a terrible disgrace

Let me tell you the story of Grace, a sweet little sweater that innocently fell into the wrong hands. Very wrong hands.
The Good:
– The decision to use Lion Brand Imagine, a very modestly priced acrylic/mohair blend, was a wise one. You only need two skeins!
– Remember the grossly sloping sides on the lower front? Well, I frogged and knit more gradual slopes, and the front pieces matched up just fine and dandy
Silvia made a really cute Grace
The Bad:
– Gauge! AGH! Can’t! Get! Gauge! To! Save! My! Life! Getting gauge is pretty important for a multi-sloped-edge sweater such as Grace
– Really dreadful job at seaming together the pieces, plus a lot of my stitches came out rather deformed
– After spending the entire evening seaming the front pieces together and attaching the front to the back, then knitting the garter stitch neckband, I was ready to knit the armhole edging. I pulled the thing on over my head to see where to put the armholes and noticed that the neckline plunged. It didn’t plunge sexily like Silvia’s; no, it drooped down near my bellybutton! The upper front pieces were WAY TOO LONG.
The Ugly:
grace disaster.JPG
(It looks way more ridiculous on, but I couldn’t bring myself to photograph it. I did mark the approximate navel location, though)
So what’s to become of Grace? Who knows. I was going to throw it in the trash (I don’t think the recycling truck will accept it), but I suppose there are some other options:
– Peter could use it as a scrubbie for washing his boat or car
– It’s pretty bright, so maybe it could double as a reflective safety vest
– No, I can’t really give it away, because I don’t know anyone who is 7 feet tall who would wear it. Also, I did a poor knitting job, and it would be too embarrassing to gift it
– Frog it (though do you KNOW what a pain it is to rip out fuzzy yarn?) and try again in the fall

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27 Responses to a terrible disgrace

  1. Jan says:

    Mariko, you are too funny! Thanks for sharing the ‘not-so-successful’ projects as well as the dazzlers. Gives solace (as well as laughs!!) to all of us who are not as accomplished.

  2. amy says:

    Sew up the arm holes, stuff it with a pillow, flip it over and use it for a pet bed?? Being the beginner knitter that I am I would be PROUD of this project!

  3. Becky says:

    I couldn’t help laughing at the location of the navel. Gives a good indication as to how low the neckline is. Hehe.
    P.S. I go with the vest option. Heck, why not???

  4. kerrie says:

    Sew up the sides and bottom, make a flap to cover the V neck bit, add straps anduse it as a bag!!

  5. Erica says:

    Bummer. I guess you could try frogging it, but you’re right, that kind of yarn is a pain to frog. Too bad! To cheer you up: have you seen the incredibly yummy new fabrics at Reprodepot by munkimunki.com? They are the cutest, literally. (Check out New Arrivals.)

  6. Marta says:

    Mariko, you let me laugh! Even if it is a pity for your Grace, I am happy that I am not the only knitter in the world making such mistakes 🙂
    Your blog is so fun!
    Seriously: the idea to make a bag of it could be a good one, what do you think?

  7. Melissa says:

    You are funny Mariko! I think it works as a vest! I remember reading somewhere (?source) that if you put mohair (maybe it would work for other fuzzy fibers) in the fridge or freezer before frogging, it goes easier. I have no idea if it works.

  8. carolyn says:

    does mohair felt? it’s the perfect time to find out…. it may turn into a child’s vest but then you could give it away w/o remorse. 😉

  9. cari says:

    I’m in the “wear it over a little tank top as a vest” camp. That color’s great. Or you could stitch up the front just a bit? Dude, that does suck, though. To be looking forward to finishing and wearing something and then it just doesn’t meet your expectations… Maybe you should just set it aside for a few weeks before making any decisions pro or con frog.

  10. yoko says:

    I have yet to make any sweaters because I’m daunted by getting and maintaining gauge. Someday I’ll muster the courage to take on the task.
    I like the idea of making Grace into a bag or a vest though. There’s hope yet for “saving Grace”! (hee hee)

  11. kim says:

    If it were my project I would stitch up the v neck just enough to make it decent then weat it with a little cami top. I totally understand your frustration, I’m on my 4th reworking of a sock and I don’t even want to think about starting it’s mate….

  12. Kathleen says:

    The freezer trick does work. I used Imagine for a scarf and noticed how much easier it was to frog, when I was knitting with it out in the cold.

  13. Adrian says:

    Oh, you poor sausage! I just had a similar thing happen with my Kyoto. I had to pack it away out of sight for awhile, until I cooled off and could think clearly. Here’s hoping you figure out a happy solution.
    Your “approximate navel location” nearly made me pee, though. Thanks for that!

  14. kbsalazar says:

    Hmm. Perhaps the problem with getting gauge was because of the yarn you used?
    Row gauge on the Knitty Grace pattern is 22 rows = 4 in. Looking through the wiseNeedle yarn reviews for Lion Imagine, those who reported row gauge were getting between 16 and 18 rows = 4 in. My guess is the taller, leggier stitches of Imagine caused your saggy results. Unfortunately even yarns with the same recommended stitch gauge are not always candidates for successful substitution. On something with complex shaping, like the sloped edges of this piece, row gauge is VERY important.
    If you want to read what others said about Imagine (or add your own comments) here’s the yarn review link:
    My sympathies on Grace. I’ve done the same thing on other projects. I’ve got the hanks of ripped back yarn to prove it.

  15. pj says:

    You are too funny.
    OK. Mariko, you can do it. Take a deep breath, arm yourself with the beverage (or in your case dessert) of your choice, some small sharp scissors and slowly, gently rip away. The key is slowly wins the race and use the scissors only when absolutely needed.
    I had to frog a mohair shawl once (8 skeins of Dune) it marinaded for several years, and just recently became a wonderful garment that gets lots of raves.
    Best of luck, and by the way, I still haven’t started any of the things I had to have in Rebecca 22 – but I gaze a lot!

  16. Gaile says:

    Oh Mariko I feel your pain! But you do SOOO make us all laugh. After seeing all the truly fabulous things you’ve knit, I have no doubt that you will find something groovy and cute to do with that naughty Gracething. Which magnetic fields are you listening to? I have been playing “I” over and over at work this week! 🙂

  17. karen says:

    Personally, I would go with the “throw away” option. I hate keeping reminders of bad knitting experiences. Once the fiber gets cursed, it can never again be knit into a usable garment. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

  18. claudia says:

    This is very sad. Funny, but sad. If you will never wear as is, and don’t want to frog, toss it. There is more yarn in the world. And I’ll bet you own some of it!

  19. Mindy says:

    How much give is there in the neckline? Maybe you could thread an i-cord or crochet chain through and have a lace-front. It would be very St. Pauli Girl.
    I’m TERRIBLE about swatching & very, very negligent about gauge. I seem to prefer knitting & ripping to the much more sensible approach of measuring and knitting gauge swatches, don’t ask me why.
    I’m listening to the Magnetic Fields this week too! ‘Busby Berkeley Dreams’ & ‘Acoustic Guitar’ slay me, they’re so good.
    & the stickers are adorable – – thanks!

  20. Silvia says:

    Yikes! Approximate navel location indeed. I agree with the folks that say chuck it. Or Goodwill it, cause you know there’s someone out there who thinks it’s perfect as is. I guess this is the “Imagine if it fit” sweater…I feel like I dodged a bullet, I didn’t pay too much attention to row gauge, but luckily I own a high necked black tank to wear under mine.
    So get rid of it immediately, don’t look back. NEXT!

  21. Theresa says:

    I’m with the toss and don’t look back crowd. You had the experience and now it’s okay to admit defeat and move on — especially if the yarn was a good value. Life’s too short to rip mohair!

  22. thuy says:

    mariko, please bring it to the next slokg meeting. it looks fine to me. i think you’re just too petite!

  23. Ingrid says:

    You’ll note that there’s never been a picture of my “I wish it was ooh-la-la!” lingerie on my site. Current theory is to rip out the straps and the cups, add another strand of Zephyr, reswatch for gauge, and try again. I think it will continue to look pretty nice as a little maroon/magenta pile on the edge of my whiteish couch for a while longer…

  24. Alysia says:

    Ha ~ I bet you’ve never been called a “poor sausage” before. WEll – I’m in the ‘that’s very sad – funny, but sad’ category. And since Imagine is fairly cheap, I say toss it and move on. Or save it for a kitty to play with? Sorry – can’t think of anything else good. I have a bunch of Imagine in a box from a halter top I was trying to make ages ago. Don’t know what to do with that either….

  25. Sharlene says:

    It seems like everyone who’s making this one seems to come to the conclusion that you have to wear a tee under it anyway. How does it work with a tee under it? Sorry, its not working out, I know how disappointing that is.

  26. Kerstin says:

    Burn it, baby, burn it! Roast some marshmallows while you’re at it. Just don’t burn down the house. 😉

  27. Carrie says:

    Hmm. I like the bag option. Or ripping, although I know that’s a real pain in the ass. But then, I am a v. cheap girl, so I couldn’t let the yarn waste away….
    Come on, you know you wanna show us a picture of it on. You KNOW you want to.

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