WIP: Faire Isle Sweater Frustrations

Written by Sarah on November 26th, 2012 Posted in faire isle, holiday, knits, life, sweater, technique, WIP

How was your Thanksgiving? Jon and I cooked dinner for our family (with help from my mom and Aunt Sherry!) and his first turkey turned out fantastically! It was such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and I was so pleased to be able to do something small for my family who has done so much for me.

After Jon and I spent all day working on turkey and mashed potatoes and other yummy awesome Thanksgiving goodies, he and my parents fell asleep on respective couches and I sat down to work on the back of my faire isle sweater as a little treat to myself for keeping my energy up all day and also because I was having a dessert/tea sugar/caffeine buzz. I guess the buzz was insufficient because I ended up casting on 120 stitches instead of 130. I counted it at least five times before I started knitting. But about three inches in I realized that I was missing an inch of width.

So I ripped that whole piece out. It was only about a day’s worth of work but I was pleased with how it looked. It’s always disheartening to frog a good chunk of knitting. And it’s embarrassing when you find yourself cursing the pattern when really you’re the one that can’t count. That’s about where I am with the progress on this sweater now. I always kick myself because I post photos of the beginnings of things and the FOs but it’s tough to show the middle part without looking like a pile of stitches.


In my fit of frogging, I began to worry that the sweater will turn out too tight. As I mentioned before, the difference between all of the sizes is 4 1/2″which left me with a difficult choice, somewhere between fairly snug and possibly awkwardly large. (I’m really trying to hold back in the oversized comfy sweater department. I love them but I should really be wearing proper outfits now and then.) I’ve started kicking myself that I should have been using size 4 needles instead of size 3s to give myself a little extra breathing room. With both sleeves finished, I am going to continue crossing my fingers that a good blocking and some good old-fashioned wear will make everything just right. I do hope it turns out. I like to think that I’m a process knitter but I’ve been really looking forward to styling this sweater.

Anyway, stick around this space because there will be some fun gift guides coming up soon!

Any crafting catastrophes recently? What holiday crafting are you doing? What do you want for the holidays?

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Comments (9)

  • Jessie
    November 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm |

    I do this as well, start to second guess myself in the middle of a project. Just keep going with your gut, and I know blocking and good ol’ wear will make that sweater fit perfectly!

    • November 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm |

      Thanks! I always need to remind myself to stick with my gut!

  • Jessie
    November 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm |

    I had a Thanksgiving knitting screw-up too! After dinner I cast on for the body of the sweater I’m making, in the round, bottom-up. It was a lot of stitches, but I counted about three times and had the right number. Knit, knit, knit. Yesterday I realized I’m having to twist the knitting around way too much. It was twisted! Mobius sweaters don’t work. 🙁 Luckily I was only about an inch into the ribbing, but it was still hard to undo all that work.

    • November 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm |

      Oh no! I feel your pain!

  • November 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm |

    I’m sure it will block right out. I find that when I need to make something grow, blocking in warmer water helps the fibers to relax more.

    And although not a catastrophe, I spent last night ripping part of a sock out because I skipped reading one line of the pattern right before the heel turn. At least the mystery of why the pattern repeats were coming out entirely wrong was explained.

  • November 27, 2012 at 11:27 pm |

    That’s frustrating, but I think the sweater will be worth the trouble.

    I had a minor crafting hangup that I thought was a catastrophe for a few hours. I’ve been working on sleeves for two different sweaters and I got them muddled up in my brain so I thought one of the sleeves didn’t fit right after I finished it, but eventually I realized that I didn’t work enough repeats before the ribbing because I had done the number of repeats the other sweater called for.

    • November 28, 2012 at 9:31 am |

      Ack! That sounds terrifying! I would have been so stressed!

  • November 28, 2012 at 7:35 am |

    Hiya, Liking your blog, but can’t figure out how to subscribe …rss preferably. Am I being thick?


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