February 6, 2015

The Boat Sweater: A test of will

I am going to be honest, I love this sweater, I really do. But (you knew it was coming) the pattern is a tad difficult to follow in the beginning.

Just to get to this point, I started over three times.
I blamed myself the first two times, misreading a line, not paying close enough attention to what I was doing. By the time I got to the third try, ok, maybe it isn't me. 
I eventually had to move my BOR marker to make it coincide with the pattern. That seemed to straighten out my problem. Though now I wonder if that was the best idea. Is this going to throw off my short rows I did across the back for added length? They were written into the pattern, maybe since I had to move my beginning marker, somewhere in the pattern this compensation is correct for the shaping in the back. 
I decided to just keep going and see what comes out in the end.
I am not a great knitter. I don't get into the technicalities of knitting. Especially if I have a pattern to follow. I just blindly follow and if I like it enough to make another one, then I start thinking about what I will change. A different cuff, more length, that kind of thing. But the first go round, strictly line for line. 
As you can see from the picture below, my beginning stages are quite sloppy looking.
No fancy markers or cutesie pics with the cat. Just a big old round mess that surprises me every time it turns into exactly what I wanted.

Here is the beginning of my next problem with the pattern.
The King Charles Brocade, which is the whole reason I purchased the pattern. The way the designer incorporated it into the sweater, IMHO, is what make this an awesome, comfy looking sweater.
I am not going to lie, I hate charts so it was with great pleasure that I realized the author had also written out the instructions for this part.
I pulled out my trusty little green notebook and pen and started on what I think is the best part of this pattern. 

 This is just a few rounds in, it looks great! The pattern is snapping together perfectly. I am getting super excited about it at this point.

Then we get to around center part of the brocade pattern.
I was buzzing right along, completely amazed with myself being able to keep the pattern straight, tick the rows off in my book and watch t.v. the whole time. I was on a role, and the small snag at the beginning of the pattern was turning into just that. A snag that can be revised with a quick go round after this sweater is through.
Then I get to row 14 or 15, I can't remember exactly which.
It was late, I had been knitting for over four hours. Hmm.... I missed something somewhere. It's not matching up anymore. My knit stitches were going into knit stitches and purls into purls. That doesn't feel right.
Damn! I have got to stop watching t.v. when I am following a pattern.
So I rip out the whole row, (the front side matched up, making it doubly frustrating because I was half way through the round before I realized I had screwed something up), and started over.
Ignoring the television and concentrating on every stitch.
On the second go round, in the middle of the back section, there it was again, my stitches were lining up again. Dang it! I must have added another stitch somewhere.
I was so frustrated with myself at that point, I put all my knitting things away and went to bed.
The next day I picked it up, ripped out two rounds back because I apparently had added an extra stitch somewhere. So I decided to rip back to my last known good row.
The first round went on perfectly and I was paying extreme attention to every stitch and pattern detail I was following.
The second round and the same thing happens again.
Ok, maybe it isn't me. Maybe there is a problem with the pattern, at least the written version.
I did end up going to the projects page on Ravelry and found out that quite a few people had commented on the difficulty of reading this pattern.
Someone said that they had ripped back and followed the chart instead of the written directions and it all worked out.
So that's what I did.
Finally!!! Success!
I had decided that when I was finished knitting this I would go back and write out the chart directions myself so I could compare it to the author's and, if I could find the problem, just drop the author a little note.

Once I got past that big snafu, the pattern becomes very easy to follow and written just the way I like it. Simple and straight forward.

As you can see from the picture I am well on my way past the charted part of the pattern.
8" of the 14" of stst.

The author saw my Ravelry posts and asked me what had happened. Which I thought was very sweet.
I am still going to go back over the chart and write it out, I am curious to see if, maybe it was just me, and I kept screwing up until I sat down and read the chart.
With me, it could happen that way!
And if you are wondering, YES! I so think this sweater is going to be worth it!

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