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Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I have been knitting on and off for 50 years and I recently learned to crochet. I love looking for wool bargains and making them into something useful. I mainly knit for charity. I occasionally knit for myself and family members if I find a really good pattern or if they ask nicely!!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

A new jumper...and a disaster averted




I had some lovely cream Aran yarn, quite a lot of green and cream 4 ply yarn and lots and lots of wooden buttons all needing a good project.  I settled on the Child's Top-Down Henley pattern which I found on Ravelry.  The pattern calls for the Aran yarn and the 4 ply yarn to be knitted together, so it makes a very thick and warm jumper. Bulky seams are avoided because this is basically knitted in one clever, seamless piece.

I had to juggle with my colours a little to make sure that I didn't run out of the 4 ply yarn.  The sleeves are the same length even though the photo makes one of them look shorter!  So I enjoyed carefully counting rows and switching colours until I eventually produced a wearable striped jumper.

The real disaster was averted much earlier in the knitting process.  As this is a top-down pattern, I started at the neckline and increased stitches regularly until there were 168 stitches on my long circular knitting needle.  I then knitted 2 more rows and was finally ready to divide the stitches for the sleeves and body. At the end of the second row I pulled my needle with a celebratory flourish and.....horror of horrors.....the needle tip separated from its cable.  The tip flew out of one end of the row and the cable whizzed back through at least 70 stitches.  Argggh!!  

Luckily, I am not a swearer.  Otherwise the air might have turned blue.  Instead I surprised myself by staying calm as I worked my way back through the dropped stitches until I had picked them all up.  This was made difficult by the fact that each stitch consisted of the 2 yarns held together and by the fact that my cat seemed to sense a problem and was trying to make it better by nose-butting me!

I considered myself lucky that the disaster had happened on ordinary stocking stitch. If it had happened on lace, I would have had to rip back the whole thing.  Eventually I managed to save the situation in 30 minutes and I learned a vital lesson.  Don't expect a cable to hold 168 stitches when it can really hold only 100.  The irony is that I have a longer cable and could have used that.  In future, I will.

The Aran yarn and the wooden buttons were donated to me by Joanne of the Cup On The Bus blog.  The 4 ply yarn came also as donations or in cheap bargain lots.  The jumper will go off soon to Operation Orphan.  It should fit a four year old child and will hopefully be strong enough to be passed down through a whole family.  It was that thought that kept me going when it was really tempting to have a knitter's meltdown!


13 comments:

  1. Wow Una that children's sweater you made is just gorgeous and I love the color of the yarn you used! Great job!

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  2. I'll bet that has happened to every committed knitter! Excellent recovery. Thirty minutes probably is a record recovery period.

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    1. It helped that I was due to leave the house for an appointment and wanted everything sorted before I left. I was afraid that the dropped stitches would slowly work their way down through the rows if I didn't pick them up quickly. I was so relieved when it all went well.

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  3. The jumper is beautiful Una. Good on you for getting all those stitches back on the needles....
    I checked out my local library and the book you wrote about in the previous post was available. So naturally I borrowed it and am enjoying reading it.

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    1. Good for you. I love it when people support their local library. I read a lot and hate to think how much that would cost if I had to buy the books.

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  4. Una, you are so patient , I love the jumper I'm sure it's going to keep a few family members nice and warm xx

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  5. What a knitting adventure ... err ... scare!!! Wow -- I gasped as I read it. You're a wonder, saving all that! Glad you got yourself a longer set of circulars now. Phew!

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  6. Well done Una, I don't think I would have been so calm. The jumper is lovely and it's going to be a warm one too thank you for the link to the pattern. :) xx

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  7. Oh crickey!!! Good save. I do love those top down patterns, but
    if something goes wrong, something does go wrong!! lol
    Glad you survived.
    Cheers, Anita.

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  8. My goodness, I am glad that you could rescue it. I am sure that the jumper will be well appreciated! xx

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  9. What a lovely jumper Una, some kiddie is going to be warm in it x

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  10. The jumper looks so nice and warm, it will sure warm the kid that gets it. You really got a job to pick up all the stitches!

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