Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Perhaps you think it has been a month since my last post because I haven't been knitting. I have been knitting. Knitting less, like the last post resolved, but I have been knitting. It's just that I've been knitting a steaming pile of FAIL lately. I have never had so many failed projects and UFOs, ever. It seems that in my new, knitting-less-life, I am less inclined to troubleshoot, and more inclined to just abandon a problem-project. It also appears that I am less willing to expend mental energy planning projects, pairing yarns and patterns, or working my way through to an FO.

So in the interest of being an honest knitting blogger, willing to share her failures as well as triumphs (and really, in the interest of being a knitting blogger at all), here I present to you, XRK's homage to the FAIL blog:

Blue Cable FAIL

This is the longest-lingering FAIL, from back in November. This sweater was intended as a holiday sweater for Pepe. I tried a top-down set-in sleeve and picked up too many stitches. This is eminently salvageable, as I can simply pick up fewer stitches around the armhole. However, the holidays have passed, sweater season is quickly coming to an end (she says hopefully) and my boy is likely to be too big for this garment by next winter.

Possible Solution: Frog and re-knit in the fall as a top-down raglan.

Purple Baby Dress FAIL

This Little Sister Dress was intended for a baby girl born recently to a good friend. I intended it to be about a one-year-ish size, for something for Baby Sammi to grow into and wear next winter. Due to never even attempting to get gauge, it fits my daughter, who turns 8 next week.

Possible Solution: Rosebud gets a vest. Baby Sammi gets something from Baby Gap.

Baby Surprise FAIL
It's really discouraging to have two baby projects that fail, since baby knitting is supposed to be such instant gratification. But, here's another, for an as-yet to be born baby. The parents do not yet know the gender of the baby. In this case, I usually knit something red, but these parents have a high probability of having a redheaded child, so I went with an easy-care green cotton (Araucania Pomaire). I ran out of yarn. I knew I was running out of yarn, so I began striping in another yarn, and promptly ran out of that yarn too. Then my mother kindly pointed out that the nice green colorway looks like a lot like baby poo.

Only Possible Solution: Frog. Start over with new yarn that does not look like baby poo, like Dream in Color Happy Forest.

Swingy Cardi FAIL

I have this swingy, open slouchy cardi. It's from Michael Stars, so its more of a cotton t-shirt knit than a sweater, but I LOVE THIS THING. I wear it all the time. (I also didn't pay what the website says, so stop hyperventilating that I spent $70 on a t-shirt. In this economy, if you pay retail in Bloomingdales, you are just not trying.) So I thought I'd knit one. I used the Slouchy Cardigan from Greetings from the Knit Cafe as an inspiration, and made a top-down raglan from a lovely charcoal Silky Tweed. Now that it is mostly done, I just don't like it. First, the sleeves are way too wide. They'll have to be reknit. But also, I'm not getting the neckline right, despite a couple of attempts. It feels less like a swingy, drapey cardi, and more like a cropped Jedi Master Robe.

Possible solutions: Try another neckline treatment again. Reknit sleeves. Or frog and knit a Minimalist Cardigan. Or something else.

It hasn't been all FAIL, though. I did knit one successful project, one which I'll share as soon as I block it and sew on the buttons. And I learned something really important from this project. I learned that I need a new paradigm for my new knit-less life. I need to scale back my ambitions to reflect my mental energy, and stick more to tried and true patterns rather than try to design something, even something as simple as a top-down raglan. I need to consider project monogamy vs. multiple WIPs. I need to focus a bit more in the planning stages. I probably need to stash less yarn, and purchase yarn project by project more often. This might result in more success and less FAIL.


Bridget said...

Well, at least you've still got your health .... (I'm supposed to say something like that, right?)

KA said...

Baby poo fail. I don't know who's more funny, you or Mom. I got a good couple of chuckles on this post! Way to own the fail. It's something we would all do well to do from time to time.

Anonymous said...

As a recent discoverer of the FAIL blog, I got a good laugh from your post. Baby poo fail - ha! At least it will fit in during that first 1-6 months, right? As the owner of several FAIL knits (hybernating in time-out-land upstairs), I salute you showing your "argh!" knitting...thank you...nice to know we are not alone.

Christy said...

"cropped jedi master robe"
I about died laughing

Anonymous said...

How can you have us cracking up over your failures? What a good blogger you are to let us in on these projects. :)

Sarah said...

I'm not sure they can really be counted as true failures if you learned something in the process. (Hey, I'm trying to put a positive spin on things!) At least you can always recycle the yarn, too!

Ann said...

AHH! So incredibly funny! I'm feeling much less anquish over my failures that are tucked deep in the closet right now. Oh the baby poo fail ... just wonderful failures Liz! Thank you for sharing!

LaurieM said...

Sorry to enjoy your misfortune, but you gave me a few good giggles there.

At least your fails look pretty.

Anonymous said...

For every failure there's a funny story - well, at least there should be! Maryland Sheep and Wool is right around the corner - new slate time!

nova said...

Not for nothing, but I don't think the purchase by project works out so well. I have been doing that forever...and I have a crap load of yarn. I don't even know what pattern some of it was purchased for now. It's sad really.

Anonymous said...

no failures, but learning experiences.

"baby poo fail" - ROTFLMAO!

Anonymous said...

Ahhh that sucks about the FAIL pile. I too am knitting less and noticing that my attention to detail has lessened as well so I will be taking up your mantra

Anonymous said...

Even your failures are beautiful! Knit on!


Anonymous said...

I'll bet it's the only time that someone is unhappy about running out of baby poo! LOL!!

There's nothing wrong with the classics. :-)

Madge said...

Oh. My. God. You crack me up, woman. Sorry to hear about all the frak ups...I know it can be frustrating since I spent most of 2008 in exactly the same mode. And not to get all Greek tragic on your ass, but do you think the knitting goddess heard you when you said you were gonna knit less?! Quick, go light a candle.