Tag Archives: knitting fail

Knitting-fail: Sneaky Argyle Socks

Once more with feeling: my argyle sock, now in two pieces

My argyle sock, now in two pieces

When non-knitters and beginners tell me they’re intimidated by my finished objects, I try to tell them the truth: we all make mistakes. After all, I see what they don’t – the huge knitting-fails.  I was in love with these argyle socks by Wendy Johnson the moment I finished the first one: so beautiful, so perfect for my husband to wear to work, such a great use for leftover yarn…

And then I tried it on. The colourwork section didn’t fit over my foot; it wasn’t even close.  I tried blocking it over a soup can, but there was no improvement.  Of course, we can file this under avoidable mistakes:  the floats should have been looser, I should have tried the first few rows of colourwork over my foot, I should have done some research before attempting my first colourwork sock (one of the blogs I follow had a post detailing this exact problem, with this exact pattern). Woulda, coulda, shoulda – didn’t.

Once more with feeling, knitting the argyle section inside out

Once more with feeling, knitting the argyle section inside out

I didn’t want to lose the foot of this sock, nor did I want to waste all of that burgundy Dream in Color Smooshy (especially since my LYS stopped carrying it), so out came the scissors.  I’m going to take a second run at the argyle, but this time I’m switching to 2.5 mm needles for the argyle section and using this technique to keep the floats loose. I’ll keep you posted on how they turn out…

How NOT to knit a hat

DSC_3874I often feel like I’m the only who has knitting projects flop, so I was relieved to read this blog post on frayed at the edges, about a project gone meh.  It turns out I’m not the only one who is sometimes disappointed by my projects… this weekend, I definitely suffered one such disappointments (or in this case, one such totally frustrating wastes of time).

This toque was supposed to save me time.  About a week ago, I realized that I had not allowed myself time to finish my ambitious holiday gift knitting (which, at the time included 6 pairs of light weight socks and a couple of toddler sweaters).  I flipped through my pattern library and rifled through my stash, hoping to find a lovely, faster gift that I could make with yarn I already have.

I landed on the Chunky Dean Street hat, which is available as a free ravelry download.  I’ve

My son in his chunky Dean Street hat, in Dream in Color Groovy

made the hat twice before, for myself and for my son, and I knew I could complete it quickly.  It’s warm and cuddly, and I had a gorgeous little ball of leftover Dream in Color Groovy in purple. I even had a touch of the Dream in Color in a complementary pink, if the purple didn’t make it.

Of course, I ran out of yarn, just before starting the crown decreases, so I went back, unravelled several rows of the hat and started to add pink stripes.  Everything seemed to be going well, and as we sat and watched a movie this weekend, I finished about half of the crown decreases before looking down at my ball of yarn.  I ran out of yarn 9 rows from the top.  At this point, I had to declare defeat.  Sure, I could have pulled out some random wool and completed the tip of the hat in a different colour, but this was a gift – it’s supposed to make the recipient feel special, not lead to awkward “Umm, gee, thanks. I love it?”s around the Christmas tree.

Fortunately, this clever little hat was there to help me out of a knitting jam. I had stashed the blue-green Dream in Color Classy years ago for a sweater I never made, so it also helped me fulfill my promise to my husband to work on those bins of yarn under the bed.  Now that I have a toddler, who outgrows shoes every 3 months, I rarely buy this wonderful $20/skein yarn, so knitting with it felt decadent.

The hat is based on an eighty stitch repeat, across eighty-one stitches, so the lines of purls twist becomingly around the hat.  I can’t wait to experiment with this idea (perhaps with some cables?) after I work through the rest of my holiday knitting.  Until then five gift projects down, four to go – next year, I’m starting in August!