Putting things right

Sometimes you know that things are wrong. You know it, but you don’t do anything about it. And the longer you don’t do anything about it, the more difficult it is to motivate yourself to put it right.

And so it is with one of this month’s projects. All the individual elements are lovely:

The yarn is delightful.

Hand spun Portland wool

Hand spun Portland wool

The pattern is beautiful.

Detail of neck warmer


The buttons are perfect.

Mother of pearl buttons

Mother of pearl buttons

But the whole thing just doesn’t work for me. It’s bulky, it’s uncomfortable, it’s stiff, the edging isn’t right and I just don’t like it. I know that if make the matching hat, that too won’t be quite right. The issue is a mismatch between yarn and pattern – both are great… just not together… it happens.

Just not right

Just not right

It has been sitting on the table in my work room for days – not photographed, not blogged about and not entirely finished. Why? Because I know it’s not right.

So, I will bite the bullet and frog it. Then, taking on board what I have learned, I will work the yarn up using a much simpler stitch pattern and make a hat to match. I will put the pattern to one side and, one day, some yarn will come along that will be perfect for it.

In contrast, there are some things that are just made for each other:

Spatterdash wrist warmers in yarn from Burrow and Soar

Spatterdash wrist warmers in yarn from Burrow and Soar

It’s a case of learning to identify what works and what doesn’t, and just getting on with it when something needs putting right.

Yarn craft… a metaphor for life.

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  1. That’s a very natural part of knitting, I’ve found. (And perhaps just life in general?) I don’t know if you’re a swatcher, but I’ve prevented knitting the wrong combo by making a swatch of the pattern, washing (and blocking) it and then seeing if I like the fabric. 🙂 Sometimes washing can make a dramatic difference in how the finished product feels, sometimes it just straight up tells me it won’t work out.

    Either way I adore those buttons! I hope you can find a different yarn for the pattern because it does look lovely. 😀

  2. Oww, I’ve been there! It’s tricky, but I think that the more interesting and intricate the pattern, the plainer the yarn needs to be and vice versa. “Interesting yarn” definitely shows up better with a simple stitch, especially the Colinette bobbly types that I like to use. X

  3. I feel you!! I made a top for Danella Joy – started it back in April. It was a solid stitch tunic style all-in-one pattern with a lacy edging and quite vague details. It had to be undone. I made it again as it was too big. I made it again as it was still too big. The third time I gave up and decided the pattern just didn’t suit her. After two further false starts the yarn is now made up in a pretty lacy sleeveless cardy type thing which is very pretty and perfect for summer when [if] it arrives. I gave up mentioning the thing in blog posts as it becomes tedious and I just wanted to get it done so I could move on with my other planned knits. I’m pleased to say the shrug for daughter #2 is crocheting up very quickly and looking very promising! A metaphor for life indeed!! xo

  4. Ann Pole

     /  November 18, 2015

    I tried to make a dress once, beautiful fabric. I made the top half, then the skirt. Both individually lovely. Then I joined them… Oh dear. I looked like a Victorian maid without the pinny!

  5. A lot of it is also about having the courage to determine what’s wrong and take it apart. Lots of people would just put it aside and be forever grumpy about it, instead of deconstructing.

    • The problem and motivation is that I love all the elements… and am desperate for them to work together! However, because I like them all so much, I really do want to use them, so the deconstruction will get done and new things will emerge.

  6. What a shame, because as you say, all the components are so lovely. Sometimes I carry on and on with something even when I know it is wrong. Then, once I have admitted it, I feel so much better when I start again. Can’t wait to see what emerges from this creative process.

  7. A slightly off the wall suggestion. I agree that the pattern and the yarn are both lovely. If the problem is that the finished fabric is too stiff then you could either re-make the cowl on a larger hook or use the same hook, stitch and yarn to make a cushion cover or hot water bottle cover (which you would want to be stiff anyway)

  1. A ticklish problem | The Snail of Happiness
  2. Wovember warmth | The Snail of Happiness
  3. Finished on the first | The Snail of Happiness

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