Wayward Knitter Pays for Her Follies

What do you do when you run out of yarn in the middle of a knitting project? It’s the sort of thing that happens to someone like me, who knits by the seat of her pants, without a whole lot of knowledge or regard for things like gauge. You play, you pay.

This project that didn’t go as planned, to put it mildly. I started it for my daughter when she was two. I was trying to knit  a size 4, because I thought it would take me two years to knit my first sweater.

While I was knitting it, three things became clear:

1) If it wasn’t pink, she wasn’t going to wear it.

2) If it didn’t feel like Old Navy cotton pajamas, she wasn’t going to wear it.

3) I had miscalculated gauge (or something) by a long shot, and the body of the sweater was so big it might even fit me. And, oops, there might not be enough yarn for arms. And double oops: the yarn was now out of “print” so I couldn’t get more of it. Yes, I recently tried ebay. No dice.

Not quite able to rip it out, I put it on the shelf. Fast forward five (yes, five!) years later. Suddenly Little Miss is interested in colors like green. She wears wool sweaters. She finds the abandoned project in my knitting basket and professes love for the color and softness of the yarn.

“Mommy, please, please, will you make it for me?”


The arm problem is still here, but rather than settle for a vest, or shortened arms, she wanted to pick out an alternate color for the arms. We had the best time at the yarn store downstairs, setting out yarns on the weaving stool and carefully choosing buttons.

I explained the whole dilemma to the store owner in German—-so proud of that accomplishment! I love having a friendly acquaintance with the neighborhood shop owners, especially when they even remember your mother who visited last summer.

I was a bit surprised when Little Miss picked out the gray (!) rather than a multicolored Noro I had been eyeing. Hopefully she’ll actually wear the result.

Thinking of making a band or stripe on the gray arm (in the teal color—I do have some left). What do you think? And as the shop owner pointed out, I could also add some ribbing on the bottom or neck in gray. But I may need some help from the more experienced family knitters for that.

I’m writing this post in the hopes that you’ll spur me onward. Off to go knit…

Oh by the way, the pattern is Haiku from Knitty (by Kristi Porter), and I do not place any blame on the pattern for my problems. It’s actually really lovely to knit. A perfect first sweater and fast-going even for me, the perpetual advanced beginner. But, you know, get someone to help you with gauge if, like me, you don’t know much about it. The pattern isn’t written for a particular type of yarn (love the flexibility) which means you need to know your business in the gauge department.

Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with the lovely and talented Sarah Towle, app author.

7 thoughts on “Wayward Knitter Pays for Her Follies

  1. Well, I am certainly impressed – yes with you knitting abilities, but especially that you were able to explain the entire situation to the shop keeper IN German!! And I am sure the sweater will be well loved, for it comes with a memorable story:-)

  2. I think the aqua stripe in the arm band would be really neat and you could add one of the fur collars they are showing this season around the neck. That would make it even warmer. That precious daughter is really growing up and we look forward to seeing all of you in 2012. That was quite an accomplishment explaining all of that in German,but because it was you doing it I wasn’t surprised.

  3. This is why I have not taken up knitting (other than a 1-week attempt when I was pregnant and had delusions of making cute little baby sweaters) … but good for you for sticking with it! And it looks like a beautiful sweater.

  4. Pingback: Oops! Super-Sized Toddler Sweater | Emily Smith Pearce

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