Test of knitter vs. Knitter

Last week when I was in Boston I took with me a plain sock knitting project (stockinette, navy, men’s socks – for my grandfather), but I also brought some yarn and a new pattern to start as a treat. Since I was tired and vaguely stressed for a little while (what with almost losing my wallet, and also having to present and generally Think Thoughts) I went ahead and cast on. It’s a beautiful pattern, contained in Lisa Lloyd’s A Fine Fleece (of which I will soon be posting a glowing review), called ‘Halcyon’. And I’d had this nice turquoise sheepswool stashed and waiting for something with cables, so onwards I went.

The pattern is accurate, the sweater is beautiful. My brain, however, is clearly neither of those things at this particular juncture.

I had to cast on twice to set up the ribbing properly. Then after the ribbing I had to rip back a few rows to re-set the cable panels. Then I mis-crossed 2 cables on one of the small 4-stitch cable columns. (I fixed that on the plane yesterday night, then re-fixed it this morning when I thought it didn’t look right). Then I got to a nice stopping point at the end of the first centre-panel repeat and thought I’d take a nice picture of it for my Ravelry project page and noticed something that was more than just a 4-stitch cable mistake.


Those 3 cable twists at the top of the pattern repeat in the middle are not supposed to be all neatly matched up like lines in the sand. Rather, as you might be able to see from the wee pic in the book there, they are supposed to be intersecting in a nice interwoven sort of way. I did not have any interweaving. And there was also no freaking way I was pulling back a dozen rows of sweater and re-knitting them unless absolutely necessary. Especially not when I know there are other ways of dealing with this sort of thing.

I isolated the stitches in question, ripped back, and did some surgery.




It’s much better. The sweater is intact and all cables are go.


I think I’m going to have a wee drinkie now. And maybe stick to the sock for this evening.


  1. Oh. My. God. You are a much braver knitter than I. I probably would have ripped it back! Good job!

  2. Very impressive! I’ll need to bookmark that page for when I get into a Cable Code Red. Ingenious!!

    And your sweater is beautiful!

  3. greensparrowknits · ·

    Ouch! That hurts my brain just looking at it. You have patience I could never imagine possessing. Amazing work!

  4. That’s some serious surgery! Looks great.

  5. Yay for cable surgery. It’s looking very nice now.

  6. Just a ‘wee drinkie’???
    I saw what you’d done and what you were getting ready to do…
    I stopped reading right there and then, went and fixed myself a ‘good sized beastie drinkie’ and read through.. ack the whole thing nearly had me weeping… Brava Glenna!
    I hope to have your kind of fortitude if I ever find myself in the same situation.

  7. Wow! I can’t believe you did that. You’re a braver woman than I.

  8. Bonza!!!!! Love the colour and the pattern is delightful, even better now you have finished your ‘surgery’!!!

  9. Wow!! That’s a good trick to have up your sleeve! The rest of us plebians would frog away. Ribbit, ribbit…

  10. Rebecca · ·

    ok, before i thought you were an amazing knitter.

    now you are a knitting goddess in my book and i bow in awe before you.

    just looking at that made my head spin.

  11. ladyoctavia · ·

    Very pretty and go you doing the localized surgery (liberating isn’t?)

  12. Very daring surgery there doctor. Congrats on the success!

  13. I absolutely love having learned to do that. It’s saved me so much time and heart ache.

  14. Sometimes plain is good! That sweater is going to be lovely though.

  15. Great sweater.. I love it! The cable surgery though. Honey, I am in awe. I think I’d have wept, had a few drinks, maybe some chocolate, forgotten about the project and started something else and maybe, in about 10 years, gone back and sorted it out! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Good job on the cable fixing! I had to fix some lace the other day, similar situation, bit of a nightmare! The colour is gorgeous!

  17. Great fixing job!

  18. isn’t it great when we can do minor surgery instead of a major rip??? great job….you’d never know!

  19. I totally would have ripped back, but I’m glad you posted this- it’ll give me a bit of courage the next time I’m needing to fix cables!

  20. Michelle · ·

    Thanks for posting all the photos of your re-do. I’d only understood that process IN THEORY until you showed what it looked like.

  21. Wow! Good for you – that’s an amazing surgery. Patience of a knit-saint, I believe.
    Funny thing is, I used that very same cable on one of my sweaters, and made the very same mistake (many, many moons ago). Instead of being smart and skilled like you, I had to rip back all those rows! It was rather soul-crushing.
    It’s good to see there is another way ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. birdwoman · ·

    Wow, that’s impressive knitting! Thanks for the link, too – I love cables and it’s only a matter of time before I do something like that…

  23. I need a “wee drinky” just thinking about doing what you did! I would have ripped back! Of course I would need more than a wee drinky to consider knitting that. As always, in awe…

  24. Gasp!
    Looking forward to that review…

  25. Holy cow, Glenda… Why didn’t you just frog…? However– I’m glad it turned out. Hope that drinkie was good..

  26. Oh it warms my heart to see evidence that I’m not the only one who makes repeated mistakes! Thanks for sharing this!

  27. I need a wee drinkie just looking at your pictures. Gracious! I stand in constant awe of you fearless knitters!

  28. Wow – that’s great surgery work. I doubt that I can perform such a delicate task. Great work.

  29. […] need some attention, in particular poor lovely Halcyon which I started back in April. Even after my fix-it ordeal, I ended up ripping out the entire back section 2/3 of the way through when my fretting got the […]

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