06 April 2010

Gremlins in Knitting Instructions

Good morning, All! I have my steaming-hot cup of coffee by me (and, yes, I really do use my French Press Foulard), so I feel strong enough to share the next photo with you.

This, my dears, is my friend and student for my Eighteen Fair Isle class at String of Purls, Karen, cutting away the top half of her vest. Not steeking, but actually cutting half of her knitting to remove it from the other half! She did say that having the rest of the class with her gave her the courage to do this without crying and saying naughty words.

I am very impressed with Karen's fortitude and willingness to complete this project, gremlins and all. They struck the first time while Karen was purchasing her yarn, changing the words Fingering to Sport on the ball band. She was well into her vest, nearing the armholes, when she discovered the gremlin mischief that had caused her to use fingering-weight yarn for the background color and sport-weight for the contrast colors. (The pattern calls for all sport-weight, so this was going to be a peculiar vest!) Karen huffed and puffed just a little bit - in public - and took the project off the needle. (She plans on using this piece to make a felted Fair Isle bag, which I think is brilliant!)

Karen, then, cast on again, and we all know how deja-vu-ish (in a negative way) that can be, got through the armhole and v-neck steeks before she realized that the gremlins had visited again and changed the words in the instructions from "decrease one stitch at each side of neck steek on the next 8 rounds" to "decrease one time each side of neck steek every 8th round." This was going to create a neck line that would resemble a slit more than a V.

When I walked into the shop yesterday morning for our final class, Karen was running a life-line through a pattern row just below the steeks. She then cut the top away, a few rows above the life-line. While this was drastic, it seemed more plausible than unraveling all those rounds with 7 colors.

How were the other students feeling during this unnerving display? Check for yourself:

No beads of sweat on their foreheads!

The color combinations have been fabulous! I offer 3 choices in the pattern. (Doesn't Captain Jack Sparrow say something about guidelines more than rules?) And these ladies have taken off from there. Here is Ro, modeling her just-completed vest:

I love the vibrancy of the purple/orange/gold colorway she created! And for me, it's happiness beyond words to see someone wearing a garment that started it's existence in my head...and she's smiling!

Moral of the gremlin story: This has happened to all of us, and no matter how brilliant we might be, read carefully and don't allow the words to be altered all willy-nilly!


  1. I didn't know it was the gremlins that did these things. Now I know who to blame!

  2. Yes, gremlins. I've heard them laugh once or twice! Have you been having a wonderful B-day?