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 Mistakes: repeat offenses vs. works of art
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2totangle
Permanent Resident

1212 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2009 :  11:16:28 AM  Show Profile Send 2totangle a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Grand-moogi's recent thread on knitting up the cast-on tail got me thinking about which knitting mistakes I repeat over and over, and which are so creative I could never repeat them if I tried.

In the category of repeat offenses:
1. I need to invent some sort of electric shock device to remind me to choose a matching cast-on and bind-off before beginning projects where differences will be obvious. I can't count how many times I've frogged due to this one.
2. Gauge inconsistency. This one is so frequent that it may not be a "mistake" so much as a central feature of my knitting. Although I maintain consistent gauge within a project, for some reason my swatch gauge is very often different from my gauge on the actual project, even without blocking issues (yes, I make big swatches, use the same needles, etc.). Also, I can't guarantee that I will get the exact same gauge with the same yarn and needles several months from now (which means I can't leave WIPs lying around for too long).
3. Split stitches. I hate when I find these well after the fact. If I would only follow Fran's methods, I'm sure I could avoid most of them.

The "works of art" are harder to describe, because it can be difficult to figure out exactly what happened. Here are some of my recent examples:
1. I recently did some strange thing to the Vine and Leaf Beret I was working on so that one vine branch came in differently from the others. It wasn't a simple reversal of ssk & k2tog. Whatever I did, it kept my stitch count correct, so I didn't catch it until several inches later. And I did it in a place that made laddering down harder than frogging. And I wasted more time trying to figure it out and fix it that it would have taken to frog & reknit in the first place.
2. This week, I carefully wove in an end on the right side of my FO. Never done that before.
3. My best, most dramatic, and funniest mistakes, though, have to do with poor yarn and design choices. Intarsia in the round with four colors in a row. Superwash that grew dramatically when wet and made lace blocking impossible. Droopy alpaca for a droopy sweater. Itchy mohair for a cowl.

So, what mistakes have you practiced so often that you're now an expert? What have you done that's so creative it deserves some sort of prize?




Suzanne

Flickr pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/2totangle/
Ravelry project page: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/2totangle

dschmidt
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3993 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2009 :  4:04:05 PM  Show Profile Send dschmidt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
LOL I consistently make simple stockinette hats that are way too big. Hats are the only projects I do this on and it doesn't matter what size hat I am making. I never use a pattern - I just find out what my gauge is for the yarn, do the math, cast on, and make a hat that isn't even close to the size needed. It takes me 3 inches of knitting before I figure out the hat is the wrong size. The second try always fits. Maybe some day I'll give in and use a pattern.

Donna in VA

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minh
Permanent Resident and Destasher Extraordinnaire

USA
3464 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2009 :  5:55:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit minh's Homepage Send minh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Repeat offenses:
- "Hi, my name is Minh and I can't count"
- if I knit socks one at a time, I always tell myself "oh, I'll remember I did this" on the first sock and then bam! I have no clue what to do for the second sock.
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abt1950
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3019 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2009 :  12:46:46 PM  Show Profile Send abt1950 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Making a sweater in the wrong size. I knew which size I needed and managed to circle all numbers and instructions for the size smaller. I didn't realize it all the ends were woven in and all the buttons on. It was a really great looking sweater too.

Anne in NJ

Knit long and prosper
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2009 :  4:41:01 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Donna,

That is exactly what led me to develop my "secret" for sizing top down hats which is found in my "Basic hat designing" which is available in KR archives.

I have since learned how to size from the bottom up but it is a little more complicated.....and I have trouble remembering it. I think it goes something like this: take the exact measurement around the head and calculate out your stitches per inch, then go down 2 needle sizes from the needles you used to calculate you stitches per inch and use them to work your ribbing. This should make the bottom diameter of your hat about 20% smaller that the actual head measurement. It will stretch to fit.

fran

http://martianmischief.blogspot.com/
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dschmidt
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3993 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2009 :  9:14:21 PM  Show Profile Send dschmidt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
See, that is why we love Fran so much! I'm going to cast on a hat for DS and now I have a very good chance it will be the right size the first time. Woohoo!

Donna in VA

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eldergirl
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USA
1809 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2009 :  10:32:07 PM  Show Profile Send eldergirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Let's face it: Fran is a National Treasure.

Anna

Oh. Uh. mistakes? moi? OK: The gauge wavering all over the place, especially from swatch to start of UFO, then comes the carefully weaving in ends on the right side, then comes spending more time "fixing" a mistake than it would have taken to frog down to it and do over, and finally, the worst one for me:
trying to fix lace knitting without a life line. What a mess!

Anna

Think globally, act locally
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Jane
SustaYning Member

USA
4390 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2009 :  04:54:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jane's Homepage Send Jane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've managed -- more than once -- to start the gusset of a sock without having turned the heel. I'll get to the end of the heel flap (and lose consciousness, apparently), pick up the stitches along the side, knit across the instep... it's not until I get to the "heel" that I notice there isn't one. Oh, well.

Jane

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GFTC
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USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2009 :  07:49:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dschmidt

LOL I consistently make simple stockinette hats that are way too big. I never use a pattern - I just find out what my gauge is for the yarn, do the math, cast on, and make a hat that isn't even close to the size needed.



Donna, I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "do the math" so this tip could be something you are already figuring but here goes. Measure the head around the forehead like a hippie headband. Deduct 3" from the measurement and make your hat to finish at the smaller measurement. So if you have a 22" head you want your hat to be 19" and need to cast on the # of stitches to give you 19" not 22".

GFTC of NYC
my knitting photos on Flickr or Ravelry
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flicka
Seriously Hooked

880 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2009 :  11:12:16 AM  Show Profile Send flicka a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My biggest foible is over-optimism about my yarn. Most commonly I think, "yeah, I've got enough to knit that" when I really don't. I get some interesting stripes that way, and vests. (This is the first time I've confessed to it as a habit. DH is the scientific type who would not comprehend the lack of foresight.)

flicka
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Gibson Girl
Chatty Knitter

USA
151 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2009 :  11:22:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit Gibson Girl's Homepage Send Gibson Girl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I sometimes get excited about a new project...place an old project on stitch holders so I can use the needles on the new thing and then forget to note the needle size anywhere. When I go back to old project I can't remember if I'm on guage, or if I used a different needle size. It takes me several rows to see if I guessed correctly. It would only take a moment to note it down somewhere but the pure frenzy of starting something new overwhelms me.
I've also experienced the " Oh yeah, I've got enough yarn for that pattern" syndrome. I still have a sweater in the basket with pretty short sleeves for a wool sweater. Guess I have to get creative with that one.
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lella
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9714 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2009 :  12:53:25 PM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What Jane said.

Either I'll do that or put the heel cup first and then the flap. That's wrong, right?

see, I'm left handed and well.. gosh.

My Blog @ Zippiknits
Knitting@ Flicker
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BaldMermaid
New Pal

12 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2009 :  09:40:32 AM  Show Profile Send BaldMermaid a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is at least one "design element" in every project I do. That's my story and I'm stickin to it! LOL!

becca
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2009 :  7:22:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I convince myself that I have enough yarn to make a project that will take more yarn than I have.

1. white cotton kids sweater last spring had to be reknit in a smaller size
2. orange cotton kids sweater OTN & 60% done that I don't want to address because I know where this is going
3. Alpaca scarf in a discontinued color that apparently I was the only one in the universe who bought so I can't find another skein and it's kinda too short
4. hat I tried to make tonight, tried striping with other yarn but that looked awful so I have 3/4 of a cute & easy hat and I don't want to frog it

I weigh, I measure, I do the math and then I delude myself and cast on.


GFTC of NYC
my knitting photos on Flickr or Ravelry
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lella
Permanent Resident

9714 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2009 :  1:53:02 PM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
I weigh, I measure, I do the math and then I delude myself and cast on.


GFTC, You make my day..

My Blog @ Zippiknits
Knitting@ Flicker
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dschmidt
Permanent Resident

3993 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2009 :  3:06:58 PM  Show Profile Send dschmidt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks!

quote:
Originally posted by GFTC

quote:
Originally posted by dschmidt

LOL I consistently make simple stockinette hats that are way too big. I never use a pattern - I just find out what my gauge is for the yarn, do the math, cast on, and make a hat that isn't even close to the size needed.



Donna, I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "do the math" so this tip could be something you are already figuring but here goes. Measure the head around the forehead like a hippie headband. Deduct 3" from the measurement and make your hat to finish at the smaller measurement. So if you have a 22" head you want your hat to be 19" and need to cast on the # of stitches to give you 19" not 22".

GFTC of NYC
my knitting photos on Flickr or Ravelry




Donna in VA

The Honor Roll? It's easier here than in school. Scroll up to "Want to Make Betty Happy?" and be an Honor Roll member.
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jlnoonon@hotmail.com
New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2009 :  12:46:01 PM  Show Profile Send jlnoonon@hotmail.com a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just read through the "confessions". What? Am I the only one who occasionally find herself knitting with two different size needles? This will pretty well screw up the project!
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ebodiknits
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2009 :  6:44:52 PM  Show Profile Send ebodiknits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been knitting for over 60 years, so I have made many mistakes. My favorite (and fairly recent one) was the vest I designed to use crepey intense light blue Australian wool which had been in the stash for a long time and some lovely soft maroon tweedy wool with a touch of the blue that was given to me by a friend from her dead mother's stash.

I decided that I would do a sanquahar pattern (intricate intarsia which creates optical illusions from the British Isles) with a band of fair isle in the round with steeks for the armholes. Several years later, I cut the steeks (Elizabeth Zimmerman recommended lying on the floor and breathing deeply for 20 minutes before cutting your knitting) and found that the front and back shoulders did not match by a lot. I had enough yarn to fix it and i thought I had my numbers right. Several years later, the upper part was all reknitted, the shoulders still weren't quite right, but I finished it off. It was wider across the front than normal and the whole thing shouted very loudly, due to the color interplay. I contemplated cutting and machine stitching the front armholes and redoing the bands, but I finally decided that it was jinxed and put it in the Goodwill box. Maybe there is someone with a large chest out there who likes wild colors. I should have taken a picture of the finished product. It was spectacular.

Incidentally, sanquahar patterns don't work if one row is tighter than the next one. There were several of these unfixable rows in the sweater.
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