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Error Making and Error Correcting

Life is an error-making and an error-correcting process…

Jonas Salk, 1914-1995
American Medical Researcher, developed a polio vaccine

Vacation Knitting = Relaxed

I have been knitting in fits in starts, since 2005, a vest for which I did a gauge swatch. It’s a wonderful design… the Equilateral Vest by Lucy Neatby. I even tried on Lucy’s sample garment, so I knew the design looked great on me.

Maybe you’ve heard me talk about my gauge-of-the-hour? Where my stitches get more relaxed and then more firm without my notice, as I knit? Well, in August 2005, I knit this swatch.

My stitches started out at the right size. I started my vest on vacation. Um, I was sort of relaxed on vacation. Imagine that!

So as I knit (no longer on vacation), my gauge firmed up quite a lot. I finished the vest except for the edgings, several years after starting the project.

Reality Sets In

The vest was to come down to hip-bone level or so. Unfortunately, the final product looked more like a bolero than intended, ending several inches above the desired location. It’s not my style. Here’s a photo I took in 2009:

The colors in the vest are gorgeous, so I’m not giving up easily. There is NO way I will rip out and re-knit, especially since there is a good bit of sewing in it. I don’t mind sewing but it gets in the way of ripping.

Decision Made

I’ve figured out I’ll just keep knitting triangles and adding them to the bottom of the vest until it’s long enough for me. On top of that? I’ve pieced some triangles into the center front and made it a pullover vest rather than one with an open front.

I prefer a tunic length to a hip length anyway. Now I’m on a mission to make this as useful in my wardrobe as possible! Hip length is the goal.

It sure took me a long time to figure out what my error-correcting plan might be. Now that I’ve got it figured out, I’m driven to knit more triangles. Here it is this week:

Knitter Notes

The yarn is Noro Kujaku. It’s a slowly-color-changing wool yarn with a rainbow wrap of rayon throughout. Lovely… and discontinued.  I’m using 3 colorways (one  turquoise-based, one purple, one magenta).

If I use every inch, I may do OK. If not, I’ll go begging for other folks’ scraps. Sister-in-Love Diana has already given me a small coin purse made of yet a 4th colorway, which may be ripped out for spare yarn if needed. I’m going to make the edgings in a solid yarn to stretch things further.

I Wonder What This Means about Me?

For some reason, fudging and fiddling off-track items into submission really makes me happy. This is really fun, pushing to the end of the project. Other than the extra time it took to ponder a solution, I am really happy with it.

My mom is really great at seeing the potential in garments she buys at thrift shops. She changes collars, shortens dresses at the waist (rather than hem) at times, restyles, repairs and more. I guess I grew up knowing that fiddling with garments was not only useful but fun! (Thanks, Mom.)

6 Responses to “Error Making and Error Correcting”

  1. Mom Says:

    Thank you for honoring me with your being able to transform garments. I have to thank my mom for what she handed down to me. During WWll and after, we had to adjust things to have clothes that were fun to wear. It is a way to put your creative art to work. I am glad that you are able and happy to convert clothes. Have fun wearing them. Mom 

  2. Irene Says:

    I certainly remember my mother letting hems down and covering the (inevitable – the fabric was natural!) worn-out fabric line with rick-rack or some other decorative tape/ribbon!  I just let down a pair of pants that were really too short, but there is not much fabric for a hem, but I just shortened a pair of brown corduroy pants – and Look!  Cuffs for the too-short pants!  Yea!!!

    (…and the beat goes on…)


  3. Otterwise Says:

    it’s going to be great, and you can wear it for decades. Not a bad time exchange, a few years for decades, eh?

  4. kathy b Says:

    Well I am very impressed. Way to keep at it, over YEARS.  I would have given up by now.  IT is going to be a wonderful knit to wear with everything. 

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I let it sit for many months at a time. I do quit projects sometimes, when it’s clear that the item in question isn’t what I expected it to be. However, this one is too good to let go. I just have to let it have a vacation while I mull over the possible solutions in the back of my mind.

    I’m knitting a few more triangles again tonight. It’s soothing, even when I find I picked up stitches on the wrong side of the former triangle and have to rip back yet again. I just enjoy this process.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I really think I enjoy fixing and fiddling with something than starting from scratch with something normal. It’s so exciting to see the ideas make a garment better.

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