Good Things Come to Those Who Wait…

Or so they say. I’ve been “waiting” for this cardigan to start coming together as planned. So far though, I’ve had no such luck. Since my last update I’ve finished and frogged yet another panel. In fact, it’s a small miracle that I haven’t tossed this project into the back of my stash and vowed to never think of it again. That’s how much trouble I’ve had with it. But I love the pattern. I can’t wait to see it finished and be able to proudly wear it. That’s what keeps me going. That and knowing that it’s not the projects fault that I’ve hit some road-blocks.

Remember this moment?

I do. It was before I even cast on. Before I was faced with endless problems and frustrations. It was that perfect moment before your knitting dream became a reality, and in this case turned into a bit of a nightmare.

It was definitely long before this:

After I ripped back the first “XL” panel I thought that a combination of 3.25 and 3.75 mm needles would result in the perfect size panel. I was wrong.

So I frogged it back to the end of the first chart, which I knit with 3.25mm and continued on with those needles. About halfway through the second chart I went up to 3.5mm in hopes that it’ll work out to the right size. If you thought my troubles ended here you’d be wrong too.

It’s almost as if I forgot how to knit. I’ve made more mistakes and had to tink back more than I’ve had to do on a project, EVER.

Not to mention that I figured if I just left the ripped out  yarn in a crap pile it would magically stay untangled. Nope. Not a chance. I spent a good 45 min last night untangling, all the while cursing myself for not just winding it when I ripped it all out. It’s things like that, avoidable situation that have really made this project a special one.

But, looking on the bright side, I’m all untangled and the lace is really standing out and looking much better than on the larger needles. I’m truly hoping this time it works, because I’m not sure I can bear knitting this lace panel again.

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Dallying on Dahlia

I’d like to be writing this post to say that I’ve made some serious progress on my Dahlia cardigan; that it’s nearly done and I just have a  few more rows on a sleeve. Sadly that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I approached this pattern with more patience and preparedness than I have ever started a project with. I knit not one, not two, but THREE swatches. I even washed and blocked them to make sure I was getting the suggested gauge. I wanted this sweater to come out just right so I wasn’t taking any chances. With gauge spot on I dove into the back lace panel.

Here’s the panel about a third of the way through the second chart. It’s looking great. I happily knit along, bound off the required edges and laid it out. Unblocked it was a whopping two inches larger than the blocked panel should be. I was not impressed. Sore from the major error I let it sit. Hoping that either I misjudged its size or that it would somehow shrink down if I just left it for a while. Sadly that didn’t happen. I had to face hard reality when I finally got a measurement for the span of my back. I’m not nearly as wide as this blocked lace panel would turn out so I finally bit the bullet and ripped it all back.

Last night I was feeling optimistic about the cardigan. I had finally picked up some smaller needles to do the panel and I cast on. I was knitting happily along, almost done the first chart when I noticed that I had gotten sloppy. I’d inadvertently shifted one of the centre columns of YOs two stitches to the right. Crap! At that point I laid it down again. Unable to face the reality of having to rip this back again.

Take-aways from this experience.

1. Even if you do everything right sometimes the knitting gods have something else in mind. I will not use this swatch failure as an excuse to  bypass swatches….

2. Late night knitting might not be as productive as I thought.

Once I fix up this little mishap (luckily its only  a few rows back) I should be off and running again. I promised myself that I won’t think about the possibility that I didn’t go down enough in needle size (or gasp too far!) to make this panel block to about 13″. Promised! Don’t be surprised though if the next update documents that saga.

Wish me luck!

Mr Beaumont.

Okay, so it’s not a boat. I didn’t unknowingly bid at a silent auction and it wasn’t so far out of my budget that I couldn’t afford it. But like Friends‘ Joey, I have a deep, possibly irrational desire for this hat. I’ve admired it from afar for a while. I’ve fondled (in the loving, not erotic sense) the suggested yarn many a time. It had taken all my will power but I managed to walk away. There comes a time however, when you can’t keep ignoring it. Jared Flood’s Beaumont Tam made with heavenly Fresco yarn would eventually end up in my lap. That day has come.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of touching Fresco yarn, it’s a delightful blend of wool, alpaca, and…wait for it, Angora, to give it an irresistible halo (proof that it really is heavenly).

Here are my colours of choice.
Classic Elite Fresco

Classic Elite Fresco

So far they’re knitting up beautifully together.

Despite the fabulous-ness of the yarn and they beauty of the pattern I have run into several problems:

1. (minor) My printer refuses to print out anything unless it’s straight text. That’s my colouring work above.

2. (possibly significant) I get too excited when it comes time to cast on, thereby causing me to realize that I’ve cast on (and knit 30 rows) with the needles suggested for the beanie version of this hat.

3. (avoidable) I didn’t swatch.

4. (saving grace?) My stranded tension is so incredibly loose (despite being a very tight knitter in all other cases) that I still am a little off on gauge.

5. (impossibly) Even though my tension is very loose, (looser than suggested) I am having doubts that this will fit on my head (and I have a really small head).

Despite these problems I have soldiered on (either bravely or very stupidly) and have almost finished the first chart. I’m hoping that by some strange miracle my too small needles and too loose tension will somehow balance out; combine that  with the miracle of blocking and maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to wear this hat.

Otherwise, some child may be receiving the softest, most grown-up looking hat for Christmas.

Now time for your two cents.