Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Knitting through "Dare to Dream" by Boo Knits on Ravelry

So about a month ago, my mother came to me and said she saw this "sweater" she thought it was, in the front window of a yarn shop and she had to have it.  She wanted me to knit it for her and said too that it would teach me a good lesson in branching out, away from hats, and into a harder, more complicated version of knitting.

Knitting lace.

She showed me the pattern and I knew it couldn't be hard.  So she sent me the yarn/thread, I purchased the pattern and got to work.

A little bit about "Boo Knits"

Boo Knits designs patterns, she is from the U.K(I'm guessing because her pattern prices are in monetary forms of GBP).

This is what she says is her motto for designing patterns, straight from her Ravelry page.

"My personal motto is ‘Maximum Impact with Minimum Stress’. With this in mind my patterns are quick to knit, easy to knit and yet look as though they really must be much more complicated! Really - they are not complicated or difficult at all!"

So I knew it, I could do this pattern.

I immediately read through the pattern and started off.  I started off with a circular needle, she recommends that you start with a US size 6, move up to a 7 for the lace portion, and 8 before binding off.

Here is what the pattern should work up to look like.

At first I instantly got confused, I had never worked with thread like this.  The pattern calls for you to cast on 2 and knit 3 rows in garter stitch.  Then to work around the border until you have a total of 7 on your stitches.  Which was impossible to do.  Once I got it done, I noticed it was curling up horribly, there had to be another way to start this without making it so bunchy.

So I took it out, went back to the pattern to start again.  I decided at that time to just keep going.  It had to work, why else would she write a pattern to sell?  Right?

As I worked through the pattern on the circular needles.  She tells you to place 2 markers in the "centre" stitch right off the bat.  She never tells you why, just that it needs to be there.  She also then implies that you should mark every 12 stitches with placemarkers.  But not only that, that you should place a "centre" stitch in each row.

I did all of this, with the exception of the center stitch and thought I would be fine.  My first lace section went HORRIBLY, and when I mean horribly, I mean horribly.  I was making stitches and decreasing stitches and it was looking nothing like the pictures.

I then decided to take it out, call another woman who made it, and ask for help.  I also contacted the pattern writer(with no response back after she told me to message her).  The woman in the store in Mt. Vernon, tried really hard to help me, but she was making no sense to me either, and was telling me not to use the written pattern but the chart!  I had never used a chart!  I didn't know anything.

So back to the drawing board, I went off the chart.  This pattern is truly simple, it's a 12 stitch pattern repeats plus 9 stitches.  Meaning you cast on a multiple of 12 stitches, add 9, and work the chart.

I then decided to just cast on a straight row on straight needles and see if I could get it to work up.  When I reached the lace row, I found it looking nothing like the pictures still.  At this attempt, I was on number 6 or 7.  And getting frustrated.  No one could tell me why my pattern wasn't working.  It's very frustrating mind you that you pay for a pattern just to have it not work(which is why I don't write patterns!).

So, as a last ditch effort, I decided I would knit it EXACTLY, like the pattern was written.  Without my alterations to it.  Surely this had to work right?  Down to the beads, this HAD to work.

It didn't.  My stitches were slanting and the beads didn't even measure up to the pattern and the row below.

So I phoned back to the woman in Mt. Vernon since I still had no response from the pattern maker, and asked some simple questions.  Were the beads supposed to look like the pattern and in the pictures?  Did hers look like the pictures?  Were the stitches supposed to be going in another direction?  Etc.

All of her answers were that the pattern that she knitted looked exactly like the picture and that the beads lined up the way they were supposed to.  So I was STILL doing something wrong.

And in my final attempt, I decided to not even knit this with the thread, which is becoming wearing and tired and feeling rough.  I took out some purple acrylic yarn and knit the 12 st + 9 pattern repeat.

I found the error in the pattern and I'm excited to see if it will work and how it will work with the thread.  And I'm going to tell my secret of how I got it to work.  Even the lady at the store in Mt. Vernon was excited and oddly confused at how I got it to work.  But I did.

I started at the beginning.  I cast on 7 stitches(which is what you start with after you make all the twists and turns), and worked up from there.  It was there that after all this trial and error I found the very first error in the pattern.

There are no sizes in this pattern.  Confusing huh? Yes, you do have to guess sizes.  the sizes are 117, 141, 165, 189, 213

With simple math, none of these stitches work out.  If you were to divide them all into 12, none of them come up with 9 stitches left over.  Yet SOMEHOW, it seems to work out on the needles when you start from a base of 7.

The 2nd error also is the KYOK description.  This stitch is exactly as it's mentioned, it's a knit, yarn over, knit.  Yet her description, it immediately throws you off, she doesn't even tell you what they mean, she just starts explaining how to do the stitch, however I read it instantly correct and got immediately confused with her description.  It makes me wonder if she knows the meaning to the KYOK or does she just like to try to explain it?  And she doesn't explain it well.

There is no way to avoid the curling on the edges.  Unfortunately, even with her "helpful hint" suggestions, you can't avoid puckering.

I added a few extra rows of beads.  I mean come on, every woman wants a glittery beaded shawl.

Next onto the lace section.

 There is a chart for the lace section.  For rows 1-17, this pattern works up with no problem.  As you can see in my picture.

However, on row 19, things start going a little wonky.

Let me start off my saying, I don't know how to read a chart.  I've never knitted from a chart, I've always knitted from a written pattern.  Always.  So when the woman from the knit shop in Mt. Vernon was trying to explain to me how to read one, I got very confused.

After reading through it a few times, it was pretty easy to figure out.  When you knit by the written pattern, you're knitting right to left.  So I read the chart that way, and the pattern flowed just as the written pattern.

But like I said, it all works out fine, until you get to row 19.

On row 19, I always ended up 1 short on the first section, or 1 to many.  How this happened I have no idea.  Here is a great helpful hint to this section.  Your bead placement(which I high recommend you do, otherwise this pattern will make no sense), will always be on the center stitch.  So if you don't do you 3 stitch decrease above that bead, you'll be doing it in the wrong spot.  Because I didn't have beads in there, the first 10 times I did this pattern I had no idea I was doing it wrong until I got those beads in there.

So on row 19 I made some alterations to make this pattern work.  I started off with the basic for the first section before getting to the repeat.

k k 3 k yo ssk yo s2kpsso

When you get to the s2kpsso, that's where the problem lies.  I had to decrease 4 instead of 3, and move the place marker over 1.  (Meaning I knit 3 together in the beginning section and took one from the 12 block repeat).

When I told the lady that knitted it in Mt. Vernon, she thought I was crazy, but if I was going to have that 3 stitch decrease and have it follow the pattern that I laid out before it, I was going to have to move that place marker over on every 12 stitch repeat down to the end of the work, and I always ended with the right amount of stitches.  I had to move place markers over, every 12 stitch repeat, for rows 19-31, at which point the chart fell back into sync and I was able to knit the rest of it without a problem.

Weird, but true.

And sadly that once I knitted all the way through it, I dropped a whole 12 stitch lace section.

So this is to be continued for now.


So last night, after working this for 2 days straight, I worked up to 189 stitches.  Yes one of the larger sizes, but when I called my mother(who this pattern is for), she said at this point to work it as fast and as good as I could.

So this time, I started off with size 7 needles, worked the base, and then switched to an 8 for the lace.

I am just about to start the lace section.

Once I started working through the lace section, I was faced with the same problems that I had before.  Even though the stitch numbers were correct, I didn't have more or less unless I made a mistake, the stitch placement did not fall correctly.  And if I made one more stitch, then that 3 stitch decrease would be off center causing all of my beads to be off and my blocked stitch section to go off in a slanted direction.

The rows where I started having problems was row 19.  The pattern calls for this:
k k 3 k yo ssk yo s2kpsso

The problem lies on the s2kpsso. 

Here's a picture to show the problem.
In order for everything to stay correct and to make the proper 3 stitch decrease, you need to move this place marker over.  Which means that you will need to move every place marker over all through out your piece.

You will need to move place markers over for rows, 19 through 29.  This is where it gets weird.  Magically, this piece goes back to normal and there is no need for moving place markers on row 31.  However, when you work through the piece, at every point where there is a 3 stitch decrease in the beginning you will need to move this place marker over.  This means that when the 3 stitch decrease picks back up on rows 43-57, you will need to move every place marker over to get that 3 stitch decrease in the proper space.

I had wanted to knit up a piece where I could show that I would make the extra stitch in the beginning of the piece and to show how the work will move to the right with every row I have to make that extra stitch.  I just didn't have time to do that however.

I was able to finally complete this piece.  Since it doesn't have sizes though, or even measurements, I accidentally knitted this piece very large.  Thankfully, it's what my mother wanted, so it wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

I am hoping that someone will find the errors to why I had to move the place markers over to complete this pattern.  In saying that, my honest thoughts and opinions on this piece, is that it is truly beautiful.  The pattern maker truly did a beautiful job.  However, with the noted problems that I found with this pattern, the lack of size, and needing to move those place markers, I would truly advice that unless you are an extremely advanced knitter(which I am the first to admit I am not), don't waste your time purchasing this pattern.  The pattern maker may say that she likes to make her patterns easy, this was not easy.  Especially when I had to debunk the errors.  Since I had no prior knowledge of how the piece was supposed to work up, it was extremely difficult.  I really did take this piece out about 15 times before I was able to, solely working with the pictures, to figure out the errors in the pattern to make it look like the picture.  So if you're just a mediocre knitter like me, don't waste your money.  In my honest opinion this pattern needs to be reviewed and more helpful hints need to be made.  The author also needs to learn what a KYOK means, because her description was extremely hard to understand when I could read it just fine, it was a knit, yarn over, knit, all in the same stitch.  But her description extremely confused me.

It was also extremely stressful.  Without that knowledge of needing to move the place markers over, it was very stressful to knit so much, just to have to take the piece out and start over.  Including some heated words between me and my mother.  I wish I could say more to the pattern maker, but I did send her several messages, with she did not return a message.

However, once I wet blocked it and saw all my beautiful work, I was ecstatic.  All the hard work paid off and I was able to see all the beautifulness that I made.  And now that I know what I have to do to make it look like the picture, I can do it easily again. 

Now onto pictures!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Updates on AdriannaKnits

I swear, as soon as September hits, I get slammed.

Gearing up for bazaars, 2 nephews birthdays within a week of each other(one of which I planned, photographed, and made cake for).  Then the Christmas orders that come in, not to mention family orders, getting ready for 2 kiddies birthdays of my own in December, an anniversary, and Christmas.

So I always start in September.  It gives me months to get ready.  At least I hope.

Getting around to updating and keeping up with AdriannaKnits on Facebook, well it's in the back of my mind, honestly.  Which sucks, but well, I'm busy!

So our new updates:

I will not be renewing AdriannaKnits on HyenaCart.
The decision to switch to HyenaCart was based on bringing lower prices to you, and keep me from paying absurd Etsy fees.  Although, the people that promised to purchase from HyenaCart hasn't happened.  I've only had 3 orders since I signed up.  So we will not be returning.

I'll be changing the prefold fitteds.  I think that the size difference between the newborn/small is to great.  Going from a 12x12 to a 16x16 is a great leap.  So I'll add in another option of an actual small size of a 14x14.

I'll be adding a one size fits most option for the prefold fitteds.  This will change the price from 5.50 to 6.50 but it will be a separate option so you can still get your sized and your one size fits most.

I'll no longer be offering a bleached option.  To make a prefold fitted from a bleached prefold I need a size prefold of 18x18 or larger after washing.  Which is impossible to obtain without paying absurd prizes for a toddler sized prefold.  I can still make a small and newborn bleached but nothing larger than that.

I'm making mini top hat for photo props.  Or just for a silly hat.  They will be available for custom orders and for the bazaars.
I was very impressed with the alligator scarf.  There will be one on the tables for bazaars.  It's new and improved and will have better teeth.

Other new things is that I'm working on designing a sweater for my daughter.  It has a pinwheel flower on the back with hearts.  It's a circular shrug.  There will be a blog post on that as well.

I am currently working through "Dare to Dream" by Boo Knits.  I'm very close to actually completing it, and I will be posting a blog on the errors in the pattern so other people will know to make it easier to work through the pattern, or to debunk and correct my errors.  I have already attempted to contact Ravelry and the author of the pattern but they refuse to write me back.  Other people have said the pattern works fine, but I will show you a comparison.

I am currently working on designing a newborn Captain America prop.  Hoping to have these on the tables for the first bazaar in 3 weeks.

The next news, is sad.  After my nephews birthday party, my camera fell out of my car, and then lense snapped off, breaking.  Thankfully the camera still works, but the lense is totaled.  Which sucks because it was the only lense to that camera.  What this means for you, is worse pictures than I have going up now of products.  And I'm apologizing ahead of time for that.

The worst news is now I need to learn shipping.  For those that didn't know, I always did the business, my husband did the shipping.  This prevented me from running to the post office every single day.  However, my husband transferred jobs, and we no longer have this shipping option.  We are currently working on a 2 day a week shipping schedule where I will go to the post office to ship items.  Those details at this time are currently being worked out.

Thank you to all for the continued support for AdriannaKnits.  In November it will be 2 years since I finally gave in opened my Etsy store.  It has grown into so much more than I ever expected it to.  I only did it to please my sister in law, and it looks like now I'm eating my own words.

Thanks to Roshell for pushing me to do this!  And all the beautiful pictures of my work modeled.  You really help me out.

And here's the sweater that I first made for Roshell that started it all.