Does “the Force” Guide Your Knitting?!

I’ve decided that my knitting must be guided by some sort of creative force that spurns being caged in the form of written notes.

Thor’s (belated) birthday present is a cardigan with Brown Sheep’s discontinued “Prairie Silk” (72% wool, 18% mohair & 10% silk, 50g/88y/80m), purchased nearly 20 years ago and dyed some 10 years ago.  While I frequently make up my own patterns and designs, I do so only for my own pleasure and creative outlet.  I keep notes, of course, but no one else reads them except for me.  I decided this time I would keep notes so, if I chose, I could create a pattern and share the design.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “… the road to hell is paved with good intentions?”  Let’s just say I laid a lot of bricks on that road with this project.Erasepic1

erasepic2First, here are some pictures of my notes.   While I might be able to translate Erasepic3my notes into some sort of sensible instructions, I’d rather just go onto my next project.

Second, somewhere along the line I realized my calculations for the sweater’s arms didn’t match what I had knit.  Hmmm … I checked my notes – no, nothing wrong with my math.  After much proverbial head scratching, I realized I knit the arms on a different sized needle than the body.  Nothing a little adjusting couldn’t fix, so I continued.

Next, I decided I didn’t want to use a saddle shoulder with the raglan sleeves.  Again, not a problem – just a few additional notes to make in my book.

Erasepic4Fourth, before starting with the button band and shawl collar, I decided a narrower button band would look better than the one I planned.  Easy enough to adjust my pattern once again!   After some calculations, I knit Elsebeth Lavold’s “Running Knots” cable in two strips and then grafted them to the edge of the cable (Lavold’s “Bjärs Hitches) onto which I would have knit the button band in an earlier pattern.

Lastly, I wondered what was I thinking when I knit a 2/2 ribbing at the bottom of the sweater!  I didn’t like the way it looked against both the cables and the garter ribbed pattern of the body.  Out came my sewing shears; I cut off the 2/2 ribbing, put the live stitches on a sturdy cotton yard, and then knit a new (folded) hem in the garter ribbed pattern that I will graft on tomorrow.  Of course, now I have to cut off the current sleeve cuffs knit in 2/2 ribbing and knit new hems for the arms too!

I wonder how many times I will change my mind with the button band and the shawl collar?!


About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
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23 Responses to Does “the Force” Guide Your Knitting?!

  1. salpal1 says:

    But you DO the cutting and reknitting to get it right. I have never cut, and can not imagine it. I have ripped many things and reknit, but that isn’t; the same level of fearlessness. 🙂


  2. I think I’ve been driving Thor crazy with all the revisions I keep making to his sweater. I think he just wants me to finish it up asap so he can wear it!



  3. tgonzales says:

    Yes you are so right! I just love the process of creating something that I love and other people most of the time love it too. 🙂


  4. Something about typing out my notes …just doesn’t foster or nourish my creative spirit!


  5. I guess neither of us feels a compunction to publish our designs!


  6. I feel your pain! I’d feel compelled to unravel and start again!


  7. Given the amount of cutting and reknitting I’m doing, I’m not sure I’m bow worthy! 🙂 I now need to cut and redo the cuffs and then knit the button band/shawl collar.


  8. needleandspindle says:

    I love a hand made journal, sketches, notes and calculations. You just don’t see enough of this real work on the internet. Bravo for sharing. May the force be with you.


  9. tgonzales says:

    Oh My gosh Alice. You are something else with your knitting skills. You amaze me with cutting your knitting and then picking up your stitches. I agree with you on the pattern writing; I feel the same way about my crochet designs. Instead of writing the steps down I would rather move onto my next project. May the Force be with you. 🙂 Hugs, Tamara


  10. Oh man, the amount of mind changing and ripping and reknitting and recalculating I do every time I design is absurd. It’s one of the reasons most of my designs are self-published. I might have no trouble producing exactly what I said I would on time, but if I get halfway there and decide some other way would look better, I will absolutely hate every second from then on.


  11. salpal1 says:

    I can not wait to see this finished product! I often start knitting, sure I will be able to tell by my copious notes precisely how I am creating this garment, only to find out as I cast on the second sock/sleeve/mitten that I either can’t read my writing, or that my definition of “copious” has changed dramatically. I bow to you, my friend.


  12. I like the process too … whether I’m knitting a little project for the grandkids or a sweater for Thor. I think it’s because I enjoy the process so much that I have no problem unraveling sweaters that are 90% complete and redesigning! (Another reason to buy good yarn: withstands the abuse!)


  13. Maybe I could cut and knit in pockets?!


  14. Soon … I’m running out of things to cut or reknit on his sweater!


  15. Thanks for reading. I’m glad I’m not the only one whose knitting is guided by “the Force.” 🙂


  16. When I was young I sewed and tailored a lot and, on top of that, I saw many a Norwegian family member take scissors to knitting to cut steeks. Admittedly, the first time I cut a steek my hands were sweating, but now I don’t even flinch when I cut into knit garments. 🙂


  17. Many (many) years ago my daughter presented me with a beautiful ringed book (I think intended for art sketches), and I started writing my notes – once scattered like yours, at when I actually wrote down notes! 🙂 That’s helped a lot in that they are in one place at least. 🙂


  18. ethgran says:

    I am really bad when I create a pattern in that I don’t write enough down to keep me on track if the garment takes me a while. I need to start putting my notes into a book like you do – maybe that would get me straight. I am like you in that if Anything bothers me about what I have done, it needs correcting however I do a lot of ‘junk’ projects because I have been intrigued by a stitch I haven’t seen before or a fun shape or I find a yarn that I want to try out. Frankly, I knit because I like the process, not so much to end up with a garment. The grandchildren get most of my focus on creating something useful and I love making hats and scarves for one of my daughters-in-law. She is so sweet and appreciative. Thanks for the inspiration to pull myself together!


  19. kiwiyarns says:

    LOL! I wonder if Thor is wondering if he will ever get his sweater!?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. jengolightly says:

    This is exactly why I’ll never make it into Ravelry!!! Lol! Great post!


  21. Deb says:

    I gasped when you mentioned CUTTING off the ribbing. Pretty brave. At least you are nearing the end of the sweater.


  22. slippedstitches says:

    I like the book you keep it all in. I scatter written notes much like Hansel Und Gretel did bread crumbs. Papers in upstairs rooms and downstairs rooms, time spent searching for the correct sheet with the info I need. Unfortunately, some times it takes a little longer because I forget what it is I was searching for. When the written pattern is complete, in proper form, I know the Force has been carrying me. Who else could keep track of my loose filing system?


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