Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sweater Disasters and Crossed Fingers

I was really hoping to have a WIP for you today unfortunately that didn't happen. At the beginning of the month I decided I was going to finally go ahead an cast on a sweater for myself. I have also decided since I am completely pulled back into knitting I am going to face my knitting fears and take on project types I have never tried because I found them to be intimidating (aka: sweaters, lace and cable work, socks, long term projects, more Sara original projects). I have tackled socks and finally got a pair that I am happy with and I honestly can't wait to cast on more. In fact, I am thinking about quitting my monogamous ways and having a sock cast on at all times even when I have another project going. I slowly plan on working cables into my sock knitting and then building up to a larger project. I did the same thing for lace. Started with socks, really liked knitting lace and now I have decided to move on to a larger project. The sweater I picked out this time is the Castle Pullover by Cecily Glowik MacDonald. I download it from Ravelry and it is a paid purchase. The top of the sweater is knit in stockinette then switches to a lace design. 

Now I have had this great idea to knit a sweater before. When my aunt was pregnant and wanted one for the baby, I ambiously took on the Cardigan for Merry by Annypurls on Ravelry which is a free pattern. I absolutely loved that sweater, however since I hated seaming I decided that for my first sweater ever I was going to modify the pattern and instead of knitting each section separately I would cast on all the sections at once with a circular needle joining them all together so I wouldn't have to seam anything and could save time. Brilliant idea, right!? that completely back fired on me. Not only was it my first sweater the pattern included charts, as well as a reversible cable along the hood and the front as edging . This was my fist time chart reading and incorporating cables into a piece. I know how to work cables, it was one of the first things I taught myself, I just don't use them a lot. You don't need to knit cables often when you mainly knit toys. I am sure you all know where this leads...the age old frogging. I was doing fine while I did the bottom hem and then made my way to the cable. I didn't like how the yarn was knitting up with it and in all honesty I was screwing it up left and right. I kept reading the chat wrong and getting confused. It was one of those instances of biting off to much to handle. I got frustrated and let it hibernate and of course I didn't take notes so when I picked it back up I forgot where I was and had dropped a few stitches,  I so I just kept on ripping. That was the end of the Cardigan for Merry. It's a gorgeous pattern and maybe one day I will tackle it again but I will stick with seaming it up. The one good thing about the CM fiasco is that I have learned to trust the pattern and stick to it when I am still learning, which is why after all my fabulous progress on the Castle Pullover I frogged it last night (please insert a very sad face here).

I started the pullover on the 4th and even though that was a week ago I have only spent two days knitting on it, Saturday and Saturday. I got a lot done though, its a fast knit so far. I am knitting the sweater with Malabrigo Worsted in the Damasked Rose colorway on size 8 US needles, or at least that was the plan...while frogging I discovered I had been using a size 9 US, which convinced me even more that frogging it completely was the best thing to do. I spent most of the day Saturday knitting on my sweater and watching podcasts. I probably should have checked the pattern more often just to make sure I was knitting the right rows but I didn't (Note to self: check the pattern more often even when you are convinced you are following it correctly!). After I put my knitting down and grabbed a late supper I decided to finish the last increase section before I called it a night, this was when I noticed that I had been following the increase repeats for the wrong size. Yep you read that right, I was following the pattern correctly but for the size 34" sweater when I am knitting the 38". For the 38" sweater you are suppose to increase every other row 12 times, every fourth row one time, and then finally every other row 8 more times (I believe). I increased every other row 6 times and every fourth row 4 times, and was going to increase every other row 6 times before I noticed my mistake. Now I am sure it would have been no big deal if I just adjusted things from there and kept on knitting, but I have never knit a sweater before so I am not really familiar with its construction  and I didn't want to end up with a sweater in the end that didn't fit right. Like I said I did learn something from my CM mess. I would have only ripped back to where I switched from increasing every other row to every fourth row ( I keep saying row when I really mean round) if I had been using the right needle size from the start. I was extremely bummed about losing all my progress but I would rather lose a WIP then end up with a FO that I never wore. Plus the section where I was joining/alternating the new yarn balls was a bit sloppy and I was never happy with it. So now I can try to improve that section and I can make the boat neck narrower. I'm crossing my fingers this time goes more smoothly. I am dead set on finishing this sweater no matter how many times I need to frog it. I spent way to much on the yarn to just let it sit in my stash. So fingers crossed!

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