Why Can’t Fab Follow Directions?

I am currently working on a pair of little knit leg warmers for the baby. It’s such a cute little pattern.  It’s such a simple little pattern.  It makes me ask myself, What is wrong with me?

This is the thought process I went through:  The pattern calls for fingerling weight yarn… but I REALLY like Bernat Softee Baby, and it’s DK weight, close enough.  The pattern calls for size 1 dpn’s…  Smallest needles I have is a set of size 3 circs, close enough.

…Don’t know why this isn’t working…

I do this all the time.  I just can’t follow directions.  To me a pattern, like a recipe, is merely just a suggestion.

So now I have to re-figure my gauge and adjust the pattern to fit it.  My gauge is 6 stitches= 1 inch, so I figure that I’ll have to cast on 44 stitches instead of 64…Using some mad math skills to ensure that the 2 x 2 ribbing pattern repeats fully.  And rather than knitting in the round I’ll just have to knit it flat and sew it together when I’m done.

…Don’t know why this isn’t working…

So, after casting on and knitting the ribbing for an inch and a half, I hold it up to the baby’s leg and find that it’s way too small for her chubby little thigh.  It’s not that her thigh is bigger than average, just that her Mom knit the gauge swatch much looser than average.  And now I have to improvise.  Instead of knitting it from the top down, I will knit it from the bottom up.  I will do increases instead of decreases.  I will need to adjust the number of increases due to my wonky gauge.  By the time I’m finished, the only part that will be actually from the pattern is the length.  Happens all the time.  Someone went through all that trouble to write a lovely pattern, why can’t I just follow it?

So the point is this: If you are going to decide to stray from a pattern then you had better be prepared to change it all together.  Maybe even turn it into something else entirely.  I’ve seen it often, comments on knitter’s projects that read something like “Started out being a hat, but it ended up being a cat bed”.  Take advantage of times like this to teach yourself some design skills.  Maybe next time I make leg warmers I will be able to design them 100% myself.  Maybe soon my own designs will be available.  And maybe someone will look at my pattern and say, “I don’t have any DK weight yarn, but I have this really cool super bulky…”

Published in: on July 5, 2009 at 10:17 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I had to laugh as I read this, it’s always the way. You are a designer at heart.


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