Stupid rookie mistakes…

I am not new to knitting. All right, I didn’t start when I was four, but I have been knitting for a fair few years now. I am not new to working with yarn which is unusual and a bit different. Maybe even hand-dyed.

I always seem to be called to yarn which reflects the landscape, though I guess that could apply to any colour if you searched long enough. In this particular case, it’s a grey. Grey of the storms over Cardigan Bay.


It’s lovely yarn, merino, and tweedy.


One from Queensland Yarns, bought (as usual for me) in a sale. That’s no excuse for what I have done. There are no dye lots with this yarn, and when I bought it I was careful to select five skeins which were as close in terms of colour matching as possible. I’m used to knitting with yarn like this, alternating it so that the colour appears to blend.

Stormclouds, however, have gathered.


First, I forgot about the alternating.

Second, I had obviously checked the colours in artificial light. In natural light they are radically different. Even had I remembered to alternate the skeins, there is no way they would have blended together.

Thirdly, I am knitting a very plain funnel-neck sweater. There are no elaborate stitch patterns (I can’t look up and down at a chart at present) or other colours to distract the eye.

Fourthly, I had almost finished the back before I realised this. It’s still on the needles because I can’t bear to frog it.

I am now channelling Father Jack – well, except for ‘gurrrls’. Drink. Feck. Arse.


So the question is, exactly how silly would my sweater look with back, front, right and left sleeves and welts (plus polo neck) in slightly different colours? Could I make it look deliberate, inspired even? Or would it just look like shite?

That would be an ecumenical matter.

I can say no more.


24 thoughts on “Stupid rookie mistakes…

  1. karibu57

    It would be very unusual indeed. I would just be very extrovert and make everyone believe I did it on purpose…with the right attitude everyone will believe it 🙂

  2. ohdebs

    Oh Kate. I can relate to this. I have recently discovered that (and I have been knitting since I was about 10) I need to knit each project at least twice before I get it right. Frogging is my middle name. I bet that yarn matches better than you think. Sometimes we are our own worst critics. Can we see a picture of the non-matchy-ness? I promise not to judge or laugh. 🙂

    1. kate Post author

      At the moment I haven’t yet added in another skein – fortunately I realised it time. But I’ve about 10cm to do on the back shoulders, so I’ll have to make up my mind soon. It’s our knitting group tonight so I’m taking it along and I’ll see what the girls think. (We do meet in a pub with terrible lighting so it might look finer. If it does I shall just wear it in there and never come out.)

  3. Liz Jones

    Can’t help but think you would not be happy with the look & the poor jumper would stay in the drawer, unloved & unworn. Also it would be a marathon to finish it when your heart’s no longer in the project (never ending WIP).
    By the way, have you tried physiotherapy for the BPPV? You need to ask if the physio has been trained in the manouevre, but there are neck exercises which work if the problem is caused by sandy particles in your inner ear fluid. gives a good demonstration.
    (And the exercises have no nasty side effects if that’s not the cause – worth a try.) I only had BPPV for a few days over one Christmas & it resolved, but it was a horrible feeling – I remember closing my eyes as I sat on the edge of the bed & could not keep my balance, & fell backwards onto the bed.

    1. kate Post author

      I know, that’s the worry. But what on earth else do I do with the yarn?

      Phew, someone else who knows about BPPV. I’ve seen a specialist and he did an Epley on me in November. Things are very gradually improving, but I may need a repeat. I’ve had it intermittently for years according to my GP who went through old records, and the specialist says the longer it’s been there, the longer it takes to go. Oh, joy. Your experience was more acute than mine – sounds most unpleasant…. yikes!

  4. islandthreads

    oh Kate how frustraighting, I have childhood memories of ladies always wanting to see colours in daylight, it was common to see people standing in the windows of shops or at the entrance comparing colours, you just don’t see people do that now a days,
    I was going to say you could consider only wearing it in artifical light but I would find that irritating, only you know if you would wear it in it’s different shades, I know I wouldn’t as I would be SO aware of the shades, we are all different though,
    I think I would put it away for the moment and do something else, then when I was feeling calmer I would get it out and make a stripe garment or a lot of gloves/hats/etc.
    good luck and I hope you can resolve your problem, Frances

    1. kate Post author

      I think you’re right about putting it to one side, Frances. The K&N group were in favour of carrying on, but then we were looking at it in gloomy artificial light. I need to think about it in the bright light of day. If we ever get any bright light of day, ;-)!

  5. Elizabeth


    You know it will only irritate you if you don’t. I once frogged a half-knit clapotis in 4ply because I realised that the two skeins I was using didn’t quite match (same colourway, but hand-dyed so ever so slightly different.) Started again, alternating the yarns like a good knitter, and all was right with the world.

    1. kate Post author

      My head says yes but my heart says noooooo…. I think it had better mature for a few days while I calm down. Unfortunately the colour discrepancy is so marked that alternating stripes will be very visible. I haven’t got enough of any one colour to make that look like a deliberate effect…

        1. kate Post author

          Thanks – it is knit flat, so that’s a possibility. I think I’ll have to do another swatch… oh well…

  6. Harriet

    Frog it! It has to be. Though I’m not one to talk – months of knitting in a waistcoat with beautiful wool and it’s too SMALL!! Feck it! Happy new year – have I said that already …?

    1. kate Post author

      I’m still thinking… it knits up so beautifully…. Ok, I’ll make the decision at the weekend, add the next ball and see how bad it is. I think I’m fooling myself.

      Happy New Year to you too!

  7. ohdebs

    I just frogged a pullover that was 3/4 done when I realized it was way too big for me. On one hand I am thrilled that I am indeed smaller than I thought but… AND I even swatched! Grr. On the other hand I decided 1) there might not be enough to finish it and 2) I didn’t really like the pattern after all. I am all about re-knitting these days and the odd thing is that it doesn’t seem to bother me. I guess it is the process that brings the most joy.

    1. kate Post author

      Ah, Debs, You’re a process knitter at heart!

      I’m not, generally, and I find it very difficult to make these decisions. It’s still on the needles….

  8. Lydia

    Now, if it were me…. I would probably just carry on and finish regardless and never mind the colour variations….. or, perhaps, if you were really upset by the whole thing you could put it through a gentle dye process which may even out the colours……

  9. sarahbutters

    How about making a feature of it and doing a complementary row of Swiss darning at the edges of the colour variations?. I am a fan of never going back and proving that you can polish a turd!


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