Friday, May 31, 2013

Knitted leaves, deconstructed.

This past week I've been feeling a bit like a Bletchley Park girl. I've been hunched over a type of code, muttering to myself with my brow furrowed, grey lead pencil making deft marks over certain numbers, and a little pile of eraser rubbings forming at my side. There was puzzle in front of me, and I was damned if I wasn't going to crack the encryption!

But before you get all excited and start imagining me working for ASIO, or even M16 (how cool would that be!?!) the only code I've been working on is a knitting code. Yup, yet again another one of the patterns in the Labour of Love book is wrong. Terribly wrong!

Now, I haven't spent this long growing my hair only to be tearing it out, but that is what this book is making me do! Firstly the Isabel Cable dress pattern was wrong, and now I've found out that the Flora Layered Leaf Skirt pattern is also. I've hunted about on Ravelry, and learnt that another pattern in the book is also riddled with errors. 3 patterns in one book? That's a bit rich! And now, as a result this lovely piece of work...

Grey Yarn #1 looks like this:

Grey Yarn #2

It took me 11 pattern repeats before I sorted the mistake out for once and for all, and got the pattern right. Which mean, for the layperson, that 10 out of 11 knitted leaves were dodgy. Sure, I could have left it. After all, I probably would have been the only one to have noticed it, but it would have bugged me for ever, and once I had posted the pictures of the finished garment up on this little ol' blog, I would have lived in fear that some clever knitter would point out my mistake, and call me out as a big fat knitting dunderhead.

Now, I'm not sure about you, but I don't fancy being called a big fat knitting dunderhead, even if it wasn't my fault that the pattern was incorrect, so I ripped the whole darn thing. Every single row. Every single stitch. I was going to knit it again, and this time it was going to be PERFECT, nagdammit. But don't let me spare you feelings, dear reader - it hurt. After all, that's 220 rows of knitting down the drain!

But all is not lost - every cloud has a silver lining etc etc, and if there is anything this exercise has taught me is that how important - crucially important - testing a pattern is. I'd quite like to start making some knitting patterns of my own in the not-so-distant future, and when I do I am going to test them so hard that they will be begging for mercy.

In the meantime, I have a grey lead pencil to sharpen. And another 220 rows to be reknit.


  1. Oh the pain, the physical pain. 220 rows!!! I just had to tink back one stitch at a time, to get back to an error I made in a lace panel at the start of my round (circ knitting). 160 odd stitches (including lace and increases) later I am now an expert at "un-knitting", but seriously hope it doesn't happen again!

  2. That's a lot of knitting to unravel. Mind you I would have done the same. That's the problem with being a perfectionist. Sigh!

  3. I have yet to see anyone on any blog anywhere call anyone a big fat knitting dunderhead! Lol

    I love that everyone has their own style of knitting, you have your anal pedantic types, not looking at anyone in particular... and you have those who are much more carefree.

    It would be a cold day in hellto make me frog 220 rows... that's very brave!!!

  4. I agree !!!! (In sewing terms at least) It is annoying when patterns in books aren't tested. Yes, mistakes still happen no matter what but with testing these must be reduced. Am I raving? This is a sore point.
    PS. I love the word tink, it sounds so lovely for such a shitty thing.

  5. Oh how painful! I hate ripping back just one row let alone 220. Yes pattern testing is crucial. I'm sure you will have pattern testers volunteering left right and centre when you start writing patterns.


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