Another Hobby Blog

Friday, August 05, 2005


This was my tank top this morning:

This is my tank top this evening:

The astute among you might recognize the pattern as "Smooch" --the top I posted about just a week and a half ago.

I had my share of difficulties a year and a half ago when I first tackled this pattern, but in the end it came out all right and it didn't even take all that long. I've enjoyed wearing it, but have wished it had been a better color. And a little longer. And the armholes a little deeper. Little things.

I thought I'd make another one some day. I bought yarn for it. I made notes. The season turned. I tucked the pattern and yarn away for safekeeping.

Time passed.

This month, Summer hit. With it came a seasonal light-headedness that consists of an unreasonable and unwavering conviction that I can start, finish, and embellish all the projects I can possibly imagine. And that they will each turn out fabulous. And that October is "months away." And that it will stay unbearably hot forever. And that tank tops don't really make my arms look flabby. And that I'll get to the gym more often....

In a fit of what I'm certain must have been a case of heat-exhaustion, I started organizing and cataloging my stash resources. In the process, I unearthed one of the yarns I'd set aside for a Smooch-remake.

This is what Smooch2 looked like on Wednesday, July 20:

According to prior experience, I could therefore expect to have a finished top to wear by the following week.

On Thursday, July 21, Friday, July 22, Saturday, July 23, and Sunday, July 24, I searched for the page of notes I had written last time I knitted this pattern.

On Monday, July 25, I gave up on the notes and decided to work the pattern anew.

On Tuesday, July 26, I rediscovered how intensely I dislike working from this pattern as written. I cursed my inability to find the notes I'd scribbled last time, certain that those notes contained all the answers I needed. I labored through the transliteration (deciphering the pattern-author's intent into a set of instructions I could comprehend and follow). I did the math and made notes for the changes I was hoping to make. I checked the math twice. I cast on, and forged ahead.

On Saturday, July 30, Smooch2 looked like this:

I was making progress. Slower than I'd like, as my wrists are still aching a bit and I'm doing my best to not over-stress them, but progress nonetheless.

On Sunday, July 31, I found the notes I'd been searching for. They did, in fact, hold the clarifications that I had needed.

On Monday, August 1, I ran into several problems, and spent almost as much time ripping as I did knitting. Despite this, I somehow finished the front and bound off at the shoulders. The shaping adjustments I'd made even looked good.

On Tuesday, August 2, I cast on for the back. I counted wrong. I knitted when I should have purled. I was missing a stitch. I purled when I should have knitted. I had too many stitches... Five times I ripped back to fix problems, and that was in the first ten rows.

That same evening, friends were admiring the work I'd completed on the front, and Gipsieee pointed out this lovely detail:


I took a deep breath and decided to live with imperfection. It's already off the needles. It's all the way back in the 22nd row from the cast on. No one will notice. The presence of a minor error signifies the work was done by human hands... It's all in the way you look at it, really.

Heady with my decision to embrace the humility of imperfection, I sailed through the next two problems (absent yarnovers) with hardly a second thought. I simply snugged up the yarn a bit to make the extra stitches, and forged ahead. I'm hoping it won't show after washing and blocking. seems okay for now.

Today, August 4, I got to the armhole shaping for the back. I'm not sure exactly why I decided today to match the side seams of front and back. I'm not sure exactly why I didn't realize this should have been done several times before now. I'm sure you can guess what happened.

8 rows difference. 8 rows that I had intended to put in to lengthen the torso. My own alteration, and somehow I neglected to include them. They were missing from the front--the piece I'd already finished and cast off.


After much agony and distress, I concluded that this wasn't a little imperfection I could ignore. It also wasn't the type of mistake that I could just alter a few stitches now and hope for the best. This was a Real problem that required a Real solution.

I did consider making a new back to match the too-short front and a new front to match the elongated back, but ultimately decided that there had been a reason that I'd wanted to elongate the torso, and I probably wouldn't be happy with the shorter one if the longer one turns out as I envision it.

So today I have a tangle of yarn instead of a new summer top.

As a final insult, I discovered this lovely detail just as I was getting ready to rip:

Eyelets are Evil.


  • At Tue Aug 09, 01:04:00 AM PDT, Blogger Rabbitch said…

    Great, now I'm a-feared of eyelets as well as of dpns. What next?

    Nice to meet you in Seattle, btw.

  • At Tue Aug 09, 03:30:00 PM PDT, Blogger Peacock said…

    It was great to meet you too! Thank you so much for commenting! I was beginning to wonder if anyone was reading my blog...

  • At Tue Aug 09, 08:07:00 PM PDT, Anonymous chittavrtti said…

    I was reading your adventures with smooch and I'm wondering if there isn't some error in the pattern write up that is causing the eyelet to switch like that. Two times running strikes me as a pattern not a knitter fault.****CV

  • At Thu Aug 11, 09:46:00 PM PDT, Blogger bethieee said…

    If it were the same eyelet I'd agree with you, but it's two different eyelets. And they each moved in a different direction.
    I'm thinking the eyelets are just playing with us. They know we have aspirations of knitting lace and think they can scare us away.
    They're going to lose. I know how stubborn the peacock can be.


Post a Comment

<< Home