Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Trouble with Tomtens

(I am hoping this has some clarity. I am struggling with the crud from Hades. So I might not be completely clear.)

Who would have thought the Tomtem sweater pattern could be such trouble. Only for me it would seem.

The thing is basically garter stitch. With some very basic shaping.

Yet, I made a mess of the first one I did. I won’t rehash that one as I posted about it already.

So I am figuring I am smarter now. Of course the second one will be easier. I understand the basic intarsia I am doing. It will all be simple.

Yah. Right.

Lesson One:
Don’t intarsia in the dark.

I was watching some Battlestar Galactica at my sister-in-law’s. I didn’t want to have the lights on. I would be fine. Ummm. Not quite. Got to rip back 5 rows of work because switched the yarn at stitch 5 instead of 6. Whoops!

Lesson Two:
Just because they aren’t socks doesn’t mean you can’t create mobius strips

Yes. I managed to make a mobius sweater! *laugh* It was where the sleeve was supposed to go. With the pattern, you knit the body, then cast off stitches. You knit the tow front strips & the back separately. They are then reattached for the hood.

Seems when I reconnected them, I managed to twist one of the front panels. So there was a mobius strip along the front panel. Doh!!

When did I realize this? *After* I completed the hood & bound it off. This was also after I worked in all the ends. There were a lot of pieces dangling and thus I didn’t notice the mistake! I know. Not my brightest move. *laugh*

I *really* should have taken pictures!! It was that funny!

Lesson Three:
Pay attention when you pick up stitches

The sleeves are created by picking up stitches along the edge. Thing is, I picked up the stitches on the first sleeve at the bottom and back of the sleeve. It should have been the front and back. I got all the way to the end of the sleeve before I realized what I had done.

I pulled the sleeve off the body of the sweater, bound off the edge and will have to seam it to the sweater. I am knitting the second sleeve flat to match the first now. It will just mean a lot more seaming work which is my least favorite thing. *sigh*

I am truly blessed that I was in Maryland visiting my in-laws when the mobius section happened. My sister-in-law, Tee, is a knitting goddess!! When I went to see her, I cried “Heeeeeeellllllpppppp” and held out my knitting. *laugh*

I will confess, she took one look and laughed heartily. And I don’t blame her one bit!

(Though I was not laughing earlier in the day when I discovered the problem. In fact, I would have been swearing up a blue streak, but I was a guest in my other sister-in-law home. And she was sitting read not a few feet way. I really curbed my desire to throw it across the room and swear a lot. Though Jennifer is also an amazing sister-in-law. She gave me some of her high end chocolate to help me in my hour of need.)

Tee patiently sat down and asked about the pattern. When I explained, she suggested ripping out the hood. Being the lazy, I mean, ummmm, slow knitter I am, I wanted to avoid that. She warned me it would mean cutting it. I told her at this point, it was going to go on the frog pile if I had to redo it completely. So she went to work on it.

She placed a needle above and below the center point of the front section. She patiently snipped the yarn. Only to discover that I had woven in ends where she cut. It was why she chose the area, because it didn’t look quite the same! So she didn’t need to cut at all but I didn’t realize that I had woven in the ends there. Ooops.

She knit back the rows and then tried to bind them back together. However, when she did the standard Kitchener stitch, it left a gap. It appeared as if there was purling on a row that should have been knit with garter stitch. So she pulled it out and redid it in the garter binding. It looks really great! I am so happy with it.

On the plus side, she discovered a mistake I had been making. Zimmermann suggests slipping the first stitch of each row. Thing is, I was slipping it purlwise, but then wrapping the yarn around the back of the edge. So, I wasn’t getting the nice little V’s along the edges that the correct slip stitch would get. So the bright side is that I now know how to do that correctly. I have been practicing it with the sleeves and can see the difference. It will definitely come in handy when I go to tackle the alpaca cardigan. (Which I hope to cast on while on vacation.)

I am hoping the knitting woes were at least in part due to the crud affecting my brain. But heaven knows, I have made my share of mistakes before and will again. *laugh*

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

This, my friend, is exactly why I don't knit sweaters!!!! I am scared to death that after all that work I will find a bazillion mistakes and just want to throw it on a bon fire or something. Socks and small items are my forte. I'm sticking with it until I have enough guts to do something bigger like your Tomten. May the knitting goddess be with you :)