Good news, bad news

p2249375vest.jpgLet’s start with something positive, shall we? Remember that disaster I mentioned a few weeks ago? The vest that was supposed to have 160 cast-on stitches but somehow had 194—a fact I did not discover until I’d knit ten inches of it and was all set to divide the fronts and back? Well, I frogged the whole thing (which didn’t stress me out too much, honestly, because this knitting is not only quick but enjoyable) and—in a “get back on the horse that threw me” frame of mind—cast on again right away.

I placed markers every twenty stitches, then counted the stitches between the markers six times, then counted the markers five times, then counted all the stitches on the whole thing another few times, just to be sure. Yup—160 stitches. Houston, we have liftoff! As you can see, the knitting is going well! With luck, I’ll have a finished object to show you all (and to wear!) very soon!

p2249373wrap.jpgAnd here’s the bad news: I regret to inform you that one project has bit the dust. Way back in August, I swatched for a wrap cardigan called Damson Wine. The pattern is from The Family Book of Knitting* (which is more like an extra-long special issue of a magazine), published by the folks who do the Simply Knitting magazine in the UK. I bought the book mostly for the knitted gnome pattern it contained, but also really liked this cardigan—so much so that I actually bought the yarn the pattern called for, Rowan Kid Classic.

So I swatched succesfully (hooray!) and a couple of weeks ago finally got around to starting to knit the sweater. You know how some patterns have those “do this pattern until you have X stitches left, then K X stitches” lines? Every time I got to one of those points with this pattern, I had X stitches. Wow! I was feeling pretty good about this!

And then I got to where you start the raglan decreases. And I got stuck. I simply could not make it work. I kept ending up with the wrong number of stitches.

I looked online for help and found nothing. Not a single person on Ravelry has knit this pattern (at least, not a single person on Ravelry will admit to knitting this pattern). Simple googling yielded nothing but sites where the pattern is for sale (usually listed in the contents of the book) and my own original post about it.

So I turned to my local knitting group for help. There are some very accomplished knitters in this group, and I knew that some of them would enjoy the challenge of figuring out why the decreases just didn’t work. Much math was done. Papers were scribbled upon. Heads conferred. And then came the verdict:

“This pattern is written like crap.”

(Well, maybe they didn’t actually say “crap.” I think they said, “This pattern is very poorly written.” But my subconscious heard “This pattern is written like crap”—partly because it’s a more efficient way to say the same thing, and partly because I think “crap” is one of the most useful, versatile, expressive words in the English language.)

My friends said that it would be possible to figure out the math of each line of the pattern, but that would be a headache. And they were pretty sure I’d be all set to tear out my hair when it came time to put the thing together, because the pattern yielding some pretty lousy seaming points.

So I’ve decided to bag it. For me, knitting is supposed to fun, and thinking ahead to the amount of cursing all that math and seaming up will inevitably produce, this cardigan doesn’t seem like a fun project. I’m going to frog this sucker and move on.

This was my first time knitting with Rowan Kid Classic, and I really enjoyed working with it. So now I’m trying to think about what to do with seven balls of this stuff. Should I try the Hourglass Sweater? Something else? I’m open to suggestions!

*This book is called The Bumper Book of Knitting in the UK. That title is way cooler than the one on the book I bought. Why is it that American prints of UK works always get the lame titles? Argh.

4 Responses to “Good news, bad news”

  1. Katie Jon 27 Feb 2008 at 9:49 am

    The vest is looking fab and the pattern in the sweater was beautiful. Bummer about the crap pattern. I so love your determination with your vest and your willingness to bag something that’s just not worth it.

  2. Chrison 27 Feb 2008 at 10:08 am

    Bummer about the pattern. I’ve encountered one or two of those, too – and it’s never way at the beginning where it falls apart. Nope, it’s when you have 2/3 of the accursed thing knitted.

  3. Paulaon 27 Feb 2008 at 11:43 am

    Sorry about the pattern. I just frogged most of a sock. It feels so good to get these things over with for me! Glad your vest is going well.

  4. Deborahon 28 Feb 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Your vest looks great and can’t wait to see you sporting it! That stinks about the sweater pattern. I can feel your pain with it though. I had a similiar experience with a sweater and just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. The magazine was so old I couldn’t find any errata anywhere for it and both my sister and I couldn’t figure it out. I decided this baby wasn’t happening. Better to frog and knit something more fun and relaxing with such yummy yarn.