Tuesday, October 12, 2010


A very dear friend fell in love with the Deco Lace Jacket on the cover of Issue 22 of The Knitter.  I told her I would knit it for her.  This made me somewhat fearful as I have had a problem with sweater fit in the past.  Nevertheless, I put on my big girl panties and cast on.  It's only yarn, after all.

You'll note when you click that link that it takes you to a page of errata (corrections).  It says, "There is an error in the key for the chart. The symbol appearing as a three-pronged fork should say Sl 1, K2tog, psso and not Sl 1, K1, psso as printed."

In case you're not a knitter, let me tell you what this means:

Every row with this symbol is going to be a stitch off.  The pattern won't line up correctly, and you won't be able to understand why.  This will happen on a startling number of rows.

That second sleeve that you've started?  You have to figure out how to fudge the numbers in the middle and right side of the row so you've got the correct stitch count but don't shift the lace pattern.  This may drive you put a little more peppermint schnapps into your cocoa than is strictly necessary.

That first sleeve you spent hours knitting, then ripped out because it was wrong, then hours knitting again?  It may have to be ripped out again.  If you're able to get the second sleeve fixed, it's possible that the correct lace pattern will look so different from the garbage you knit on the first sleeve that you'll have no choice but to rip out the first sleeve and redo it.

In short:

You are screwed.

This is painful for several reasons.  

  • I have spent a significant number of hours feeling stupid and frustrated by this pattern.  It literally made me break into a sweat yesterday.  I loudly shared some unpleasant language that startled my dog.
  • I fail to understand how so many patterns get to the publication stage with errors.  PEOPLE TEST KNIT THEM.  Do they unconsciously correct the error when they see it?  I don't understand.*  It's way worse than typos in books, and those make me want to stab people.
  • I know better than to knit a pattern without first checking online for errata.
That's the real kicker.  I know better.  I know that there are often corrections for patterns, and, while that makes me nutty, it's certainly better than no corrections at all.

The problem is that I don't have faith in myself.  I spent hours convincing myself that lace is hard (it is) and that either I just wasn't paying careful attention to the knitting (I was) or I wasn't a good enough knitter to do lace without many, many mistakes (I am).  Even though I know better, I decided that the problem was me and not the pattern.

I'm not Elizabeth Zimmerman, but I can knit, damn it.  I've only been doing this four years, but I do it a lot.  I've done projects that were way harder than this sweater (remember?), and although I'm not visual and therefore chart reading is tricky for me, I certainly can do it.

I just wish I would have remembered all that before I spent so much time knitting an incorrect pattern.

*Test Knitters and Designers:  I know you're human.  I do not in any way mean to imply that I expect you to be perfect.  I don't.  Honest.  But is it so much to ask for several people to test knit a pattern in order to up the chances of finding the problems before they go to print?  I mean, it's a cute sweater.  Surely there are a few people who want to test knit that sweater and keep it for themselves, right?


  1. LOL--OMG! I am laughing so hard, Bonnie! This is one of those posts that I need to keep next to me as I cry through lace! Why do we do it? I am reading EZ's Knitting Without Tears right now and it is making me nuts--but I do like her sort of "way" of knit speak and hope to use the book to custom knit my husband a sweater for the first time!

  2. Oh, dear! Kniting is fun, right? Right?!