Calculate Twice, Knit Once

May 13, 2013 by

Calculate Twice, Knit Once

I did not heed the words of my title (adapted from the woodworker’s axiom “Measure twice, cut once”) and now must pay the price by tinking (i.e. knitting backward) an entire piece of sweater. Oops indeed.

Pierrot Yarns sweater vest

Pierrot Yarns Sweater Vest

I thought I was in good shape. I finally got my knitting mojo back and wanted to start a new project with some beautiful deep green Mission Falls Merino Superwash yarn. And I was intrigued by a super-cute sweater vest in a Japanese pattern. But here’s the thing about Japanese patterns, even the ones that are translated, as this one was. The majority of the pattern is not written in narrative, as I’m used to, but as a graphic. I looked at the graphic of the front piece, figured out how many I should cast on, but since I wanted to make it slightly larger, cast on 6 stitches more. And away I began to knit.Sweater pattern

Halfway through the first part of the pattern, the lacey bottom half, I realized that I hadn’t added the 6 stitches for the button band in my cast-on count. Hence, what I thought was a larger size was now exactly what the unaltered pattern had called for. I muttered an expletive, then figured I’d just try to block it bigger at the end. Onward I knitted.

Now I reached the stockinette portion of the pattern. How many rows did I need to knit before starting the decreases for the armhole? Hmmm. In a blatant brainfart, I guessed around 30 rows. Once I began doing the decreases, I finally figured out what that little chart over in the right meant.




Oooooohhhh. You start at the bottom. Knit 2 rows, decrease 1 stitch 2x (2-1-2); then knit 4 rows, decrease 1 stitch 3x. What this meant, however, is that I’d utterly bollocksed up how many rows I should’ve knit in stockinette before hand, and now my sweater piece would fit only if my chest were stretched three inches longer.

And so, my errors realized and me being duly chastened, today I shall tink and start again. Pity me and heed these words: Calculate twice, knit once. Especially on Japanese patterns.



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