Posted by: Kim | March 4, 2007

The Knitting Roller Coaster

Over the years that I’ve been knitting, I’ve found that there are projects that are destined for greatness, while others struggle to see fruition. The great ones seem to make themselves—gauge is on, the needles and yarn are a perfect match, and you enjoy every moment of that project. The others? You constantly swatch and can’t seem to find the needle to produce the gauge, the yarn you bought has 5,000 joins in a ball, and you’d swear that there were errors in the pattern, but no errata could be found in any corner of the Internet. You end up needing an adult beverage just to get through the knitting, if you finish at all. Once you complete it, you never wear it again because it reminds you of a very dark period in your life.

It seems that my projects over the last week have fallen clearly in one of these two three categories.

The Good

Of course, the two easiest things I’m working on fall into this area. The first is DH’s socks, which I started while in Seattle. I’m into the gusset decrease on the first sock, and the only reason I didn’t finish that section last night was that I thought my eyes were going to cross permanently.

DH’s sock

I’m using a 4-stitch repeat pattern (Garter Rib) from the Sensational Knitted Socks book by Charlene Schurch. The yarn is Lana Grossa Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch in color #704.

The second is one of those secret gift projects I bought in Bainbridge, so I can’t talk about it until after I’ve given it to the recipient. I will tell you it’s a Hand Maiden kit, though. (I’m such a tease.) It’s going really well and I can’t wait to finish it.

The Bad

Lady of the LakeOk, this really isn’t that bad, but I put the Lady of the Lake cardigan in this catagory due to my level of “irked” about gauge. I tried swatching this in Eureka in the motel room (yes, the one with the haunted fireplace). Being it’s a Fleece Artist kit, the called for needle size is 7mm—yes, one with no US equivalent. I ordered both the River John swing needles and the Addi Turbo 16″ circular for the sleeves from a Canadian yarn store just for this project, as I’m usually able to get gauge with the specified needle size. So, I’m supposed to be at 10 stitches/4 inches. What did I get? Try 13 stitches. Not even within one stitch! I’ve decided that I was too tense at the time and I’ve set it aside for swatching during a more relaxed day. Switching needle sizes isn’t that bad, but it was the principle of the matter. It made me grouchy and now it sits in the bag waiting for my mood to improve.

The Ugly

Pea Pod CardiganI had to make up an extra-special “bad” category for this one—yes, the Pea Pod cardigan from Knit 2 Together. Where do I start? First, I had to switch yarn from the original RYC stuff Muff gave me. I loved the color, but the gauge just wasn’t going to happen. She was really cool and insisted I keep the first batch and bought me 8 balls of RYC Cashsoft 4 Ply in Kiwi from Yarnzilla as a replacement. She even bought an extra ball for insurance! When I swatched this yarn in Eureka (right after the Lady of the Lake debacle), I was dead on. Excellent! (Foreboding evil laughter track plays now.)

I finally decided to cast on for the left front while I was in Seattle. This was no small feat on size 1 bamboo straights, but after three starts, I was finally happy with the results. I was 1″ into the bottom ribbing when I decided to look more closely at the measurements.

Pea Pod measurements

Hmmm. I usually like my sweaters longer, so I’ll throw some extra rows in-between the pea pod patterns on the front and adjust the button band. No big deal. Wait a minute. The arm opening is 6 1/4″? I’m 5′ 10″ and I’m making the 36″ bust size—my ideal arm opening is more in the neighborhood of 8″. This is built for the Mary-Kate-Olsen waif fairy that I am clearly not. And if I have to lengthen the arm opening, that messes with not only the front pattern and button band, but the sleeve as well. ARG!!!!! I resigned myself to this fate and ordered the last two balls of Kiwi at Yarnzilla to ensure matching lot codes. This project is now in the status of “I’ll get to it when I feel strong enough to broker lasting peace in the Middle East.”

Actually, maybe knitting is more like a Clint Eastwood movie.



  1. I really didn’t MEAN to give you the sweater from H E Double Hockey sticks! I just thought you would look so cute in it! Hey–by the way, MY WINDOW STILL LOOKS AWESOME! 🙂

  2. I can totally relate to this post! With me it seems the projects that cost the most & take the longest fall into the last 2 categories (Twisted Float Shrug!).
    By the way, I enjoyed the Thelma & Louise road trip posts. Next time I want to go!

  3. wow! you’ve been busy!!!!!

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