There’s been a gap in my knitting blogging lately. Mostly because I’ve been spending a lot of time UN-knitting. I’ve been on a bit of an unravelling tear.
Earlier this winter, I enthusiastically dug into my second February Lady Sweater project – this one for my friend.
I decided to make a small change – decreasing the number of stitches by seven under each armpit, thinking that this would provide a better fit.
Then, about halfway down the body of the sweater,I knit a round of the four-row pattern backwards.
I kept knitting. By the time I was working on the right arm sleeve I noticed I had a LOT of yarn left over. So I laid the sweater out for a look.
Even my husband, who is usually oblivious to the subtleties of knitwear design, looked at it and said “uh oh.”
I had to unravel. The entire arm. The body up to the yoke.
It’s a good thing I like to knit.
My knitting spidey sense has developed to a point where within a few stitches or a couple of rows max, I sense a mistake, stop and look, and backtrack.
For me, to unravel or not to unravel is about risk management. How much damage will I do unravelling then picking up stitches to start again? If I knit past the mistake, will anyone notice? How obvious is the unravelling?
When I started knitting, I simply plowed ahead regardless, Hence, the first hat that I made. I accidentally started knitting in the wrong direction at one point. I call that garter stitch row a “design feature.”
I can’t live any more with accidental design features. It’s a good thing I like to knit.
So while I was knitting that sweater again, I got bored and looked for a short term project to mix things up. I took out a skein of purple hand dyed wool, bought on last year’s trip to Portugal, with a mind to knitting a beret to spruce up my spring wardrobe.
I did a gauge swatch and got to work.
First off, I accidentally twisted the ribbing. Then, I realized the hat was about the size of a dinner plate. Then, attempting to try it on too soon, I ripped some stitches out.
I had to unravel that beret three times before it worked.
Eventually the sweater got finished – a month behind schedule.
What did I learn from all this?
Even with gauge swatches, I don’t have a good sense of fit.
However, I have a stronger sense of quality control
Most importantly, do not fear the unravel.