Disclaimer: As I noted before when I started this blog, I do not claim to be a knitting expert. Despite my mother’s efforts to teach me to knit when I was a preteen, I never really took to it. It took me over 45 more years before I finally got the hang of it thanks to taking some lessons at my LYS in 2014. So I still consider myself a newbie in the craft.
These days I choose patterns that will further my knitting education, that will teach me a new stitch or technique. Most times I do great. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I fail quite spectacularly. I own my own mistakes, either for not following the pattern properly because I misread something, or my knitting is too tight or…well there are any number of reasons. And sometimes I did everything right, I just don’t like the final product. It happens. Anyway, I want to keep track of some of my failures here too so I can come back later once my knitting improves and try them again.
#1: a pilot-type baby bonnet: I originally chose the “pilot”-type design because it covers little ears and ties beneath the chin so it keeps the tykes warm through our Canadian temps. The particular pattern I chose is designed for newborn, 3/6-9 months, and 9-12/12-18 months, where those size changes are made not by changing the number of stitches but by changing the weight of the yarn and size of the needles. I used the same yarn the pattern called for though I had to size down from US size 2.5/3.mm to US 1/2.25 mm needles to get the 8 stitches per inch gauge the pattern called for for the newborn size but even at that gauge, the swatch is…how do I explain it, stiffer, or more inflexible, than I think a baby bonnet should be. Still I forged ahead and cast on for the newborn size and wow, it is huge. It would fit a 4 year old. Now the designer says it does tend to size on the larger size, and the comments on Ravelry indicated I wasn’t the only one having this problem. But I won’t blame the pattern, which is why I don’t want to name it here, mainly because two similar DROPS patterns call for the same sized needles, and fingering weight yarn and to cast on nearly exactly the same number of stitches. But there are enough other patterns available that I think this one is not going to be attempted again.
#2: the Wave of Light baby bonnet, which is a pretty lacy pattern that was easy enough to knit but halfway through, I looked at it and thought, “it isn’t working” and frogged the whole thing. I have since realized that the problem is not with the pattern, but the yarn choice. I used Sirdar Snuggly DK yarn but while it did fine for the Vertebrae cardi, and would work for blankets and cables, it doesn’t have the memory or the body it needs for this lacy pattern. So I may try again with a different yarn in the future.
#3: Vivid blanket squares, which is definitely a problem with me not the pattern. I adore the projects others have made. They look so beautiful. And I am very disappointed to shelf this project. But I have knitted two squares so far, testing two different yarns, using both DPNs and circular needles, and wow, the cursing that comes out of me while getting through the first few rounds is…scary. Ultimately I decided I prefer to use DPNs over circular needles. Except if I use worsted weight yarn, there are too many stitches to fit on my 9″/23cm DPNs and I don’t want to make it in fingering weight. I checked my LYSs for longer DPNs but none of them carry over 8″ needles. One of the clerks suggested I try two circular needles but I can’t see myself going for that, the pattern is fiddly enough. So it is definitely me that is the problem, not the pattern. But I own it now, so maybe one day in the future I will try it again. If I buy longer needles online.
#4: I tried another Beloved bonnet. Again, it is a project I really want to love. But with the second iteration, I started having problems with the German short row turns. Which is weird because I had no problems with it on the first hat. The stitch where I do the turn is too loose, too uneven, so it looks ugly up that side. Now I have knitted wrap and turns with great success in the dozen or so socks I have made, and plus have knitted this bonnet once already, but never had this problem before. I spent a morning viewing various YouTube videos to try and figure out what I was doing wrong, to no avail. But I am determined to figure it out. So I will try to make another, but I need to practice my German short row technique. Or find an acceptable W&T substitute. So again, it is me, not the pattern. Or now that I think about it, maybe it is the yarn, since this was attempted in the same Sirdar Snuggly. Huh, why didn’t I think of that before?
And I can guarantee you, I will probably try almost all of these patterns again. I am just that stubborn. No, that is too negative. Let’s change stubborn to determined. There, that’s better.