Thursday, 17 March 2011

Knitting Fail

So I'd been working on the Agathe Pullover recently, and was all excited to finish it at the cottage over our 2nd wedding anniversary. When I finished the body (but not the sleeves), I tried it on, and......
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Fail.

Lesson learned: Face up to the reality of the schematic information. The schematic clearly shows that it's an A-line sweater, and it clearly showed that it was going to be big on me. I thought I could just subtract 20 stitches from the cast on and all would be well. I was so, so wrong. it's still huge around the middle, and snug across the bust.

Second lesson learned: I thought this was a boatneck, because it was tagged as a boatneck on Ravelry pattern info page. And it's pretty believable- the photos on the project page is indeed a boatneck. However, a quick look at the schematic shows that it's a crew neck, and further pattern reading indicates the model is wearing a sweater that is several sizes bigger than what she'd probably normally wear. Again, should've taken that schematic more seriously. The designer had all the accurate information out there, and I chose to imagine an alternate knitting reality.
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Third lesson learned: I suck at jogless stripes. Like, really suck. I've read several articles, watched several tutorials, and mine look terrible. I was doing the stationary slipped stitch method. Anyone have a moron-proof jogless stripe technique?

What absolutely kills me is that I was so excited about this sweater. I love the colours, I love the yarn, and I want to love this sweater so badly. I had visions of it being the classic striped boatneck sweater, the perfect thing for me to wear regardless of trends for years to come. So I'm crushed. I haven't frogged it yet, but I don't know what else to do. Ripping the whole thing out and starting over is so depressing. The only other possibility I can think of is to frog to below the bust and add more room in there, and make it a slouchy, sort of oversized sweater. And, of course, make it a boatneck.
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43 comments:

sauceyjill said...

oh, that's too bad. You knit a beautiful snug at the bust and baggy below sweater though, the colours are super cute together. I vote frog and redo so you can take happy finished photos :)

Tanis said...

Oh no! What a bummer! Here's my 2 cents, I think that you should rip back to just below the bust, make it fit your bust better and make it a boat neck. Then, with a good blocking, I bet the body of the sweater just might fall effortlessly and casually and look perfect, not fitted, but still great. Completely frogging is so depressing! I would try and work with what you've got, unless you don't think that you'd like a roomier sweater... then you're kind of sunk... Good luck!

CU@5 said...

Oh, so much work! What a pity! This sweater pattern must be tricky! It really looks so different on the pattern pics. I'm avoiding A-line, because I like my waist. You've got beautiful waist! I think you can still re-do your pullover and make it more fitted.
Cheers!

Miss Lissa said...

Argh, how annoying! I second the notion of frogging below the bust and reknitting the body. TECHknitting just did a whole series on the jogless stripe packed with info, that might help: http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2011/02/article-and-video-on-jogless-stripes.html

Allyson said...

Oh it's so pretty! What a shame. I HATE when that happens. I would just pull it all out and find a pattern for a sweater you are looking for. No use trying to change a pattern that is not what you want. You can find one and use the same yarn and when you have your beautiful sweater you won't even remember this first try.

fridica said...

I love the colours too! And it still looks lovely on you, I think it would work nicely as a swingy A-line thing! Actually, at first when you said rip to just below bust, I thought you meant from the bottom up. Honestly, the bust seems perfectly fitted - so you could just change your plan from having an allover baggy sweater to an allover fitted sweater (like some other commenters recommended too).

Katie said...

So sad! I agree with your plan - frog back a bit and knit something that is more cohesive. I also thought that when you said you were going to frog to the bust, you were going to frog the bottom half! All will turn out - and the colors are absolutely lovely.

Brenda said...

Curing the stepped stripe for me has alwasy resulted in a fat thick unsightly jogless stripe. To me less perfect than the jog. Could you rip to below the bust - the bust looks OK in the photo. Put in waist shaping and shorten it?

Kara said...

On man! The colors are wonderful. Keep on persevering.

Reckless Glue said...

whaaa? I still think it looks cute...but then I like a slouchy sweater!

Hilary said...

Oh no! And the colors and stripes are so pretty! I agree with Tanis...rip to below the bust, make it a little bigger and do the boat neck how you want it. Then the bottom can be played with during blocking. Good luck! Don't despair!

KARIN said...

Bummer! I do love the colors though and hope you find something new to knit. Good Luck!

Candice said...

Oh, poor you! Maybe when you block it you can massage it into a more flattering shape. I've just finished the Rowan Wayfarer and I look like a pregnant Quasimoto. I'm not happy because too much time was given to it.

Erin said...

Ahh nothing worse than getting that far to find out that it doesn't fit! But the good news is if you frog & reknit it smaller it'll take less time. :)

CassieMarie said...

I actually still like it! I'd say make it in to a 3/4 sleeve sweater with wide sleeves, and block out the ribbing at the bottom so it doesn't pucker in. Then you'd have a cute slouchy sweater that you could wear a belt over or an oxford underneath.

Knit 1 LA said...

I feel your pain Honey! I have a complete sweater I'm ignoring because the truth is I have to rip it out.
But I think you have to totally rip it out. I don't see you wearing an oversized slouch. A little shaping in the waistline would be so flattering with a little more room in the bust. The bright side is even in a fail you look adorable!
I've found this way to be pretty fool proof for stripes: http://www.socknitters.com/kickback/joglessjog.htm not sure if that was the one you tried? Hope whatever you end up doing you're happy with!

Kelly-ann said...

Wow...the sweater in the pattern photo definitely looks like a boat neck. Well, I would rip it all out. I prefer a sweater to be fit closer to my body. Even if you reknit the bust, the roomy sweater seems to overwhelm your small frame. Just my own opinion.

Christine said...

What if you rip down past the bust to make it larger and then just take in the sides with a sewing machine. That would also get rid of the jog. I have a sweater that needs to be frogged. I hate when reality and love a sweater do not mix.

French Press Knits said...

Oh no...so much work gone...this post makes me a little sad!

Jacey said...

You're so cute. I love your expressions here. :) The colors rock, and there's a good sweater in there somewhere. Take a deep breath, and frog (at least to the bust as Tanis mentions!).

Valérie said...

I would never be able to frog that, I feel for you!
Do you sew? Because I would totally just sit at the machine and take in the sides a few inches. No need to undo all of your hard work! If you don't have a machine, it would be worth paying a visit to a friend or family member who does.

CanarySanctuary said...

That's sucky... See, what I do in this situation is just throw it in a bag and hide it deep, deep in the closet.
I guess belting it won't make it wearble? I'm sorry to hear you've had a fail knit. The colours do look lovely!

kimidawn24 said...

Waaah! I would cry too. Other than the non-fitting part, it does look lovely :)
I say frog and then ignore it until Summer rolls around. Maybe you won't still be sad about it by then.

Kristen said...

Oh dear, I have been in that boat before. Please let us know what you decide to do, and also share any jogless stripe tips you find out, I also stink at that. Well, hmmm, it's a shame, but you're pictures were entertaining!

hibou said...

How sad! Good luck on attempt #2, whatever you decide.

yoel said...

Oh dear. The colors are so wonderful in those stripes, but it is so painful to frog and re-knit. Maybe you can frog it and put it away for a bit, to let the sting fade? Then you can keep the stripes but on a different sweater pattern?

Maryse said...

Oh my... You're right, the colors and the yarn are so pretty... I thought as well that you would go for a more fitted sweater, not the other way around. The top looks nice! Don't you think? Anyways, I'm confident that you will come up with something tasteful!

Lucy said...

Em... or the alternative to frogging may be to put it aside and take it out when you're pregnant (no offense). The colors are lovely, but it looks big below the bust. Your knits are always beautiful. And if you find a good jogless stripe technique, I'd love to know.

:)

Siga said...

Some frogging is needed, depends if you're ready for it and for how much...

Eva said...

Oh no! But I tell you it is well worth the effort of retrying. I think you saw my struggle with Folded and it is still not perfect. But it was well worth it. I like the yarn and color and I get many compliments for it (I think only a knitter sees the faults). And a fail like that gives you the chance to improve the things you don't like - like adding a boatneck.

So head up and onwards ;)

I now look closely at the charts and outlines of patterns which was great for my Bison pullover because if I hadn't done that it would've been way too short. Those pictures in magazines and books can easily fool you. Especially if the model is sitting.

Well Re(a)d said...

You're so cute, even when sad :(

I say take the sides in a bit with a sewing machine. Or tear it back a little and redo the body, but that would be super painful.

I love the colors you chose, though. And I think 3/4 sleeves would look lovely.

Michele said...

That is too bad. I really dislike having to rip out after I spent so much time knitting. So I have this book and I checked out the pics and the schematic. It looks like the sweater fits the model in the bust area and is a bit bigger everywhere else, maybe accounting for the fact that the neckline is much wider. It does look like more of a boatneck in the pictures. I think you probably need to rip out to below the bust and reknit that because the rest of your sweater looks like the pics in the book. It looks like if you knit a bigger bust measurement, then the neckline gets wider. The yarn is too pretty too just chuck the whole thing.

ifandany said...

what a sad story! how frustrating. i personally like the idea of pulling back to just redo from the bust, but i like a good, clean and elegant A-line, and if you want it to be for years to come, A-line is more forgiving. but you do have a lovely waist, so if you wouldn't wear an A-line... then it should be a complete frog :(.

AlessandraLace said...

I love your blog and your creations. I often do and undo. hugs

h said...

what if you just frog the ribbed hem and do a simple roll hem? Then it wouldn't pucker and it might float away from your body a bit? it wouldn't be fitted for sure, but i think that might look cute. its so pretty,it would be a shame to let it go!

handmade-nz said...

New to your blog and love your creations and musings on other modifications etc (and I share your birthday I see!)
My 2 cents: do and Elizabeth Zimmermann and get your sewing machine out to pull in those side seams and make a very fitted sweater. No frogging, just make some short cap sleeves and finish the blimmin thing off. that way it's a thin, snug layering piece. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be, and spending too much longer on it couldn't be good for you! Plus, onwards and upwards and there are more projects to knit for sure!

Cakewalk Yarns said...

So sorry! But, it does make the rest of us feel better that someone as talented as you still faces knitting headaches.

You'll work it out, I'm sure & come up with something even better.

karen alho said...

Sorry Julie, but do the words raglan and boatneck even belong on the same sweater pattern? Frog it, put it away for a while until you can look at it in your stash with love and lust (and no regrets) and find a new pattern, one you'll love for years!

sweet jane. said...

I use a spiraling slip stitch method for stripes in the round. (I'm not sure it's actually called that... I read an article in Interweave Knits a few years ago about jogless stripes, but I don't have the magazine.) I think it's basically the same as what you're doing, except the slipped stitch moves one to the left each time, so the stripes stay the same height all the way around. The beginning of the round changes, but there are no stretched out slipped stitches. I think it's way less noticeable than the stationary method (maybe because I suck at that one) but I've never tried it with anything heavier than sport/dk. I feel like maybe the diagonal line would pull & look more pronounced in a heavier yarn/fabric.



not to be all self-promotional but here's a pair of striped gloves I made: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/oliviabones/fade-fingerless-gloves (the pic is bad, but the jog is nearly invisible! it runs in a diagonal along the inside but you can hardly tell from the outside)

Sandy said...

Oh no! It's so pretty... Would you ever wear it around the house on the weekends? I love those colors and it looks comfy.

Another idea: if you know someone who plans to have kids, you could probably make it into a really nice maternity sweater because it gets bigger under the bust.

Mount Gigantic said...

I do a modified version of Jared Flood's technique (as seen on his Turn a Square hat). I think it's also important to be consistent with wrapping the yarns around each other at the joins to avoid bulky spots and to avoid gaps. I've actually been thinking of doing a tutorial on jogless stripes for my blog...hopefully the sun will be out tomorrow so I can get some good photos) :)

ps...I just came across your blog randomly & must say that your projects and writing are lovely :)

Jane Richmond said...

What a dilemma! I love the sweater from the bust up, love, and the colours are so perfect, but I think that ripping down past the bust and making an oversized comfy sweater with a boatneck would look really good too.

ps... I suck at jogless stripes too! If you ever saw the back of my design Christopher you would take great comfort in knowing you don't suck as much as me!!!

Francoise said...

Sadness.
Given the extra space at the waist, might this wonderful sweater give comfort and fashion to an expecting friend? I hate frogging my work when I've invested so much time, and I don't doubt there's someone who would fit this jumper & love it to bits!