The Blog Post Curse

*Coughs while clearing a path through the cobwebs*

I swear I still exist but as the title of this post alludes, I had to maintain the kind of radio silence labs use when they are on the cusp of securing a patent.

See the proto-sweater above? I started this on May 1st as my very first top ever for my very first Summer Top KAL and this is as far as I’ve managed to get in 4 months because every time I started drafting a post, took pictures or got anywhere near WordPress, I had to start over. I’d drop a stitch, end up with less stitches, more stitches and at one point the whole thing was uneven. It was some serious weird. Some of you may be thinking:

Maggs, you’re nowhere near done! Get away before it catches on fire or something!

Alas, this top is well beyond harm and I say that without intending hubris. I tried the top on last night and to my complete bafflement, it’s waaaay too big. Blogging can’t harm something I’m about to start over, so I’m going for it 😀

First, the vision.

I found out about this Summer Top KAL from the fabulous folk over at Tin Can Knits, who has some pretty spiffy beginner level patterns and some of the most comprehensive tutorials (using said patterns) I’ve ever seen! I really need a light weight long sleeve top and they had just the thing.


Flax Light: by TinCanKnits



I gotten yarn to make light weight tops like this but I made the mistake of getting yarn before I had a particular pattern in mind, so I didn’t have enough of any one color. Then I came across a top I’d pinned a while back and decided stripes would be just the thing.


I turned to a fresh page in my knitting notebook and got out the tape measure. My wife was kind enough to take my measurements three times -which is what it took to convince me I needed to knit a Large. (I realize that makes me sound a bit nutty, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t end up with a sweater that was too small.)

Then I got my US 4 and US 5 needles and knit two swatches and just as the pattern predicted, I made gauge with the 5’s.



For those of you who are curious, the yarn shown above is KnitPicks Comfy in Doe.



According to everything I’ve ever learned about knitting, and the tutorial, I thought I was good to go! This is right around the time I discovered the Blog Post Curse and it took a full month to get past the collar increases. >_<

Once I got past the raglan increases and separated the sleeves (another hazardous month), the sweater high began and I carefully made my way down to the hem knitting in good old stocking stitch for 16.5 inches. It was awesome – until I decided to try it on yesterday and it proved to be enormous. I checked my measurements again and they confirmed that I was indeed a large – so what happened?

I spent the evening going over my notes and trying to decide if I wanted to keep going. The Missus was all for it, saying that it was a first try and that there was still plenty to be learned from seeing it through. I was torn. I wanted to keep going but I also didn’t want to end up with something I couldn’t wear, so I went on line and tried to find out if the top would shrink and to my horror, I found a post explaining that it “grows.” And that’s when I knew I was starting over.


I still have no idea where I went wrong but there are some competing theories:

  • Knitting the swatch on metal straight needles didn’t translate well onto interchangeables? (Yes, interchangeables – that’s a whole other blog post though 🙂 )
  • I somehow started knitting a lot looser?
  • The pattern calls for Cashmerino 20 by Sweet Fiber Yarns. It’s still also a 4 ply fingering weight yarn (400 yrds/115 g) but perhaps cotton blends don’t knit the same as 70% Merino 20% Cashmere goat 10% Nylon?

I’m inclined to think it’s the last one up there but I really don’t know. If anyone can enlighten me I would really appreciate it.

Right now, I’m going to measure a section of thee sweater to see if that matches the gauge I got at the beginning. This way, the exercise wasn’t a total loss and I can get a good idea of how these needles work. If my swatches match, I can just go down a size.


One last look before the frogging begins…

16 thoughts on “The Blog Post Curse

  1. Aaaahhh!!!! Welcome back!! I was thinking about you just a few days ago and hoping that you’d blog again some time! How is the recovery going?

    A couple of things about the top: wash and dry your swatches the way you intend to launder the finished garment. It changes things, especially with cotton.

    Yes, cotton knits up more loosely than animal fibers, typically. And yes, it grows. Its own weight tends to pull it downward some while the garment is worn. Also, it opens up a good bit when the fiber gets wet.

    Best of luck! I love the stripes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh holy hell, really?! I am never leaving again. I’ve been tangled in this mystery for two days and you solve it in a second 😀 I vow to swatch, wash and do some math before I start again.
      I’ve hella missed you – how’ve you been?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I second Alex’s Welcome Back!!!! It’s so freaking awesome to see you back and blogging again. Don’t disappear again, please! Wow, that’s a lot of work to frog; however I agree that if you aren’t going to wear it, it’s better to frog and restart. Alex is a wealth of information and got me through my first baby cardigan. I absolutely LOVE the colors and that is going to be one smart looking sweater 🙂 And you got interchangeable needles? Can’t wait to hear more about it! You go girlfriend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I sense that I am going to catch a lot of flack for just jumping onto interchangeable needles after all the fuss I made earlier 🙂 That is a post in itself but for now, I’ll just blame the fact I was itching to start on this sweater thing! I’m really excited to start again and I don’t think I could have gotten my enthusiasm back so quickly without you guys! I need to be less superstitious and just blog on.

      In addition to the curse, I think this whole thing with my leg was really taking up a lot of bandwidth, but I just got my full range of motion back and I think all the brooding is finally done!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you! I had a couple of set backs – one of them being that as I wasn’t in pain anymore, I’d forget my leg was still not 100% and either do too much or do something daring like turn right. I’m still working on that last one but so far, I can go quite a ways without the cane and I’m pretty stoked 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome back, I was happy to see your name over at Alex’s so had to run over and see what you’re up to!

    Welcome to the world of swatches. We have to swatch, right? Only idiots knit sweaters without swatching. Except swatches lie. Almost every time. And of course, gauge changes. Have you experienced that yet? The tendency is for a knitter’s gauge to loosen as a project progresses. You become more comfortable with the project, you start to move a bit faster, which looses you a bit. The added weight of the project can cause a microscopic release of your gripe so you loosen a bit. It’s maddening.

    Good luck with the re-knit! It’s going to be perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG do swatches lie! That’s what all the crazy with this sweater was!
      I swatched like a model knitter – I even made TWO of them and still ended up with an gigantic thing. I didn’t know about you having to put the swatch through the wash, but I do know, and I also know that swatching on straight metal needles IS NOT the same as swatching for interchangeable bamboo needles. Thank you for the heads up/making me feel like it isn’t just me. I’m starting the new swatches today, doing a bit of math and then I’ll be off once more! Now that I know I can do this, I’m excited to try again to get it just right 😀


  4. Oh no! I hope you’re not discouraged and finish the project. I’ve added this to my queue, it’s lovely 😀

    Alex has very good points, and I’ll add another one: knitting on straight needles or interchangeable does indeed change your gauge (no idea why, but it’s happened to me a few times).

    Looking forward to seeing the finished item 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No way, I’m making this sweater come hell of high water! Now that I’ve been through the process once, I know I can do it and I just need to figure out the gauge. Thank you for the tip! The swatches are making me a bit crazy. There really isn’t a way to swatch for US4’s or 3’s in the round so I’m going to have to do some math to figure out which will make the round gauge – the plot thickens….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great! I’m happy you’re not discouraged. A swatch with interchangeables in your case would just mean you’re using them to knit flat (still changes the gauge, believe it or not)… Good luck! Looking forward to the finished item 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Gauge is so weird! But I’m still amped about this. If – when – I figure this out, I’ll know how to go about knitting other garments with this yarn (I have a bunch of it) and that’s a just another good reason to keep at it. First sweater!!!!!!!

          Liked by 1 person

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