From Epic Fail to Grand Success

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My journey into the knitting world started with a sock loom and gradually evolved towards using traditional needles. I made more than 20 pairs of socks, 4 hats, 1 scarf, 1 cowl, and 1 blanket before I took on a challenge that was waaaay beyond my skill level. I blame Interweave Knits magazine for presenting a pattern for a super cute camisole. Despite having limited experience with knitting needles, I decided I needed to make the Hashtag Camisole. How hard could it be?Β Famous last words.

I hunted online for a good deal on the yarn, albeit a different color than the pattern stipulated, (Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy, #28 Blue Pine Green). Once it showed up on my doorstep, I should have taken it as a sign that I was in over my head. Even though it was beautiful, I didn’t know yarn could be that thin and split so easily at the same time. Still, my love for that camisole overtook any sense of rational thought.

Before digging into my pricey stash of yarn, I played it smart by using crappy yarn to learn all the new stitches I needed to master as well practice the chevron lace pattern that dominates the piece from top to bottom. After completing a nice sample, I felt confident in moving forward with the project.

All went well with casting on, creating the hem, and knitting the lace pattern itself . . . until row 28. Disaster! After a routine stitch count, I realized I had dropped a stitch. Worse still, it was near a yarn over, so the hole was huge. I had no idea how to reconstruct the stitch and those that fell apart around it. After more than two hours of trying everything, I thought I had it fixed. I was so wrong. Within seconds, another stitch dropped. Soon after, an extra stitch magically appeared in another section. Don’t ask me how this happened because I still don’t know.

I ended up ripping out every row in a mad fury of frustration. Then, I grumbled as I wound the yarn mess back into a little ball. Grrrrrrrrr!

After two days, I decided the pattern and the yarn were not going to win. I picked up my needles and started over again. This time, I was more careful about placing markers and counting stitches. I think my initial mistake was over-excitment with a dash of biting off more than I could chew. Not one to go down easily, I made the choice to learn from my mistakes. I took my time and went about my work one stitch at a time.

In two months, I had a beautiful Hashtag Camisole without a single dropped stitch. It fits like a glove and actually looks identical to the picture in the magazine (just in a different color).

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My Hashtag Camisole!

Completing this project was an odyssey to say the least, but I’m glad I stuck with it and didn’t give in to frustration. I even got a little bonus when the designer of the pattern favorited my finished project on ravelry.com. If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is!

Knit on!

– – –

c.b.w. 2013

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20 thoughts on “From Epic Fail to Grand Success

  1. Sherrey Meyer

    And purl 2! I love knitting but confess to having gone through multiple experiences similar to yours. Perseverance is key to knitting, I firmly believe!

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    • I’m sure many more moments of frustration are on the horizon, but I figure they are all worth it in the end. Knitting is definitely a practice in patience and I’m all too willing to slow down and learn my lesson! πŸ™‚

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    • Those pesky dropped stitches are even more detrimental to a lace pattern. I thought I was going to lose my mind! I wore my camisole yesterday for the first time and it was definitely worth all the trouble – My husband told me I looked fantastic in it. πŸ™‚

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  2. This is beautiful! I don’t know if I would be so brave. Good for you for sticking with it. Stunning. Oh, and I’ll take one in bright yellow, okay? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  3. Great job, C.B.! I am impressed with you taking on knitting lace. (I’ll be trying that in August with a mystery knit along.) if you ever figure out how the stitches drop off the needle unseen, or even better, where the added unintended stitches come from, please share this esoteric knowledge with me! The camisole is beautiful. And having conquered this pattern, the sky’s the limit!

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    • I fear those “magic” stitches will always be a mystery! I found lace knitting to be a lot easier than I thought . . . Just follow the pattern and break up the stitches with markers. πŸ™‚

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  4. angela

    Super impressed… it is lovely! You should make some stylish fingerless gloves – a friend knitted me a pair telling me it is like making a sock, but easier (reads as if you’re a pro in that dept!) ~

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