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Rank: Most improved

Baby-Cables-1

I love this picture.

I have just cast on Baby Cables and Big Ones Too because it is incredibly sexy and funky and a new jumper and I need all those things.  It’s a pretty straightforward pattern, once you’ve read it through and grokked it: a simple top-down raglan, with a garter-stitch yoke and garter stitch on the lower halves of the sleeves.  There’s a few cable patterns to work into the yoke as you go, which are so awesome.  (Did you click that link yet? Here it is again: go, look, admire!) And so you proceed.

Unless you’re me. Then you cock up.  Some background: I bought this pattern the same day I cast on my Silver Cruelty skirt and, recognising my fickle tendencies, realised I wouldn’t finish the skirt if I let myself cast on Baby Cables and Big Ones Too right away (I’m going to have to think of a better project name for that) so I vowed to hold off until I finished the skirt.  Then I got sick and finishing the skirt became a huge superstition: I would know I was Not Sick Anymore once the skirt was done. I got better, the skirt was done, so I cast on the sweater; and man, I’m glad I didn’t cast it on when I was sick because I’ve already arsed it up in three spectacularly amateurish ways. I don’t think I would have coped with it at all while I was sick and in a fog of knitting shopping bags.  I’ve been knitting for a bit now and I can’t believe I’m making these sorts of errors in a straightforward top-down raglan.

n00b error one: twisted the cast on.  Yup. Moving on.

n00b error two: Have a peep:

Baby-Cables-2

In the midst of garter we have a whole section of stockinette.  I’m not sure what happened, but I lost my mind between two stitch markers and worked a whole lotta stockinette.  Since the only thing it needed was for that middle knit round to be turned into a purl round to make it good and garterry, I just dropped each stitch down as I came to it, picked it back up in the correct fashion, and carried on with my life.

n00b error three: Oooh, boy. Perhaps the worst fixable error: a miscrossed cable. And a bunch of purls that should have been knits. Oy, a mess.  (For what it’s worth, I apologise in advance for the photography — between the cables, the garter stitch, the crepe yarn and my own Vegemite-smeared-thumbs, it’s like a perfect storm of a challenging photography situation). So I’ve drawn some handy guides:

Baby-Cables-5

The purple lines indicate how the cable should look.  The yellow lines indicate what has actually taken place.  The blue line shows where the rogue purl stitches have snuck in. The red cross shows badness.  Once I noticed, I spent a lot of time smoothing it with my hand and squinting and telling myself nobody would notice…but I had to fix it.  A while ago, the Yarn Harlot had a great tutorial on fixing this very situation. If I’m going to make an error like a n00b, I’m going to fix it like a l33t. Unravelled that cable section down to the error, and slowly worked it back up on DPNs, using the strands of yarn at the back.  It was slow and took focus, but dudes, it was worth it.  The hardest part was making sure I was using the correct strand each time — I had to restart a couple of times until I got into the swing of checking every single row. But I did it.

Baby-Cables-6

Here you can see, in sunny, cheerful, congratulatory yellow, that the path the cables should follow and the path the cables actually follow are one and the same!  The green tick shows goodness.

Feels plenty fine, yessir. I found an error, a bad one, a n00b one, and completely fixed it.  I felt pretty damn smug, I have to admit, and I would like to assert that making n00b errors doesn’t preclude you from being l33t: it’s how you fix the errors that really shows your stripes.

I think I’ll call this the Mossy Tendrils sweater: the green, the garter, the cables — it all looks very moss and tendrils to my twitchy brain.

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