Six months or three days?

I finished a project this week, and I’m unsure how to answer a frequently asked question. Whenever I show it to friends, they ask how long it took to knit. From cast on on to cast off, the answer is 6 months. I began this in January and finished in July. But when you look at the time I put into it (minus the worrying), I only actually touched it for three days. Three long days of dedicated work, but less than 20 hours probably.

The problem came from the gauge. This is the Aran Tam from the first “One Skein Wonders” book. It calls for one skein of worsted weight, but I had two skeins of a bulky yarn. My gauge was nowhere near what it needed to be. I had a beret that the reqestor wanted me to match for size, so I measured, did some math and cast on less stitches than required. Seemed fine, I knit the bottom of the beret in one day and ended up at the complicated cable chart where I quickly realized I did not have a good number of stitches to continue on.

This is where the six months come into play. I was a little overwhelmed when it came to modifying a chart. I’ve changed up patterns before, but a chart seemed like another language! I finally came up with a solution last week when I forced myself to sit down and figure it out. The pattern called for 5 repeats of what began as a 32 stitch pattern. I did four repeats beginning with 28 stitches. I took out some stitches in the transition triangle piece to compensate. As the pattern decreased, I skipped a decrease here and there until I was able to correctly follow the chart. The top took two days to complete.

So voila! I’m happy to have this off my needles and to be able to send it along to its rightful owner. It’s been hanging over me because I knew it would be easy to finish, it was just hard to face the gauge issue. It took just over one skein of Ironstone Harmony, so there’s plenty left for a pom pom or a tassel. I’ll send that extra skein along for the recipient to figure out. For future reference, I don’t recommend Harmony for cables. It’s loosely spun, so there’s not much give in the yarn when you’re moving the stitches around. I do think the finished product is very nice, though! It’ll be toasty warm!

What brings you to a work stoppage in your crafts? An annoying technique? Unsatisfactory progress? Irritating materials?


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. twistedtexan
    Jul 19, 2009 @ 13:28:57

    Good question about work stoppage. Unsatisfactory progress is a big one for me – and it usually occurs with lace. (Says the girl who is planning to knit at least one laceweight cardigan. Maybe two.)

    “Startitis” is also another big one, although I’ve been trying very hard to keep that one at bay.

    Now that I’ve also taken up spinning, that seems to eat up a bit of my knitting time too.


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