Monday, May 5, 2008

All Kinds of Wrong

I have been pretty lucky in the knitting department lately, but all good streaks must come to an end. Let me tell you the unhappy stories.

I have been working on Currer, from Norah Gaughan Vol 2. The fronts and back went very very quickly, and I decided to do the peplum next so that I can get an idea about how it would look. I followed the chart, doing the recommended kind of decreases. They looked odd to me, but I double-checked for errata and finding none, I kept going, thinking it was going to work out when it came together. More than half-way through, though, I decided that it would definitely look better to my pedestrian eye if the right-slanting decreases were left-slanting instead, and vice versa. Here's what I mean:

The lines of decreases on the left and in the middle are as per the directions--the one on the far right is reversed. My way is less visually interesting, but I'm the one who has to like it, right? Soooo....

*breathe 1, drop 26, hook 26, knit on to next culprit, repeat from * till done, end breathe 1, aspirin 2

Next, I discovered that my row gauge had gotten off somewhere, and if I continued with the pattern as written, the peplum would not fit together with the top pieces. I had to do the last 3 sets of decreases more quickly than what the pattern states, but I got the dimensions to work out alright.

Well, okay, all that was a pain and took the better part of an evening, but nothing that couldn't be handled. On the back section, there are 2 long segments of stockinette which curl a bit--not my favorite thing, but I figured I could live with it or do the drop + hook trick again to turn some of those stitches into purl columns.

The real problem came when I basted the pieces together with safety pins to do a check. Oh my!

This is so, so wrong for my body. The peplum essentially hides my waist and then flows right into my hips, making me look like a shapeless tube. It's really not my style. I think this top might work if I were quite a bit bustier or if I reknit the top pieces to make them longer, bringing the peplum lower as to be actually over the hips. But I decided I didn't love it enough to reknit, so this project is being frogged.

I also started the Patons Street Smart Cabled Hoodie along with Farrah. The smallest size this thing comes in is a 39"--that would be 7" of positive ease for me. Too much! The placement of the cables makes it hard to adjust for a smaller size without the armhole disrupting the cables in an unattractive way, so I decided I would go down to a DK weight yarn.

This decision is giving me fits. I was careful to swatch, but you guessed it! The darn thing is too small.

Sure, I can wear it, but it's snug and it would be hard to layer it over something else the way it's meant to be. No good. As it turns out, I got distracted while switching needle sizes when finishing the cuff and starting the patterned area. I have the Denise Interchangeables, and I only changed 1 needle tip--I had been knitting with size 6 on the right-side rows and size 5 on the wrong-side rows. (By the way, this is a good way for me to compensate for my natural tendency to "row out," but it clearly affects my gauge, which is not good here). This is already my 3rd restart on the sleeve, so that's discouraging. Plus, I realized that when I got yarn, I forgot to account for needing more yardage for a finer yarn, and that's another problem. I need to mull it over some more, but I am contemplating converting this to a hoodie for my daughter Sweetie instead, since I know I would definitely have enough yarn for that.


  1. Gah, I just started the peplum for currer last night. Your re-done version of the decreases looks just like the pattern booklet -- I wonder if somewhere the decreases listed in the pattern got reversed. I don't see anything in the Norah group on rav about it though.

    I think currer looks cute on you as a vest, ha. I wonder if it would look a little different to you if you pulled the center together? Norah recommended negative ease for it too, in the ravelry group.

    [aside: I'm worried currer won't work for me either as a busty-hippy girl.]

  2. Thanks for your comments, Jess! I looked very hard at the close-up photo detail of Currer on the Berroco website and it actually looks to me like the decreases were done like what the pattern says, so I think it's a design element, not an error, but who knows. I hope you have good luck with yours. I think actually part of why it didn't work for me was that I'm not busty-hippy enough. It looks way better on the model. Without the natural curves, it really did nothing for me, even when pulling the fronts together and even when I repinned things a bit to see what it would look like with a bit of negative ease. Oh well.

  3. Egads - what a frustrating chain of knitting events! It can't keep up forever!

  4. Oh gawd - I think you may be the third or fourth person in recent days to have Gaughan pattern issues. *le sigh*
    I'm sending good mojo your way.

  5. Wow! I feel for you and think you did the right thing with the Norah project. But now that you've made a your requisite sacrifices to the goddess of the frog pond, you can get right back on track again! ;-)

  6. Honey, when I saw all those dropped stitches, and better yet that it was intentional, my mouth literally gaped in amazement. Too bad about the ill-fitting issues with the sweater. It's cute otherwise but I know what it feels like to just know deep down inside that you don't love the piece. Hope the next project goes better!

  7. How frustrating to get so far into a project and have to abandon it! I'd probably be close to tears. Good luck with the next one.

  8. Whatever you did to fix up the decreases looks much better to me, and cleaner. Also, I like it on you! But better to use the yarn for something you're more in love with if you're going to do all that work on it!

  9. Too bad you weren't liking the fit of Currer on you, because your decrease changes were very pretty.

    I've done the "only switched one of my needle tips" thing before : ) That sleeve looks lovely, so I'm hoping you can come to terms with the pattern (knitting it either for yourself or for your daughter).

  10. I'm looking for this pattern but,in my country,is very hard to find,if you're not going to use the pattern now or on the next future,may I buy it form you? Thanks