Knitting Failure

The blog has been a little quiet recently but that doesn't mean I haven't been crafting. I was trying very hard to finish knitting a cardigan before classes started up again in September. Unfortunately, it's a bust.

I was nearly finished with a pattern by Véronik Avery: the Nordique Swing cardigan. I was using grey merino wool by Rowan and was very excited about how it was shaping up...until this happened:

What is that bulbous thing behind my neck?? Let's look at it from another angle:

And here it is laying flat:

Um, yeah, that looks pretty bad. I followed the directions to the letter, so what happened? Well, let's look at the photo of the back in the magazine (Interweave Fall 2009):

She's definitely got some funkiness going on at the back of the neck too. I had noticed this prior to starting the project but I figured it didn't look that bad. I should've known that if it was a little off in the supposed-to-be-perfect magazine spread, it was going to be super fugly in real life.

I wet-blocked the heck out of it, to no avail. And, on top of that problem, I also have this:

Clearly, that part is entirely my fault. I didn't pick up enough stitches to make the button placket ribbing and so it's curling like that. If it weren't for the horrible back neck problem, I would simply rip that part out and redo it. But I will never be okay with the neck.

I looked at knitters' completed projects of this pattern on Ravelry and I saw that some people had turned over the collar in the back, making the front have a shawl-collar effect. I tried to do this to deal with the bulge, but it wouldn't stay tucked under. And I want to be able to wear the cardigan and be happy with it without fiddling. So, it's joined the 'to-be-frogged' bag of shame.

This is the third project that I've tried with that grey yarn; I am beginning to wonder if it's cursed. Or perhaps I just need to listen to the yarn and let it tell me what it wants to be. The first project was the Natalia by Stefanie Japel, but I couldn't decipher her directions for the life of me. Then I tried to do a color work vest (waist coat) but the colors I had weren't working together. So then I chose the Nordique Swing cardigan and thought I had a winner at last, but alas, no.

You may be thinking that I'm depressed about frogging the cardigan after all the work I put into it, and I am bummed, but just take a look at another failed project:

Look at all those tiny cables. I had knit all the way up to the collar, including the sleeves because you join them in the round to the body. And then I had a yarn discoloration disaster that I only saw after I had gone a couple inches above it. This was at the point where I had already been doing decreases for a while and there was no way I could find my place again if I ripped back.

Sigh. And look what I did here, smack in the middle of the front: why did I bind off a few stitches here??

Apparently I mistook it for the armhole:

Here's what it was supposed to look like, gorgeous, non?

It's funny, I wrote at some point that I'm more comfortable with my knitting skills than with my sewing skills, but clearly I have some epic knitting failures. I think that I'm more accepting of a mediocre result in sewing than in knitting. I might work on a complicated sewing project for a month or two, but a complicated knitting project can easily take me a year to complete. And after all that time and effort I really want to love it. So, I prefer to undo something completely and use the yarn for another project rather than wear something I'm not happy with. Perhaps as I become more confident in my sewing skills I'll ask more of my sewing projects too!

Now I just need to find something that the grey yarn wants to become. I was hoping to make it into a cardigan because I need cardigans, but I think it might prefer being a pullover. Hmmm, any ideas?


  1. Oh, that´s such a shame that it didn´t turn out the way you wanted it. Looks like a TON of work! I´m impressed by you not being more frustrated than you seem to be. I know it isn´t the same type of cardigan at all, but I think Audrey in Unst is a terrific pattern! I guess as well the February Lady Sweater seem popular, I haven´t tried it myself, but it´s on my list of future projects.

    Good luck choosing a new pattern!

  2. My, my! What a lot of fine work there. I´m sorry you are not happy with it. I have no idea about knitting but I appreciate all the work it involves and I´ve never seen so many different "stitches"? toguether!

  3. Such gorgeous knitting!! Such a shame that you are not happy with it.Perhaps I am wrong but I find that I have NEVER EVER got on well with patterns in Interweave magazines apart from one crochet cardigan that I did.So I have vowed for the sake of my sanity and bank balance,as they always seem to use the most expensive yarns going,that I am NEVER EVER going to use one of their patterns again.
    I must admit though that some yarns do seem "fated" with bad karma.Anybody who has never knitted or crocheted will totally fail to appreciate this but WE know it is true.
    Do not be disheartened... you are an accomplished knitter and it happens to everyone.Onward and upwards!

  4. WOW and WOW! You´re a person with patience, I can´t with the needles... If I have to wait a year until to see the result...uuuuff it would be crazy!!
    But to wear a cardigan made by you, has to be so gorgeous!!!!

  5. You are a highly accomplished knitter and have huge reserves of patience! I am so impressed that you have created these beautiful pieces, even though they are not working out the way you hoped they sure show massive expertise on your part. So I am sure you WILL find something lovely for that wool... I think this colour looks lovely on you too.

  6. How frustrating for you as the knitting you have done looks so beautiful and so complex. I would be screaming. I think the bumpy back piece looks less fugly on the model as it is partly hidden by her hair!

  7. Oh no! How annoying! I know you'll make a perfect project from that yarn eventually-- better luck next time!!

  8. Such gorgeous knits, I'm so sorry they belong to the frogging pile! I'm sure I'd be endlessly frustrated, you're much more patient than I am. The grey yarn really is beautiful, hope you'll find the right pattern for it!

  9. Oh no! I'm so sorry this yarn isn't working out for you ... I haven't experienced frogging a project yet, but I can totally understand your frustration! Better luck next time!

  10. Oh no! That bulge is so weird, yikes. That sucks after all your hard work.


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