Sunday 24 February 2008

Knitting is a learning process

Even when one has been knitting forever, one can still learn something! Like:
  • It's possible to create 'ladders' using circulars. How you may well ask? I wish I knew!!

  • Finishing the top of a hat at 24 stitches then threading the yarn through the stitches and pulling tight gives one of two results: either there is a small hole at the centre of the hat or the hat puckers at the top. Neither of these is ideal when making berets!!

  • Patterned fabrics - e,g, lace, eyelets, etc. - may hide a multitude of sins: like my uneven tension!

  • Even though the finished size of an object doesn't matter because it's going to charity and it's bound to fit somebody, a gauge swatch is still a good idea!
And how did I learn all this? Yesterday, I cast on for a beret. I use size 3.5mm and 3.7mm needles with 8ply/DK yarn because I know I'm a 'loose' knitter. I knitted the band in K2, P2 rib on the smaller needles, then changed to the larger needles. The resulting fabric is too floppy, there are a couple of ladders [that were created by some unknown force], there are 'holes' where my tension is uneven and there's a hole [or puckering] at the crown.

The question is: to frog or not to frog? Now, as regular readers would know, I usually have no qualms about frogging; if I don't like it, I rip it out - right there and then, no questions asked!

I had such high hopes for this beret. It's knitted in two skeins of my hand-dyed yarn. The yarn is pretty and the beret was meant to be too! When it was 'finished' and I looked at it closely, I just felt sick to the pit of my stomach. I was totally depressed! Yet, I don't feel inclined to rip out this beret. So, I guess I'll leave it to sun itself beside the frogpond while I think about its fate!


  1. I hate to say this . . . but it sounds like you should rip it out. If it isn't worthy of your beautiful hand-dying and it's making you depressed, it's not the right pattern. Your yarn sounds to beautiful to be hidden in an ugly duckling. Rip and let it become a swan!!

  2. I was going to say someone will still love it - until the comment about it being your hand dye - I wouldn't be worried about the wee hole at the top [ a couple of stitches will fix that ] but the ladders? have you tried washing it? maybe the ladders will even out... otherwise I'd frog it.

  3. So, if in doubt (to rip) , don't!

    I find that leaving an item sometimes helps because when I come back to it I am ready and inspired to meet the 'new' challenge. Thankfully, yarn is reusable!

  4. I'm with catsmum on this one - wash it and block it. That might take care of some of the issues - then maybe it will look better to you.

    If not, all you've lost is a little time and if you're still not happy with it, then frog it.


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