The anticipation can end! We are finally going to talk about how I messed up the Stripes Gone Crazy pattern. Let’s be honest for a minute though, it IS a complicated pattern and I don’t use a whole lot of brain power on the best of days.
In the beginning, the shoulders are shaped by doing short rows. Now there are lots of ways to start a sweater and I think the designer thought for a minute ‘oh, now I am really going to screw with people’ then decided to do short row shoulders, or it could have been an aesthetic thing since the sweater is already so busy.
As I was knitting, I was trying not to look at what I was doing, or think about it too hard. Just following the pattern was enough to think about and, like I said, I’ve been lacking brain power. The lights are on but no one is home, so to speak. I had all the markers placed for the increases and was doing them the way the pattern specified, I followed the instructions to a T. When I actually started to look at it though, it didn’t look right; I checked my stitch count. I counted the total amount of stitches and I was bang-on. There was no room for mistakes because I counted them twice and then got Paul to count them twice. At this point I went to the section break down, the part where it tells you that you should have X amount of stitches in the front lapel and X in the arm. It turns out that I had the correct amount of stitches, just not in the right sections. The front and back were too large and the arms were too small. This was not the end of the world though, the stitches were all there, just not on the right side of the stitch markers. I hadn’t gotten to the neck shaping yet, so it didn’t REALLY matter where the increases were, as long as they weren’t so close together that they create a ruffled effect.
I got all my ducks in a row and started on the stripes, this was the easy part of the stripes, you just have to make two plain ones, no increasing or decreasing, just two stripes. I had no problems here, I actually added in two more because the pattern specified If you like your long sweaters, add another couple stripes here. I had no problems separating the arms either, it was the pattern that foiled me later on.
In the pattern there are quite a few lines that tell you to go back and repeat lines X through Z. You’re not exactly reading instructions so much as thinking ‘okay, now go back and do those lines too.’ While I was working on this cardigan, I was listening to a podcast and sitting at the kitchen table thinking about how awesome I was and how awesome this cardigan was. Then I realized my stripes looked a little bit smaller than the ones in the photo. I blew it off and thought they would get bigger as the pattern goes on, you know, like a gradient…. It’s not a gradient. Instead of repeating rows 1-10 I was switching colours and starting a new stripe.
Theoretically this could have worked, because I would just have to do the same thing for the rest of the sweater. I did not want to do that much thinking through the rest of the pattern though, it looks like it only gets more complicated. So I ripped out about four inches of sweater with short rows. Heartbreaking right?
I started again and I am back to where I would have been if I hadn’t needed to rip out all that knitting. I was working on it the other day and I was mentally grumbling to myself about having to rip out that knitting when I realized I had dropped a stitch. DROPPED A STITCH?! Doing short rows and colour work, I dropped a stitch. I sat there and stared at my knitting for a few minutes, then grabbed a crochet hook and brought the errant stitch to the top. Since there are so many short rows I had to hang my crochet hook off the knitting until I managed a row that would pass by that area and I could pick up the stitch.
I am not even done the sweater so let’s hope the last bit goes easy…. Even if it does look the hardest. I am sure I will be fine though, I just need some quiet time to work on the cardigan and maybe a glass of wine. Wait. Short rows in the cardigan…. Scratch the wine.