Friday, July 28, 2006

My Knitting Failures

I have been knitting for 8 months now. I have knit countless scarves, afghans and blankets, and a few prayer shawls. These required no shaping or delicate stitching. They were mindless and fast.

I thought that a poncho would be a great start into something more challenging. The pattern I picked out was a Lion Brand men's oversized turtleneck poncho, but I didn't like the yarn the pattern called for. So I picked a different yarn, still a cheap yarn, that had a different weight. I had found a formula for adjusting the pattern based on the gauge of the yarn to be used. It was quite simple to calculate the adjustments. And so I started knitting.

The poncho was to be knit in two pieces: the front and back. They would be sewn together, then the turtleneck would be picked up and knit last. Shaping essentially consisted of binding off to shape the shoulders. And then I got to the part that did me in: neck shaping. This required me to join new yarn and knit both sides at the same time. I was totally befuddled and did what I thought was right, but ended up getting two pointy edges with the wrong number of stitches. But I finished the front piece and laid it out to see it in its entirety. This thing spanned the width of my living room and looked nothing like the diagram provided. But the dog thought it made a great rug, and so I left it on the floor for her for the night.

I moved onto another prayer shawl as it was a safe knit.

I replayed in my mind how I was supposed to do the neck shaping as opposed to how I really did it and decided to go on with the project. I even consulted my friends on KnittingHelp and gained back the confidence to move on. But I thought maybe it be best to stick with the numbers the original pattern called for despite the fact that my gauge and yarn were different. I had to compensate somehow for the front piece that was two times the correct size! I cast on for the back piece and knit for several inches.

I moved back to the prayer shawl when I saw that the second piece was a 1/4 the size of the first.

Would I really wear this poncho? Had it turned out the way I envisioned, I absolutely would. I pictured it to be warm and cozy, a great fall weather alternative, and something my friends all wanted me to make for them.

But looking at the progress and it's inevitable outcome, I wouldn't even dress a hobo in it. Come to think of it, a hobo wouldn't want to wear. It was hideous.

I folded it up and placed it in the corner of my living room stash (there was no room in the upstairs stash) where it stayed for about a month. I just recently moved both pieces to the trash, and the left over yarn is up for auction on eBay.

The prayer shawl is still in the works.

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