Last week, Matt and I went to Vermont to do some of the planning for our wedding. We kept pretty busy while we were there, meeting with wedding vendors, hanging with family and participating in “sugaring” season (stay tuned for that post). I love Vermont. It is so beautiful and relaxing. Between things, I did get to squeeze in some knitting in Matt’s mom’s comfy sun room. It became my favorite knitting spot while we were there. I was almost finished with the body of my Miette cardigan before we left Seattle and was able to finish the last few rows of ribbing and bind off the bottom while I was in VT. It’s really looking like a sweater now!
I am so freakin’ proud of myself that I have gotten this far, but also that I was able to fix a huge mistake I made BY MYSELF! Okay, not totally by myself, I used this amazing tutorial from the Twist Collective.
A couple of times, I made dumb mistakes, late at night, like purling where I was supposed to knit or accidentally knitting two together. On both occasions, I went to unknit and made it even worse. I then tried to fix that and the next thing you know I am crying and hyperventilating because I had either unraveled a bunch of stitches or ended up with extra ones. I have since learned my lesson about knitting late at night when I am tired.
The first time I did that, I was able to bring it into the knitting night I have been going to at Seattle Yarn. Ruth, who works there and is the owner’s daughter, was nice (and patient) enough to help me fix it. I was very thankful for that and I feel lucky to have that group as a resource, but part of why I tend to make mistakes worse is because I want to learn how to fix them myself. So the next time I did that (right when I was working on the last few rows of the lace pattern), I was determined to fix it on my own.
I am at the point where I can recognize a knit and a purl, unknit those if need be and pick up stitches. I am not so good at unknitting anything besides a knit or a purl, so when I made a mistake during the lace part of the pattern, I was way out of my league. I carefully considered my options. If I tried to unknit back to the last correct row, it would probably a) take forever and b) make things worse. There are also over 100 stitches in the body and with the lace pattern, if I tried to unravel it to the last good row, I would never be able to get all those stitches back on the needles correctly.
I had seen on the Twist Collective tutorial, that you could fix a pattern by just trying to fix the affected section, by inserting a double-pointed needle in the last correct row and then unravelling to that point. I would then use a crochet hook to pick up the stitches correctly. That sounded more like something I could probably figure out. I just needed to know what stitch went where, so I could pick them up correctly. The solution for that was to make a chart of the lace pattern. Luckily I remembered seeing a link to this knitting chart generator on Gail’s blog.
I entered in the stitches from the last part of the repeat, of the last few rows of lace work, at the bottom of the cardigan, since that is where I made my mistake. I only entered in the the right side/knit stitches and left out the wrong side/purl stitches. This is what I got:
The mistake had only effected two stitches, but somehow ended up several rows down after I tried to unsuccessfully fix it the first time. I was able to find the last row that was correct, three rows down, so I inserted a double-pointed needle into three stitches in that row. The next part was the scary part. I then let my knitting unravel to where the mistake was, but since the double-pointed needle was there, it kept it from unravelling any farther. Then I had the task of picking up the stitches the correct way, by using the chart to see what stitch was supposed to be where. I should have taken some pictures while I was doing this to better illustrate it, but was lacking foresight in my stressed state, plus I had no idea if it would even work. I was so nervous that I was shaking. The best I can describe it, is that it was like knitting surgery. The result… I was somehow able to correctly pick up the stitches and “my patient” lived!
In summation, I find knitting to be so relaxing, until it’s not, but man was I proud of myself when I successfully fixed my mistake! All I have left to do now is knit the sleeves. I’m going to need a little help to get that part started, since I have never knit in the round and am not totally clear on how to do that or how to pick up the couple of stitches in the armpit. Once I figure all that out, I am betting the sleeves will knit up quickly, since there are way less stitches to knit than the body. I’m on the home stretch!