when knitting goes wrong

When Knitting Goes Wrong – and 5 knitting tips

It happens to us all at some point. When knitting goes wrong – dreadfully, hideously wrong – its always a good laugh provided it hasn’t happened to you!  Read on to see my calamatous knitting project and please feel free to have a hearty guffaw and snigger at my expense.

My tale of woe began at Christmas time when the thought ‘I’m going to knit a sweater’ popped into my head. I rummaged for yarns in the stash, found a pattern I liked and settled down to knit with a steady supply of mulled cider and warm Christmas cheer.

Now, here is a rule of knitting that I can’t stress enough. NEVER GAUGE SWATCH WHILE TIPSY.  It was in the fuzzy headedness of being tipsy that I made my gauge swatch. I have a dim memory of the swatch not being quite right but also believing it would be fine, stretch/shrink in the wash, no worries, it will be fine. It was at this point that things began to go awry.

However, unperturbed, I began knitting away at my sweater enjoying the easy garter stitch, the big needles and the lovely colours.  There was a slight miscalculation in the number of stitches I had at one point but I elected to rectify that in later rows rather than unravel.  I kept on knitting and knitting thinking that this project is going to be divine and when I wear the sweater people will drop their jaws in amazement at the wonderful sweater and the fabulous colours.

I didn’t bother to check the measurements, just steadily worked the instructions. When it came to the sleeves I ploughed on with a steely determination. I’m known to abandon projects at the sleeves stage as I have a virulent strain of sleevitus. I conquered it with this sweater and successfully completed both sleeves with very little in the way of swears or sulks.

When I came to join all the pieces together a feeling of concern washed over me. It looked too big. Not just a little bit on the large size but more in the way of massive! The arms seemed to be a couple of inches too long and the shoulders looked suitable for the Hulk. I dithered. No help for it, thought I, it must be joined. And join it I did.

The size was a bit too large if I’m honest. Maybe three sizes too big, give or take. I came to realise that my dreams of wearing the sweater and turning heads in wonder were over. I couldn’t wear it without looking like a little girl dressed up in mummy’s clothes.

‘Oh well’, I thought, ‘I’ll give it to away or send it to the charity shop for someone else to enjoy’. That decided, I sewed in all the horrid ends and popped the sweater in the washing machine.

The yarn I used was a superwash yarn. You aren’t supposed to be able to felt it easily. But, that’s just what I did. I felted it up good and proper. And managed to stretch it at the same time.

When my hands pulled out the sweater from the washing machine a sound like Homer Simpson screaming spilled from my lips. Oh the hideous horror of it! In my head I heard the sound effects from Psycho – the 1960’s version (you know, when she’s in the shower being stabbed). Reeee, reeee, reee!!!

Now isn’t that just downright hideous? Not only have I stretched and felted it, there’s also been a spot of unravelling…

Oh my, what a colossus of disaster. I think I must have accidently turned the dial on my machine to the Cotton Wash instead of the Wool Wash.  What a mistake to make!

Well, I shan’t be wearing it and neither will anyone else. Here it is in its full awesomeness…

My next course of action will be to try and felt it some more and cut the whole thing up into a cat blanket.  So, here are my 5 tips to help you avoid knitting disaster

  • Never gauge swatch while tipsy
  • Measure as you go
  • The little voice of doubt at the back of your mind is to be listened to, not ignored. It knows better than you!
  • Unravel if necessary. There’s no help for it, if things are wrong, they are wrong!
  • Follow the washing instructions  and double check it’s on the right setting before pressing Start!!

I hope you have had a good laugh, learnt something from my mistakes and may you never experience such a horror yourself!

Happy Knitting!

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