Monday, January 26, 2015

Sneak Peak: It's Pip Squeak in progress and a request for some knitting advice

This is my latest attempt at ankle socks. I figured since I messed up some vanilla ankles, why not just up the game and see if I can throw some pattern in it for a second pass.

Also the pair up between last year's Downton Abbey KAL colorway (Christmas at Downton) and Pip Squeak seem really good for each other. The example pattern photo has a nice variegated colorway, so I'm hoping to get something as cute out of it. We'll see.

Knitting in 2015 has brought all kinds of challenges, but I like knitting so it's OK ;)

The Common Ground sweater has me sort of ... sad. I cast off and I knew instantly something was wrong. Bunched up on the needles I could not see just how bunched up my bands were. From the torso down. The chest and hood area turned out fairly nice.

At first I was hoping I could block it out. (Isn't this always the initial optimistic thought process?) And then I realized, it's not happening. I'll need to pull it out and try again.

I know, sassy outfit right? Too sexy for this blog;)
It's okay because it's ribbing and it's pretty painless after pick up.

The real sadness comes that I'm not really in love with the design anymore. I think it's the garter stitch of the shoulder/ short sleeve area.  It's very boxy. Even in the dark yarn, it makes me feel like a linebacker.

Surprise though, the hood actually kinda fits on my ginormous hood!

This is my "I didn't realize I'm THAT tired" photo
So here's the thing my lovelies. We all know I over think everything so I could use some advice.
Do I pull out the ribbing and re-do with the larger needle. (I don't know why but the bottom edge ribbing is with the larger (US10) needles but the one for the front and collar is smaller (US9).

Or do I stick with the smaller needle as directed and just modify how many stitches I pick up in the torso, um evenly?

OR ... do I do a combination of both -- use the larger needle and try and pick up my stitches more and more evenly despite whatever the pattern says (also known as ... off the deep end, going rogue.)

Your sage commentary is always welcome and helpful. 


  1. I guess my question is ......after you do all that new work, are you going to actually wear it? If you don't like it, might it be better to frog the whole thing and use the yarn for something you'll love?

    As for the mechanics of the whole thing? I'm at a loss. I'm not much of a sweater knitter.

    P.S. I actually think you look pretty cute in it.

  2. I think it looks lovely too, and I wouldn't dare give anyone any knitting advice. But I do hope you end up loving it. CJ xx

  3. Pips are perfect for variegated yarn!

    Generally ribbing is usually done on a smaller needle, so the "follow the rules" half of me says go with option one. But even I barely listen to that half of me, so the other half of me is saying option 2. (I know - not much help)

  4. Rule of thumb for picking up sts along a vertical edge is 3 for 4. I would not use a larger needle, that makes the ribbing sloppy. I would start there and then see what happens.

  5. I agree with Chrisknits. Same needle (the ribbing looks great) but it looks like you need more stitches to avoid the pucker. I have that same problem all the time. It always takes me several tries to get front bands right. The last sweater I knit was designed so you knit the bands and sew them on which I thought was a horrible idea until I saw how nice they turned out.

  6. You don't want sweater advice from me, but I can say that it is a great sweater and totally worth redoing the band.

  7. OH Ellen!!!!! You finished that whole sweater and then it was naughty. Shame on it. I LOVE the hood!! I guess I have no advice. Just kleenex for you.
    I must say I LOVE the yarn color of the sweater. You did good girl! Let's blame the designer..

    The socks, on the other hand are gorgeous. Wonderful. Socks usually behave as they should for me. Sweaters..meh....they always cause me some sort of pain.

    Pour a nice glass of your favorite wine and think this reknit band thing over.
    I am really the very last person to ask for sweater advice. I like a nice glass of beaujolis (did I spell that right?)

  8. I usually use smaller needles for ribbing and I'm guessing you'll need to pick up more stitches. After all that work, I think you should keep this hoodie. Since it's a neutral brown, it can go with anything.

  9. I agree with Chris. Keep the smaller needles for the ribbing. Usually a pattern will tell you the ratio of how many stitches to pick up for the buttonband. But if it doesn't, you can easily figure it out by using the ratio of stitch gauge to row gauge. In this case, I would try picking up 4 stitches for every 5 rows along the stockinette part and 4 stitches for every 6 or 7 rows along the garter part. It might take you several tries, but I know you can do it! The hood looks super cute and the color is a wonderful neutral. Just remember that it's a rare thing for the Perfect Sweater to fall off the needles. Most of mine require a bit of a wrestling match before I can wear them :)

  10. I think you should add length to the sweater and make the ribbing narrower if possible. If you added length then I think that would eliminate that boxy feeling.

    also I recommend putting it in a two week time out then the feelings subside and you can think more clearly, I do that when I'm not sure.

  11. I agree with the time out idea; if you don't think you'll wear it, frog it and make something you like as it's a really nice color. But if you decide to keep on it, it does sound like you've not enough stitches in the ribbing. Sounds like you've gotten quite a bit of good advice with lots of possible options. Good luck!

  12. Did the pattern tell you how many stitches to pick up? It seems that you have too few and that is why the other piece of fabric is bunching up.

  13. Ah don't you just hate it when you cast off and the dang sweater is not what you had hoped for? It happens all the time. I have to say I like it and with a tweak in the ribbing you should be happy.