Monday, November 25, 2013

How Do You Define a Fail?

First of all, I just wanted to thank everyone who took the time to comment on my last post; I was so touched by all your kind words.The online sewing community is amazing! Thank you all, it was very much appreciated :)

Lest anyone worry that the compliments may have gone to my head, you can rest assured that you needn't: welcome to my latest fail! I finally finished my poor, neglected Cozy Cardi. After all the high octane wedding sewing it was blissful to sit and knit for a while instead. Here 'tis:

 It's a Cleckheaton pattern, but I've been hunting through Ravelry and can't find any links, sorry. I first saw it in a Cleckheaton book that seemed to be a collection of several earlier booklets of theirs, but found it later in a magazine (which was about a quarter of the price :) ) I loved the colours in the example so didn't change a thing on that score. Although I did use Bendigo Rustic 12 ply instead, because it's one of my favourite bulky yarns, being wonderful quality and almost ridiculously economical. There's also an optional tie / belt:

I really loved the stripe detail, which wasn't complicated to do at all, just 3 rows garter stitch, a row of yarn overs and purl 2 togethers, then 2 more garter. It gave it a wonderful texture overall. And I LOVE a shawl collar - so divinely cozy! I did make a bit of a hash of the buttonholes (including doing an extra one..), but I'll chalk that up to post-wedding catatonia...

My least favourite bit? Weaving in the ends - so many! Below are the offcuts...

So why call it a fail? Well, because when I tried it on it was unwearable! And it's entirely my own fault since I didn't bother knitting a gauge swatch first....Stupid blind optimism.The sleeves actually come down to my knees. Sadly, because I'm so lazy about gauge this isn't the first time this has happened - when my husband tried on the first jumper I ever knitted for him, he said, "I really appreciate all the time you've spent on this, but I've been in tents that are smaller than this..." It was a fair call, honestly!

Depending on how you define "fail", this qualifies. BUT I found a way to salvage it! It now belongs to a dear friend and is very much appreciated. So I guess all's well that ends well, huh?

I've also finished a project that was actually intended to be a gift. A Winter Trails beanie in The Fibre Company's Organik. Another friend has just started a course of chemotherapy, and I thought this might be nice to have on hand for those "can't be bothered" kind of days. Especially since even though it's late November we've hardly had a taste of Spring yet...

I got a bit worried towards the end, but there was just enough yarn in the end, with not quite a metre left. It's the second Winter Trails I've done, and it's amazing how much easier a pattern is the second time around! My camera still seems to bring out cooler tones rather than warmer ones, so the colour here is not quite as it is in real life - it's a soft grey-brown (I've heard that shade called "donkey", I think), called Claystone.

On the sewing front, I've been getting a lot of projects cut out and ready to go (the worst bit!), so that when I get any spare time I can get on with the fun part. Next up is some Festive/Christmas party style sewing...

And in any other spare time that I might find I'll be branching out briefly into quilting! I have a new baby nephew, and since he lives in Darwin I'm not sure he'll be needing much in the way of woollens. So a quilt it will be. A very, very basic one! With turtles and greens and aquas:

Still a long way to go yet, but I've got a month before they travel down for Christmas. Here's hoping it works!

Have a wonderful week :)

Danielle oxo


  1. Love the hat - it's gorgeous! I love the cardigan too and what a pity it doesn't fit you. I don't knit, but totally get the frustration of spending all that time on something then realising it doesn't fit and/or it doesn't suit you. I'm so glad though that you managed to gift it to someone. It means your hard work wasn't for nothing!

    Can't wait to see what you are sewing next!! :)

    1. You're right -it is nice to know it wasn't for nothing! And she is a VERY dear friend... I do have plenty of the colours left, and it crossed my mind I could just get some more of the cream, but then I thought that friends in matching jumpers is a bit wrong! Never mind, there's always another project... :)
      Can't wait to start on the festive sewing - and I have a whole day free tomorrow...what a luxury!

  2. What a shame about the cardi - but it looks wonderful and you should still be VERY proud of your efforts. Your friend is one lucky lady!
    Love the cables in the hat you've made!
    Look forward to seeing your quilt too - it will be a lot more straight forward than all your wedding sewing!

    1. I'm hoping it will be a lot more straightforward! It's not going to be anywhere near as impressive as your quilts, but you've got to start somewhere, hey? :)

  3. Oh what a pity that the cardi doesn't fit well. I hate making gauge swatches, but knitting something and it doesn't fit is even worse. So I always knit swatches, I know it will pay off in the end.

    1. You're so right! I'm just going to have to be a lot more disciplined next time.... If only swatches weren't so boring! Grrr...

  4. Oh how disappointing about the cardi! I've been lucky my 2 jumpers have had pretty easy gauge. And I think from now on I'm only going to do top down construction so row gauge is less important! The hat is lovely, I hope your friend is doing well!

    1. Oh, top down is THE BEST! Love it :) And thanks, it's a lovely pattern, that one. And it's had plenty of wear already (one consolation of our current spring-in-name-only weather!)

  5. Love that hat!
    PS it's not a Failed Project if someone loves it and is wearing it...
    :-) Chris