We are allowed to make mistakes…

Oh yes we are. We all are.

I’ve been knitting for AHEM years, and I’ve just managed to produce a cardigan with one front longer than the other, not something I noticed until it had been made up (how is this even possible?). There are the same number of rows, but it’s longer – has to be down to needle size. A combination of me and (principally) my mate Angharad have come up with a classically bodged solution but it’s going to be tricky. Given that I’ve woven in all the ends, done the button bands and even sewn on the buttons.

Oh, and it’s in Noro.

Noro disaster

It’s lovely – when viewed as individual parts. (This is me picking up exactly the same number of stitches on the left side as I had on the right, and yet somehow failing to notice that I really needed to pick up another, oh, 20 or so to make the band match the extra-long piece. This is the stage at which disaster could have been averted, at which I could have reknitted the offending front. But I did not.) And it’s in Noro. You know, Noro. Second mortgage time. A whole garment. In NORO.

That’s the difference between the mistakes I made as a baby knitter and the mistakes I make now. Then, I made mistakes in cheap acrylic and laughed as I threw away the sweater which gave me a third boob, the tank top (?!) which made me look dead, the purple ‘mohair’ sweater which made me look as though I weighed 24 stone when I was borderline anorexic, and the Unlined Skirt We Do Not Mention But Which We Could See Straight Through. Now, I buy 10 balls of Noro Silk Garden Lite and screw them up instead.

It was at roughly this point that I found the ‘for the love of Ravelry‘ forum on Ravelry, and the ‘Your ugliest FO?’ thread (FO: finished object). If, like me, you don’t know about this, do check it out, and specifically select posts with images – but, unlike me, make sure you are not drinking a cup of tea at the time (an iPad is surprisingly resistant to being sprayed with acai and goji berry tea, is all I can say – and do join if you’re not on Rav; it’s free and fab).

There are some things which only the knitter considers hideous, but there are many others which are – um, challenging. There are distorted and psychotic toys, immense sweaters, far too many things in eyelash yarn, shawls which look as though they’ve been knitted in vomit, socks with heels halfway down the foot or halfway up the leg, trapezoidal blankets, a pink glove which one member commented on quite accurately: ‘oh my god, you knitted an udder‘…

You are only allowed to post your own disasters, and I am waiting to see what can be done about the Noro No-No before putting it on. But my Nipple Hat of Innuendo had to be there:

hat disaster

It’s handspun. What possessed me to add a perky little, er, bobble to the top of a red hat, I do not know, but at least I realised and turned it inside pretty quickly. That doesn’t alter the fact that the hat is so big that it’s reached the tip of my nose in this pic, and that’s after being felted twice.

I’m so glad I found that forum thread. It’s so reassuring. And now I must go and add one of my Colinette Catastrophes: the sweater in Tagilatelle which has grown and grown and grown and grown and which would now make a passable tent. Hey ho….

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22 thoughts on “We are allowed to make mistakes…

  1. Aleks Dok

    I’ve recently been knitting my first sweater, in super thick chunky natural wool. I measured everything twice, swatched, planned everything down to the last details… except for the fact that the weight of the wool would make the sweater look like a big hairy potato sack that reaches past my knees. Ahhh! Luckily I have enough wool to re-do it (with new calculations) but I think I’ll keep the potato-sack-dress as a reminder…

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      That sounds very like my beige tank top. It stretched so much that the armholes almost reached my waist… Good luck!

      Reply
  2. Caroline M

    I think my most obvious mistake was the sleeveless vest with two identical fronts, at least you achieved a left and a right. I’ve also made a front with one pattern repeat more than the other and sleeves that were 8″ too long because of the droop shoulder from the weight of the sleeve. The reason I’m really good at grafting is that I get a lot of practice.

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Hah, hah… Agh!

      A friend of mine who will remain anonymous once knitted three sleeves (I, of course, would have made all three into the garment). I’ve knitted two backs instead of a back and a front, but since the offending object had a slash neck it hardly mattered…

      Reply
  3. nanacathy2

    I too have had a cardigan with two sides that didn’t match and a gorgeous chunky jumper that made me look like a sumo wrestler! Fortunately no pictures of the latter and the former was nearly 40 years ago!

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Those chunky jumpers! I once appeared on national TV in a cardigan made on 15mm needles, of which I was very proud. I looked like a small fringed rodent – think chipmunk with a silly hairdo – that had been swallowed by a bear. OK, a bear inexplicably in shades of fluffy blue, and with a collar, but a bear none the less. Nightmare. (My brother said my mother laughed so much she nearly fell off the sofa.)

      Reply
      1. Annie Cholewa

        I feel your mother’s pain having basically just done the same (I was perched on the chair edge as behind me there are two whippets curled up asleep in my comfy seat of choice … the fact that I hadn’t turfed them out and so now have a sore bum is a whole other storytells you a lot about me).

        Reply
        1. kate Post author

          You can’t move a sleeping cat, and you evidently can’t move a sleeping whippet either. Quite right too…

  4. Elaine

    Can you unwind it and start somewhere again? Noro is too precious!! I did the Blackberry Aran from Madeline Weston’s “The Traditional Sweater Book” (1986) and thought it was o.k. until I took it off the needles. 2 of me could have worn it and I ended up frogging the whole thing. Nice wool from Condon’s of P.E.I. Finally made a tailored looking light weight coat (2014). I wonder if the year had anything to do with the grossly oversized one? It looked average in the picture!!

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      I think you’ve got it with the 1986 – remember shoulder pads? And sweaters had to be B-I-G to compete with the hair, too. (A friend of mine, a baby grad trainee with a big firm and therefore dressed smartly, once got stuck in a doorway. She was wearing a coat with shoulder pads, a jacket with shoulder pads and a shirt with shoulder pads. Admittedly the door wasn’t the full width, but we still p***** ourselves laughing.)

      I’ve still got a huge cardigan from then – it was about when I started knitting, and I was very proud of my first Fair Isle. Twice round the gasworks, as my mother said at the time. Still true, even though I’m no longer as teeny as I was then.

      Reply
      1. Elaine

        Poor girl. How embarrassing to be stuck in a door because of her clothing!! I guess we all learn something about fashion (or whatever it is) through the years. Being more careful about patterns the next time will keep me from looking like I got it at Omar the Tentmaker’s Shop!!

        Reply
        1. kate Post author

          And the rest of us were so unsympathetic…

          There’s a line in Apollo 13, where two of the Houston NASA support team are talking about the traditional waistcoat made for Gene Krantz for each mission by his wife (this is of course set in 1970). One says ‘That’s nice, Gene,’ then, sotto voce to his companion,’the last one looked like she bought it off a gypsy’. I’ve produced things like that. OR Omar, if he sold gigantic things in — hang on, Colinette….

  5. Lydia

    Ha hah! Haven’t we all done just this at some time or another? Could it become a chic asymmetric Japanese design or perhaps a nip and tuck on the long side to create pleats or folds? Lovely colours by the way and Noro too…. however, I am sure that all is not lost… Elizabeth Zimmermann would have the answer without doubt and would not hesitate to get her scissors out as and when…. maybe make a feature of it?? I have knitted cardigans for myself that wouldn’t go round a toddler – you know, I think we do not notice because we all are process knitters and just enjoy the calming rhythmic swish of knit and purl and the satisfying length of knitting we have accomplished…. altogether forgetting to stand back and gaze like an artist at our handiwork…

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      It would be chic if I hadn’t pulled it up with a button band that was about, oh, 3cm too short – believe me, this is a long way from chic. Ah, now pleats – there’s an idea…

      I do like your explanation, but generally I don’t consider myself a process knitter. I am evidently completely wrong there, because that sounds all too familiar! Sigh. My name is Kate and I’m a process knitter….

      Reply
  6. Annie Cholewa

    I have no useful suggestions I’m afraid. Noro’s not really my thing and so to be honest I’m struggling to picture your woolly nemesis, For some reason I keep thinking of Bagpuss. Sorry Kate.

    Reply
  7. Spade & Dagger

    Sadly, decades on, all my disasters now fit my figure perfectly! The solution is quite clearly that you need to grow/expand/sag more on one side than the other.

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Well, the apple danish I just had for lunch should help with that – though I fancy it might spread its effects all over… sigh

      Reply

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