Knitter Error + Pattern Error = Fooled! (Warning: contents are not suitable for the weak and faint of heart.)

by knittinginatree

Has your knitting ever fooled you? In short, mine has failed me. It’s part of the growing process, right? It makes us stronger. It helps us to accept our failure and it offers us the possibility that next time we will be wiser. Well, next time I hope I won’t be such a fool…

Shown below I offer exhibit A: My attempt at the lace thigh high stockings by Mari Muinonen published in Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2009.

I could argue that this is an example of  lace expressionism.  Unfortunately lace generally has a strong breathe of order and balance to it, so I don’t think I would get very far, especially when these socks are suppose to look like exhibit B (photo credit: Vogue knitting).

In the beginning everything was going swimmingly. And, I was thrilled with the toe detailing.

Then I got distracted, as I tend to do when knitting lace, and I botched up a couple of the charted rows. I knew it, but of course my head was saying, “oh, they’re just socks; what’s a couple missed stitches anyway?” Clearly, I wasn’t thinking straight because these are fancy socks–the kind you wear out and you get to say, “why yes, I did make these lace thigh-high stockings.”

Well, the days marched on and I continued on with my mistakes thinking everything would turn out fine. And, then my knitter errors met the charted pattern errors and my patience and determination were quickly deflated. There are several errors in this pattern and, even though it was published in 2009, I couldn’t find an errata anywhere online. I even emailed the designer whose reply I never received. (That’s okay, I think I wrote at a weak point and could have easily been interpreted as rude. Sorry!) Then, I started looking at all the lace thigh-high FOs from other knitters on ravelry. Every project was stunning, how did they do it? I started scanning their notes, each one more vague than the other. Several people noted that they happened to realize early on that the charting was off so they just added a stitch. What?! Eek, it still didn’t compute. The note I liked the best was something to the effect of “…must be willing to work with charting errors and be flexible.” Ha! Why should Vogue provide an errata when everyone is clearly capable of figuring out how to make these stockings (except me). I didn’t find any notes from other knitters that were clear enough on how to fix this issue and after looking at all their stunning photos I realized that I would need to rip back and fix my own errors if I was ever going to wear these and feel good about them. In the end, I’ve decided to give up and look for an entirely different pattern for this yarn. It may very well be that I was a little too eager for purple lace thigh-high stockings and it may very well be that I’m not old enough for knitting lace…

The saddest thing is that this is the second time I’ve frogged this yarn. The first was another foolish attempt from several years ago when I refused to knit a gauge swatch before making this.

Here’s hoping the third try with this yarn will be a grand success.