Saturday, 31 January 2009

Scarves and sticky problems

As it is now his birthday, I can share the present I made for my friend Martin.

I used Sirdar Tweedie, which is a lovely wool, acrylic and alpaca mix. It is chunky, soft and robust. Martin likes to walk up mountains, so I am hoping it will be long enough for him to wrap it around his neck several times to keep snug. I am pleased with this scarf, which was knitted lengthways to form the ribs. Each side of the scarf has its appeal.

I like the fact that each side is different.

After getting this present done, I was able to go back to my college projects. I started with the textured hat, which is my latest college assignment. I cast on the required 90 stitches and did my 2 x 2 ribbing for 4 cm, adding the additional stitch midway along the row and reverse stocking stitched for a couple of rows. Then I did my bobbles. I was really proud of my bobbles until I'd done another couple of rows. I started the next section of the pattern which was a leaf motif, and found that the stitch count was out. By one stitch. ARGHHHHHH! How is this possible I cried. I spent about 20 minutes searching for a dropped stitch and I couldn't find one. Eventually I worked out that one of my bobbles had pulled an extra stitch into the passed over stitches.

This picture shows how before the bobble there are four stitches, which are marked with a stitch marker in each, and by the time it gets to the needle there are only three stitches. So I knitted the pattern up to the missing stitch and dropped the stitch that was marked with a red stitch marker, shown above, as this was the stitch that emerged from the relevant bobble.

I unpicked the mess of passed over stitches to reveal the extra missing stitch and put a stitch marker in each unpicked stitch. Working on the wrong side, I then used a crochet hook to pick up the stitch next to the stitches I had already worked.

I placed the picked up stitch onto the needle which had the unworked stitches on it. I turned the work to the right side and purled the stitch. I then repeated the procedure with the other dropped stitch.

I then tried to finish working the row. However, despite fixing this sticky problem all by myself, without having to resort to books or the internet, the pattern did not work out as expected. I have counted and recounted the pattern and the stitches on my needles and they just do not tally. I think that the pattern is wrong, so I have had to put this project to one side until college on Tuesday when I can tackle the tutor about her pattern.

I am pleased I have sorted the bobbles out and I KNOW I have the right stitch count now as well. I could have just inserted an extra stitch to resolve the problem of the missing one, but it was a matter of testing myself and my growing skills at reading the knitting. I am very proud at sorting this problem out all by myself and it is helping me feel more confident that the pattern is wrong and not me. Its a shame I will have to wait to sort the pattern out, because I am quite enjoying making this hat. Until college, I will carry on with the Kidsilk Haze Scarf.

I have picked up the stitches down one half of the scarf and knit the ruffle. I have also half picked up the remaining stitches, and you can see from the picture how the finished item is going to look. I think this is going to be a gorgeous little scarf, when it is finally done. I really should go and finish picking up the rest of the stitches whilst it is daylight, because it is nigh on impossible by artificial light, but maybe I'll just take a little break from scarf knitting and enjoy a bit of lurking round Ravelry instead.


  1. Love the colour and texture of the scarf. Bet your friend was really chuffed with it:o)

    Your blog name had me giggling - seems we share a similar sense of humour! My step son snorts when we call my car the cripmobile! Sometimes you just need to laugh in the face of it though, don't you!

  2. I saw Martin last night and the scarf looks lots better on him than on me, it is a perfect manly scarf!

    Oh and he didn't know he was going to be seeing me, so the wearing of the scarf was free choice and not being polite, yay!

  3. Both scarves look amazing and those are the coolest stitch markers I've ever seen!

    (Knitting in college? How COOL. Wish they had that when I was there!)

  4. Thanks, Oriri, the stitch markers are very useful and are made by Inox, they are pretty easy to get in the UK.

    The college I go to is an Adult Education College and they offer quite a few non-vocational courses. I learnt ceramics there, as well as having some beading and some sewing classes.

  5. I think you are AMAZINGLY patient to sort out the bobble-stitch issue. The scarves are great - how many stitches per row were there on the sideways-knitted one??
    Having to ask these questions via blog as neither of us is at Knit Group tonight!!
    Ang x

  6. Thanks Ang, I knew that I didn't have to fix the mistake if I didn't want to, but as I am trying to learn and challenge myself with my knitting, I felt I should at least try and see if I could sort it out "properly". I'm glad I did, but I think if it happens elsewhere in the pattern, I won't bother!

    The lengthways scarf had about 250 stitches cast on (I think). I remember it being a lot anyway.


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