Deep Breath. Reset. And Knit.

Yesterday I cleaned up my house early so that I could have the bulk of the day to relax after the hectic nature of last week. Relax, watch my husband’s Fantasy Football team, and knit. That was my plan. I knit and knit and knit away on the collar of my Lavaliere & it was fantastic. It was fantastic until about 8:30 in the evening when I reached the ribbing.20130909-062238.jpgI blinked. Something didn’t look right. The ribbing just didn’t appear quite right.

20130909-062246.jpgSure enough. The purls were lining up above the last smocked stitches. To me, it looked like they were choking the pattern. I read & re-read the pattern. While it’s true that I could certainly be misreading something, I went to the pattern page & looked at the actual pattern photos (this is part of why photos on patterns are so important!). I zoomed in. Yep, in the sample the knit stitches on the ribbing follow the last smocking stitches. Clearly mine was not right — poor choked pattern! I went on to research other Ravelers’ projects. Lo & behold, most of them had misaligned ribbing like mine. At least it wasn’t just me — something was definitely up!

I had a couple choices.

1) I could leave it as is…

Lots of people had & the sweater still looked lovely.

2) I could flip the ribbing & start with purls on the edges so it aligns with the pattern properly…

But then I would have purl stitches at the edges. I’m not wild for that.

3) I could rip out the entire collar and start over…

I contemplated choices 1 & 2, but at the end of the day…

20130909-062254.jpgI hooked my sweater up to my ball winder and away the collar went. The root of the problem was where the smocking pattern begins on the first row of the collar so if I wanted to fully correct the error, ripping the collar out was my only option. I could have stopped short of ripping the pick-up row and tried to recover all 340 stitches to possibly save a few minutes, but there was equal chance that would just be more frustrating than actually re-picking-up those stitches. So it all came out.


In this mental game of knitting sweaters where sticking to timelines and forward motion are so crucial to getting through, obviously I am disappointed. I could be starting on sleeves this morning, very close to finishing this sweater. Instead I am back to picking-up 340stitches & starting over on a day’s worth of knitting. It is frustrating. On the bright side, it actually makes me feel a little comforted that clearly I am not the only one who has had this problem. It’s not that I’m glad that others have had an issue, of course, but just that I feel a little better that I don’t believe it was just that I read something wrong.  Could I have looked more closely & noticed sooner? Absolutely. Was I the root of the problem? I don’t think so.

I’ve searched for errata & couldn’t find any, so I submit an email requesting a look at the pattern for confirmation that either I am wrong or the pattern is. I am surely not pointing a finger at the designer & saying she did a bad job. On the contrary, I think this pattern is really well written. If I am correct, it just has one little boo-boo. Having done design work, I am at peace with the fact that things like this happen. Writing a pattern that is clear to the general public & mistake free is a huge & difficult task even with test knitters & tech editors on board. I’m also not trying to be a know-it-all, of course. I just am desperately trying to save other knitters from having to do what I just did. It was kind of heartbreaking.

20130909-062302.jpgRegardless, the beauty of knitting is that the work can be ripped & the yarn rewound. I will start the collar again this morning equipped with the know-how to get it done right. And it will be OK. It will still be a beautiful sweater. I will still love it. I just have to let go the events of the last 24hours and carry on.

Deep breath.


And knit.

8 thoughts on “Deep Breath. Reset. And Knit.

    1. It works pretty darn well! The hardest part is getting the ball tensioned if you also have to hold the project, but it is doable. It’s definitely my preferred method for ripping when I am near the end of a skein.

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