garter ridges match those in the mitered square blanket, and I like the idea that both boys have blankets made of garter squares the same size, both will have the same stretch, and the cool thing is that I’m using the same yarn to make the squares.  So Jakob will have diamonds with angled stripes, and Henri’s will have rectangles (kinda like the difference between square and diamond Shreddies, lol) with straight stripes.  So now for every project I finish I’m going to work up a few squares until Henri’s blanket is as big as Jakob’s.  Then I’ll work on them both simultaniously, adding squares to each from the same sock yarn scraps.

2009-05-10 17wks 01a

 Mommy with Henri at 17 weeks old.

Am I caught up?  I think so.  I took Henri’s monthly chair photos on the 8th so I’ll put that post up soon.

2009-05-10 17wks 04a

I can’t believe that Jakob is going to be 2 this weekend.  He’s such a big boy already,  jumping and counting to 10 and trying to do everything for his brother.  I can’t wait to see what he learns next!

*I lie…I’m still wearing them.

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I’ve been on a roll on Kayla’s Lace Cardigan but I just found a mistake in the pattern.  Unfortunately it’s not a translation thing, there is an actual problem in the numbers that I can’t seem to work out.  I’ve emailed the company for help/errata, but I don’t expect an answer back so soon…it IS New Year’s Eve, after all.

Looks like I need to put this aside temporarily and work on something else until I get an answer.  *grumble grumble*


holiday wrapup part 1

Sorry for the little absence there!  Nope, no baby yet.  Just the fun surprise of getting home from work on Christmas Eve to find out that our internet was down, and Bell had no plans on sending someone out until Friday at the earliest.  By the time the internet was back up, I was down, having caught a cold from Jakob.  I spent Saturday taking care of him instead of going to work (Yannick went in my place) and Sunday (yesterday) was a blur of sinus pressure, headaches and attempted naps.  And yet- there was knitting!

Of course, before I get to the knitting, I have a bigger and better completed item to share:


Technically the kids’ rooms aren’t decorated, but I did go through and move absolutely everything of Jakob’s into his new room and set everything up and it is DONE.  He has been sleeping in his “big boy” room (although, still in a crib) since last week and doesn’t seem to notice any difference.  The spare bedroom furniture has been moved into the baby’s room, and all “baby” items and unisex clothes, etc, have been unpacked, put away and organized.  Any final decorating will be done once we know the sex of the baby.

It feels so good to have all this accomplished!  My boxes of office and craft supplies are stacked in the new office, waiting for me to be off work and/or have time to unpack them.  They can wait.  In the meantime at least I know that should I go into labour early, everything else is set for the baby.  I’m going to try and cook stuff to freeze, but even if I don’t get around to that, I don’t care.  As far as I’m concerned- we’re ready!

As for the knitting…I’ll begin with a little spoiler: all holiday gifts were completed in time to be given as gifts.  I’m going to post the photos in the order I finished them, however, so I don’t miss something.  I’m also going to spread them out between posts because otherwise this would be one really long, photo-heavy post.

After finishing Sheldon I tackled my mother-in-law’s remaining sock, and as I mentioned last week, I finished it with plenty of time to spare.

Pattern:  Queen of Cups by Nathania Apple (Ravelry link and Non-Ravelry link). 

Size:  I knit the narrower size.


It is really hard to photograph black socks.  Pretend you can see the lace, m’kay?

Yarn:  Regia 4ply sock yarn in Black

Needles: 2.25mm

Dates:  November 13 – December 18 2008


Modifications:  None. 

As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here.


Here are the socks all wrapped and ready to give away.  For each handknit gift this year I made a label on the computer with the yarn content info and care instructions, and also gave each recipient a little bag with a few yards of spare yarn “in case of emergency”.

More gift knits coming over the next few days…in the meantime I’ve got 2 projects on the go.  Once the deadline knits were completed I finally started Kayla’s Lace Cardigan for my friends’ daughter.  I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before…it was supposed to be her “birth” gift, and now Kayla has just celebrated her first birthday.  [Insert guilty conscience here!]  This is the project that I had to purchase the pattern for in Norwegian, and between some online resources and a nice woman from Sweden who volunteered to double-check my work, I managed to translate the pattern.  I’ve been working on it since Christmas Day and it is coming along nicely. 

Yesterday my mother-in-law called and requested a chemo cap for someone she knows.  She’d seen the furry black one I’d knit for my cousin, and asked if I could fit in one more before the baby comes.  She requested a gray color so it would look kind of like real hair as the recipient is in her late 60s I believe.  One of my car’s coil springs broke somehow over the weekend so thanks to a lift from my cousin Robyn I picked up the yarn for it this morning and I’m hoping to get the hat done today so I can a) get back to the cardigan, and b) give it to my mother-in-law when I see her on New Year’s Day.