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July 2024



For Once, the Knitting Fates Smiled

I’m kind of shocked to be in this position, actually.  I was really, really sure this was going to go differently.  I mean, it always does, right?

Last night, as I was putting the cARGHdigan away for the night, I suddenly had a thought.  A very disturbing, very unsettling thought.  A thought that threatened to cause me to unravel all manner of knitting – we’re talking serious inches here.

What I was thinking was, “Wait a minute, I don’t think this is what the picture that the Blanket Thief gave me looked like…”

See, the Blanket Thief sketched out exactly what he wanted me to knit him, and he was pretty adamant that he wanted it to look exactly like the picture.  The picture which, I suddenly realized, I hadn’t looked at in a couple weeks – long since before I worked out how big the diamonds would be, never mind since before I started actually knitting them.

I think my fingers were actually shaking when I pulled out the sketch.


Now, let’s compare that with what I’ve spent the past few weeks working on:


Notice anything wrong with these pictures?  What if I put them side-by-side?

P1010216 P1010212

Now do you see it?  The way that the drawing has a red diamond at the bottom, while the knitting…doesn’t?

Yeah, I was pretty pissed when I realized that.  I’ve been churning away at this one, knitting to the point that my fingers kind of ache (which, for me, is a heck of a lot of knitting).  And because this is all stockinette, half of this is purlingHalf!  If ever there were a physical representation of love and devotion, this is it.

It took me a few minutes to work myself up to accepting that I was going to have to frog it back.  I spent most of that time trying to determine if there were some more clever way I could do things.  I came up with some pretty good ideas, actually.

Option 1) Duplicate stitch the bottom red diamonds. The problem here would be the extra bulk for those diamonds, plus the issue of some of the base black yarn showing through the red.  Still, not completely unacceptable, and – considering how much time this would save versus the other knitting surgery options – a definite contender.

Option 2) Unravel just the black yarn and replace it with red. This would work for the upper half of the diamond, but the lower half isn’t just one piece of yarn back and forth – or, well, it is, but that same piece of yarn goes all the way to both sides of the fabric.  To get the same effect for the bottom of the diamond, I’d have to do something like cut through a stitch on every row that I wanted to replace and then tie down and weave in all the ends somehow.  The first part of the plan (the upper half of the diamond) has a lot of merit, but the ridiculousness of the bottom half would mean I’d likely find another method for at least that part if not the whole thing.

Option 3) Snip a thread and unravel the row right at where the problem stops (just below the tip of the red diamond, as everything above that is in pattern), put the stitches from the top on a holder while unraveling the bottom to where the problem starts (the bottom of the blue diamond), knit up in pattern, and then Kitchener stitch the two pieces together. This one is by far the hardest to put into words, but the most likely to have lasting success.  When I finished with it, there would be two (or maybe 10, depending on how you looked at it) extra yarn ends to tie down and weave in, but by and large this would likely be the most invisible knitting surgery.  For the sake of saving time, I might combine the first half of option 2 with this one, but I think option 3 is likely the “right” fix.

I’m sure there are other options for the fix, but those are the ones I came up with at the moment.  Luckily (and I regularly thank whatever managed to bring the Blanket Thief into my life for situations just like this) the Blanket Thief came downstairs and asked me what I was up to.

“Trying to figure out how to unravel the least amount possible,” I told him, staring intently at the cARGHdigan.

“Er…why, exactly, would you unravel any of it?” he asked, alarmed.

“Because I screwed up.”  When he looked confused, I explained, and when he still didn’t say anything right away, I whipped out the original sketch and put it next to the knitting, so he could see just how much I’d messed up.

He spent a minute looking back and forth between the two, before he announced, “I don’t want you to unravel it.  I like it better this way.  It’s pointier.”

I did my best to make sure that he was serious, that he wasn’t trying to just protect my feelings, but he was adamant that he wanted a design change – luckily, exactly the design change I’d accidentally made.  Despite my hounding and his unwavering insistence to keep it this way, there’s still a chance that he would rather have the red diamonds on the ends, but…at this point, I don’t think I can go through that again.  We’re committed.  We’re having blue diamonds on the top and bottom.  We’re going for pointier.

I mean, I’ve knit this much:


It’s a testament to how much I love him that I was even willing to consider frogging it, but now that the decision has been made, we’re sticking to it.  It’s not every day that the Knitting Fates let you dodge a bullet like this – you can’t question it too hard when it happens.

After all, the Knitting Fates don’t like being ignored.  I don’t want to think about what they’d do to me if I didn’t listen to them telling me to keep going.


Comment from Shruti
Time December 15, 2009 at 9:00 pm

I personally like the sketch better but I’m going to keep my mouth shut!