Reality Bites

Originally published  Saturday, January 3, 2009

If you are a knitter, you will understand completely what I am about to say. You will sympathize, empathize. You will say, I feel your pain. Been there, done that.

First a little background. I am working on Kinsale, which is a textured sweater designed by Alice Starmore that is found in the book Fishermen’s Sweaters. Like so many of Starmore’s designs, it is knit at a very tight gauge. I started Kinsale quite a while ago and finished the back and the bottom band of the front before I set it aside to work on other projects. As you can see in the picture, instead of a ribbed cuff, Kinsale has a welt that is made up of a pattern of purl two rows, knit two rows.

So, today I pick up Kinsale and start knitting. I think to myself that maybe I ought to check to see if my current gauge matches the gauge I got when knitting the back lo these many months ago. I hold up the completed back to compare it to the front, and something just isn’t right. At first I cannot figure out what it is. The gauge seems fine on both pieces. Then it jumps out at me like a bolt out of the blue. The welt on the front piece had one more pattern repeat in the welt than the back piece. Yikes!

I look at the instructions in the book and realize that I had indeed left out a four-row repeat when I knitted the back. What to do? There are several options.

•I can rip out the back and reknit the whole darned thing. Nope. Not in this lifetime.

•I can rip out the front and reknit it with only three repeats of the welt pattern so that it will match the already completed back. But that would mean ripping out three whole repeats of the 16-row diamond pattern. Nope, I don’t want to do that.

•I can pick up the stitches of the first row of the welt on the back piece with a circular needle, snip the cast-on and pick it out, then knit another repeat of the welt pattern and cast off. Yep, that’s the ticket. I’ll do it that way.

Now that I have it all figured out, I can just relax and keep merrily knitting away on Kinsale. Keep your fingers crossed I don’t screw up again.



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