Knitting Disaster - Shaker Rib Cardigan 02-17-21

Knitting Disaster

The two words “knitting disaster” should really cancel each other out. I mean can it really be disastrous if it’s only knitting?

In My Mind a Knitting Disaster

I’ve been knitting for over 35 years. I should know better. But alas, my latest finished object has not been going well for a while now.

Did a do a gauge swatch? I did not.

Did I compare the size of the back of the sweater with the finished size in the pattern? Again, I did not.

Is it anyone’s fault but my own that I put in a sweater’s-worth-of-time to have it result in a ridiculously large garment? It is not.

If you’ve been reading QueerJoe regularly, you know I’ve been trying to finish four works-in-progress in February. But if you’ve been reading QueerJoe carefully, you’ll also be aware that I really wanted to move onto other projects. And sooner than the end of February.

So, I worked feverishly on my last of four WsIP. My least favorite of the four.

I honestly knew as soon as I finished the back of the Shaker Rib Cardigan that it was going to be large. But I soothed my worries by lying to myself. As I do.  I told myself, “It’s a drop-shoulder.” “I’ll just make the sleeves shorter.”

The sleeves were finished. I knit like a crazy person to finish the button-band/collar and the edging for the second pocket. The sweater was finally finished when I attached the sleeves and sewed up the side seams. I even wove in all the ends without trying this garment on.  Honestly, I wanted to finish it while it was still light enough outside to take photos for today’s blog.

I know I may lose some blog readers by posting this photo. Or at least lose the respect of some blog readers. But I figured you should see my shame. Feel free to post “funny captions” in comments.

Current Knitting

Without further ado, I bring you the completed Shaker Rib Cardigan.

Shaker Rib Cardigan 02-17-21 01 Shaker Rib Cardigan 02-17-21 02 Shaker Rib Cardigan 02-17-21 00

I documented this pseudo-disaster in photos because it will soon be just a bunch of balls of yarn. But it will need to sit in time-out before I even get to that. It’s going to be a pain to undo all the seaming and weaving in of ends so that I can unravel this fucker.

37 comments on “Knitting Disaster

  1. We have all done it….but you are brave enough to post pictures of it! Thank you.

    I once did EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket and to my horror some how had 3 sleeves on the darn thing. Now I wish I had kept it rather than unraveling it.

    1. More experienced knitters don’t make fewer mistakes, we make more complicated ones faster. Just like all the other commenters – I’ve been there and feel your pain.

  2. I gifted my “tent” sweater rather than frog it. Alas, I’ve seen the recipient only wear it once. It does look well knit, though.

    1. I considered doing that…but honestly, the dimensions are really bad, the fabric is horrendous and the sleeve join is bulky and bumpy. The yarn really needs to be made into something wearable.

  3. “Man gets eaten by his own knitted creation.”
    I would love to see this headline in National Enquirer!
    Denial is a funny thing, isn’t it? You’re rowing up shit creek, and for some reason it seems like a great idea to toss your paddle. I’ve done it more times than I care to count.
    Thank you for showing us. I think you should get more readers from this, not fewer.

  4. It’s good to know I’m not the only one that’s made this mistake! Big kudos for admitting it though and for posting pics! Get a huge bar of chocolate, a massive frothy coffee, sit back with some good catch-up TV, and start frogging…. xxxxxx

  5. It’s called delusional knitting and we all do it now and then. It looks too big. . .nah, I like big loose sweaters. This isn’t going to look right. . . nah, it will block right out.

    Thanks for sharing. We’ve all been there.

    1. Thanks Beth…I always know just how bad something is when I have to rely on “helping others to not feel so much like a failure” as the best face to put on it!

      But in this case, it’s true.

  6. I’m so sorry for your disaster. (I hope you won’t mind me saying that those “Eeeky” photos are also sort of endearing. You look like little kid wearing his father’s sweater.) The fabric is great! What is the stitch?

  7. It could have been worse. It could have been intarsia. Just frogged a 2-color short-row patterned shawl (also after working in joins and tails, plus blocking). Once I found and undid the woven ends, it was skein winder, niddy noddy, skein winder, niddy noddy, etc. Used the yarn to tackle my first brioche stitch project.

  8. I had one of the first sweaters I ever made turn out not very well. I let it sit there for the better part of five years or so. Hum probably longer. I had another project come along that needed that same color. That is when I took it all apart. I was excited about the new project so it was less painful to take it all apart. I completely feel your pain.

  9. I have to admit it is soooo much better than any sweater I made.
    (Oh, wait, I’ve never made a sweater).

    Better to have knitted and “lost” than never to have knitted at all…

  10. Oh, Joe, you re-created the “boyfriend” sweater. I’ll trade you even up for a “swing coat” sweater that fits to healthy people.

  11. Oh, my goodness! All that time and it really does need to be frogged. I am feeling great sympathy for you, though because I also knit myself a sweater. In lace weight yarn. I did a gauge swatch and made gauge. I measured everything. I tried it on as I knit around ( knit top down) I added several inches to the length before I knit the lace trim because it looked short to me. I knit an extra repeat or two of the lace to hedge my bets. I cast off. I washed, I pinned, I blocked. It is a belly shirt. My belly does not need showcasing. My current plan is to cut a thread a few rows above the lace, add several MORE inches and the Kitchener the lace back on. First it needs to sit in a basket to “ think what it has done” though. Like your sweater, the concept is great, the execution, though, needs rethinking.

  12. Joe we all have done this. We learn from our mistakes. Suggestion try EZ percentage way. I find it works very well.

  13. I have done the same, knitted a Gansey for son, looked good but far too large. Being a nice person he loves it for when it gets cold in the Southern Highlands of NSW, It is now known as the ‘horse blanket’. And no, like you I didn’t swatch.

  14. Thanks to all knitters who’ve commented and helped make me feel
    like one of the crowd. I’ve been knitting since I was 9 years old and am now 93. How wonderful it would’ve been to have had such connections through the years that I have now! Kudos to the people who write the blogs, answer the questions, and give the tutorials that keep us all informed and happy❣️With their help, I hope to finish any UFO’s and many other projects before I put down my needles for good.

  15. Yikes, how frustrsting! I keep thimking how much faster it is to knit a smalller garment….A good reminder for me since I tend to worry things will be too small (and thus end up with an oversized garment after spending more time than I really needed to!).

  16. I just finished my first top-down sweater for my niece. I did a gauge swatch and thought it was ‘about right’. A few other missteps and many months later, it turned out to be 8 inches larger around the chest, after the positive ease. It is in time-out in a bag, hidden from view. You are awesome for sharing your relatable boo boo.

  17. If you had a daughter you could make her a matching sweater after you rip it out. I have one that’s a bit big and the sleeves are too long (surprise jacket) I’m about to rip that out and start over, having enough left to make a surprise jacket for her. I better get going, though, she’s growing very fast. She’s 3 in size 7 clothes.

  18. Actually, this bad boy will make me a lifetime reader (not like I wasn’t before, but still). It’s nice to know you’re human and shit happens. You know how you got there and the number of opportunities you had to check yourself. Plus Shaker rib is a nasty little bugger that grows far more then you expect.

    One long time knitter to another—even wine goggles don’t save it. Hide it and frog it.

    The highlight? Getting a glimpse of your wedding band—it makes me happy to know I live in a world where gay marriage is recognized and no amount of time will stop my excitement. More ring, more Finn.

    Can’t wait to see what you wow us with next!

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