Friday, February 13, 2009

Knittin' Crap: Cardigan of the Damned!

I previously reported on the cardigan that was giving me no end of trouble when Spoon decided to kill the yarn.

Good side!
I had moved past that, and for the past week I've been on a marathon stretch to finish the damned thing. The front has sort of a strange design, where the panels are done perpendicular to the body, meaning you knit the panel rows from neck-to-bottom rather than side-to-side, hence the reason for picking up the stitches. I had finished the first panel without problems, and thought it was going pretty well. I finished the other panel without help from Spoon, then seamed the shoulders together, then tried it on before I put on the sleeves. Hey, it wasn't looking too bad! The ribbed increases on the sides are a little ugly, but from the front and back, it didn't look bad, and it actually fit! But it just wasn't hanging quite right. Then I realized I had somehow not done one of the pattern repeats on the second side.

Now would be the appropriate time to introduce the non-knitter to

The Emotional Stages When You Realize You Have Totally Fucked Up1 Your Knitting
  1. Confusion: "Huh? This doesn't look quite right..."
  2. Denial: "No, I must be looking at it wrong. It's fine. It must be fine."
  3. Shock: "Nooooooooooooo! Nooooooooooo!"
  4. More denial: "I double-checked all my counts!2 It was fine! It has to be fine!"
  5. Deflect the blame to the pattern: "It's all your fault! If you had just told me the ratio of picked up stitches!"
  6. Deflect the blame to your cat: "Spoon! What have you been doing to my knitting while I'm sleeping!"
  7. Deflect the blame to supernatural powers: "I'm going to submit this as evidence of knitting gremlins! Evil! Eeeeevil!"
  8. Bargaining: "Ok, so it's a little asymmetrical. I see asymmetrical designs all the time! It will work! Ok, it won't work. That looks like crap."
  9. Acceptance: "Well, crap. This totally sucks ass."
No matter how I decided to fix it, it was almost certainly going to involve cutting through knitting in the middle of knit rows. The shoulder seams were weird and because they're sewn with the same yarn as the knitting, I could easily cut working yarn when I thought I was cutting a seam and that would seriously suck. Even if that worked, I would have to re-knit the entire panel, which pissed me off and was two solid, not-employed-but-playing-too-much-Puzzle-Pirates days of knitting.

Bad side
undergoing repairs
So, in an effort to stave off that solution, I carefully cut out the 2 bottom repeats, leaving several inches of unraveled yarn at the edges. (I had thought the stitches seemed more spread out than the first panel, but figured I was just worrying about nothing. Well, apparently I had talked myself out of worrying about an actual something.) I am going to try to reknit the now-empty area with the correct number of pattern repeats and then work the unraveled yarn ends in. I will be frank. I will use knots.3 But as long as it looks decent from the front side, I will consider myself lucky. If it doesn't, I'll take the risk of undoing the shoulder seams and reknitting the entire panel.

This all happened at about 2 AM.4 I had been excited because I had almost finished the thing after all this time and agony, and I would just have to put in the sleeves and then wash and block it. I ended up staying up until 3:30 getting the repairs underway, which is actually pretty stupid because fatigue makes messing up with the scissors more likely, but I was too pissed off to sleep without at least starting to show the thing who's boss.

I told you this cardigan was cursed. Cursed, I tell you, cursed! But I also swore I would not let it win.

Aligned now! I swear!

1Sorry, there's just no other term that can adequately capture both the technical severity and the emotional trauma of the situation.
2Apparently the second check was as inaccurate as the first one, eh?
3Generally considered anathema by Real Knitters. Of course, a Real Knitter would probably not have fucked this up.
4I just now realized that was 2 AM on FRIDAY THE 13TH!!!5
5That doesn't really explain all that much. I would have actually laid the way to fuck it up several days ago when I started that side.

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