Friday, July 4, 2014

Three Wrongs Aren't Right, But They're Less Visible

Not for nothing am I a faithful follower of the Yarn Harlot, as faithless to a single project as she. The Shepherd isn't done yet; the Brocade Leaves isn't done yet, and here I am casting on for something else major. So sue me. (I'm sure the Shepherd and the Leaves would if they could.) But it's not very appealing to sit for hours flipping a great honkin' hump of wool in your lap, nor is one very motivated to add a thick wool sweater or two to their wardrobe in June and July.

And so another sweater is begun. It's the Shearer, the other half of the Shepherd and Shearer pair, using the Colored Flock yarn I added to my S&S purchase last year. Like my Shepherd, I am reforming the pullover into a cardigan. To me, heavyweight sweaters are too much for daylong indoor wear. Because of the rustic nature of the yarn (coarse fibers and bits of the pasture inclusions) the garment is most comfortable as an outer layer, and cardigans are a lot easier to slip into and out of than something that has to go over your head several times a day.

I cast on the back, and away I went:

And here is just about where the trouble started. Let me tell you right off the bat that this pattern is not the one you want to start with if you are new to cabling. You want to start off with simple cables, a narrow pattern that is easy to memorize and quick to display errors. You want chart symbols that are easily discerned from one another. You don't want 2/2 and 2/1 crosses that look very very much like each other. Is it starting to sound like I got about this far and had to rip back to the setup row? I did.

And still I screwed up. About halfway to the arm decreases, I stood back to admire my work and saw two big fat errors. One I could maybe live with. Two makes you start to look like this is your first cable sweater. It's not.

Take a look. See that elbow-like thing in the center?

 It shouldn't be like that. It should be a nice double twist like the one above and below it. But the next one is the big whoopsie.  The elbow thing in the center is again the wrong un'. But in fact, that's the correct part of that cable. It's the crosses above and below it that are wrong. Oy. Two out of three.
 How can someone with so much experience mess up so thoroughly?? Maybe it just takes extraordinary idiocy. Or overconfidence in one's vast experience. At any rate, this sort of thing just Will Not Do. I knit carefully onward and upward, remembering in the back of my brain somewhere that there are surgical methods for fixing cable muddles without ripping everything back to the setup row.

YouTube to the rescue. Sure enough, Lucy Neatby has a very clever and clearly done method of knitting a little contrasting holder flap that lets you (hold your breath) cut into the offending area, rip back just the naughty cable crossing, knit it back properly, and then graft it back together. Here, have a watch. Isn't it a super time (and mental health) saver?


So here's the result. Looks great, doesn't it?

And I saved myself some more time and hair-pulling in the 2-out-of-3 Bermuda Triangle by fixing the one correct one to fit in with the two incorrect crosses. I dare you to find it in the overall pattern. Its a case of 3 wrongs making a more invisible wrong. As some wise knitter said, " if you make the same mistake multiple times, it's a pattern".

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