Sunday, January 27, 2008

Casting On the Head Hugger

I've been working on my head hugger this weekend to the detriment of my other projects, but I'm already nearly half way finished. I bought the yarn before I left on break and planned to knit one or two of these over the holidays, but I ended up hardly knitting at all over the break. (With the exception of Pasha sweatshop knitting). Anyway, I'm giving the head hugger special priority now because it will be a quick project and I desperately need a new earwarmer right now. In fact, I'm looking out the window at this snow storm and I want to finish up the sucker right now before I have to walk to school tomorrow in the cold. Alas, I have loads of homework to do. (Which I'm clearly not doing anyway).

The pattern is from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation, and I have to say that with all due respect to the author, it's not a very user-friendly pattern. I've already frogged 3 times. There is a shload of increases but she never provides benchmarks for how many stitches should be on your needles, which I like in a pattern to make sure sure I'm on track. (And I wasn't on track, in any of the incarnations - including the "keeper" - I ended up just knitted the extra stitch together with another one at the end of the increases and I'm hoping it won't screw me up too much when I get to the decreases.) I mean, I could have grabbed some scratch paper and gone through the whole increase sequence to figure out the benchmarks, but a good pattern should spare you from that kind of work.

There are also slipped stitches at the beginning of every row to make a nice neat edge - which I love as I design element, but I screwed them up many times and I partly blame myself and partly the pattern. In some sections the pattern tells you which direction to slip the stitch, and it others it is completely silent. That said, if I were a pro at slipping stitches on the edge (which I now am), it would have been obvious to me which way to slip it. Anyway, one edge looked totally yucky because I didn't slip correctly, but I didn't want to frog again. Then halfway through I decided it looked too yucky and since I planned to wear this I didn't want it to look shoddy, so I decided to start over again. Then...

I remembered in the dropped stitches podcast, Kelley Petkun said when you make a mistake on one stitch, you should drop that entire row and fix it rather than frog the whole thing. This sounded insanely scary to me at the time, but I decided here where I was about to frog a half-finished piece, I might as well try it since I had nothing to lose. So, I dropped all the stitches on the final row and went through with a crochet hook and pulled them up! The end result isn't totally perfect - the stitches are kind of big/loose because my mistakes had introduced a little extra yarn into the mix, but overall I'm really happy with it! The loose stitches look fine, they just don't match up exactly to the other side where the stitches are tighter. Anyway, I'm pleased because it's better than frogging the whole thing and WAY better than wearing something with a ton of mistakes in it.

Finally, completely due to my own stupidity I worked a quarter way through the WRONG pattern. Ha ha. I was knitting the neckwarmer instead of the earwarmer. I kept thinking it looked awfully skinny, and finally I looked back to make sure I increased enough and what do you know - I was knitting the wrong thing. Ha ha. Dear Pepper - READ THE PATTERN CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU START!!

And that is the end of the saga of my weekend with the head hugger. Here is a WIP pic, but I'm actually about 4 inches farther along now than I was when I took the pic.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like torture! Glad to hear you're back on track now though:)