Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Third Time is the Charm

They say that most anything you’ve learned in the past is like riding a bicycle; the mind and muscles remember (eventually).  When it comes to knitting, it’s the mind where I have the trouble.  Sure, I can make the stitches and I can be consistent with my tension but when it comes down to remembering how to execute a series of stitches to create a cable, remembering how to do short rows for shaping a garment, or how to do a Kitchener stitch to close the toe on a sock, I have to reteach myself every time.  All I can say is thank GOODNESS for YouTube!!!
Image used with permission.
Image and Design by, Melissa Morgan Oakes
for Valley Yarns ©2007

In March, 2011, I was so excited to have found a beautiful cabled cardigan pattern by Melissa Morgan-Oakes, pictured on her page, and sold for her by Webs in Massachusetts.  It’s not only an attractive and fairly easy pattern, it’s also figure complimentary because of how the cables cause the sweater to pull in at the waist (where there is none on this body). 

I immediately purchased and downloaded the pattern and chose Webs’ Colrain yarn in a luscious burgundy, heavy worsted Merino/Tencel.  Once the yarn and needles came in the mail, I swatched and discovered I needed larger needles to meet gauge than what the pattern called for.  Unfortunately, the Size 7 needles I required were on backorder through Webs. Luckily for me though, the Knit-A-Round knit shop is only 30 minutes away so I drove over and bought the cable needles from them. 

Life took over that spring and summer and the project ended up on the back burner.  When I finally got back to it, it was January, 2012.  It had been so long since I knit anything.  I started knitting the garter-stitch border and I was sure it wasn’t right so I tore it out (all 200 stitches) and started over. 

Second attempt:  I began with gusto, knitting along until I got to the cables.   It seems I’ve let my knitting skills go too long.  I had issues with the cable pattern but I finally figure it out. (Note to self:  always swatch the cable pattern too so you know what the heck to expect!) 

Second attempt with faulty needles
The new size 7 needles were the Addi Turbo lace needles with the finer points -- nice to work with and something I really miss in regular Addi Turbos.  As I worked along though, I discovered my yarn was snagging on the joins where the needle and the cable came together.  I carefully continued on but it was a real hassle.  I got about 14-1/2 inches done and thought to take a picture.  When I laid out the sweater, I could see it… all those snagged spots with uneven tension where the yarn got hung up on the joins.  Ohhhhh nooo!

So, I drove to the Knit-A-Round hoping they would exchange them for me.  YES!!  No issue on the exchange.  However, they didn’t have any Size 7, 32-inch cables in the store so I had to wait until the next order came in....  One month later, I got the call and picked up the needles. 
Time to make a decision.  I debated and asked friends, what would they do if it was their sweater?  Everyone agreed, if it was their sweater they could not wear it with so many flaws and would start over.  I knew in my heart of hearts this is what I had to do but I also cringed at the thought of ripping out 14-1/2 inches of work.  Well, it turns out that the third time IS the charm...  so far so good!

One pair new needles and 5 rewound balls later...

10 inches closer to done!