Things Don’t Always Go As Planned

About two weeks ago, I blocked the cable bands for my Kepler Sweater. When I removed them from my blocking board, I noticed that some of the color had run onto the board. I thought to myself, the color didn’t run when I blocked my swatch, so why did it run now? Other than being disappointed because this was the first time I stained my board, I didn’t think too much more about it.

I moved on to knitting the front, back, and sleeves. I just finished knitting the sweater this morning and even did a three-needle bind-off for the shoulder seams. I was quite excited. I decided to give the sweater parts a Eucalan bath in my washer before blocking. That way, if any more color ran (and I wasn’t expecting that much to run), it could run in the washer and not ruin my board. So I dumped the parts in cold water and left them alone for 15 minutes.

What did I find when I returned? The water in the washer was purple. Not light lavender, but purple. I was horrified and didn’t quite know what to do. I ended up bringing the parts up to the bathtub to rinse them some more. And believe me, I rinsed for a good long time. The water never ran completely clear, either. I just settled for a hint of purple. Has anyone else had this problem with dark shades of Jaeger Shetland Aran?

I thought about my gauge swatch again and suddenly it hit me why the color on my swatch didn’t run. Because I didn’t knit a swatch in this color. I also have the Jaeger Shetland Aran in hot pink, which is what I used for my swatch. Duh! Maybe I don’t have a brain? *sigh* This is an excellent reason why one should always knit and block a swatch in the actual color that one plans to use.

So after I finally finished rinsing and drying the parts, I pinned them down. The Kepler pattern has a lovely schematic and I tried to follow the measurements. I did the best I could but somehow it just doesn’t look right to me. I can’t get the parts to look symmetrical. Plus I think I might have stretched the front and back out too much when I was rinsing them. I have an awful feeling that the sleeves won’t fit properly into the armholes and that the entire project will go down the tubes. I don’t have a lot of experience with knitting garments — the only other ones I’ve knit are the Klaralund Sweater (which doesn’t have shaping and is composed entirely of rectangular parts) and the Tivoli Tee (which wasn’t hard to block at all).

Right now I feel very discouraged and don’t want to go anywhere near this sweater. I had planned to read up on seaming while my sweater was on the board, but I’m not excited about it anymore. I’m wondering if I should even knit the Freida Sweater or the Salina Sweater as I had planned? Maybe I should go knit myself an easy scarf instead.

Thanks for listening.


13 Comments on “Things Don’t Always Go As Planned”

  1. Christina says:

    My dear, if you find you are having a hard time easing your sleeves into their alloted holes, just match stitch-for-stitch per your pattern. It may look wonky, but you can always steam block the assembled sweater afterward.

    Also, about the colored water- if you add some vinegar to your soaking bath, it will set the dye into the fibers and not into the bathwater.

    Good luck! I bought some yarn to knit Kepler also, so I read your posts with piqued interest.

  2. oh caitlyn, vey sorry to hear about that… can you put vinegar with the peices? vinegar is suppose to set colors in to prevent future bleedings….. this project is just too pretty to put away!!!!!

  3. Agnes says:

    I know it’s awful … everyone who has tried knitting a sweater experienced this before. I suppose the pieces are drying on the board, right? If you don’t want to, don’t do anything right now, just let them dry. Do something else that would lift your mood … and deal with them later. Even if the whole doesn’t work out perfectly, you should at least try. If you give up now, you’ll never be able to do it.
    Cheer up, girl, and enjoy the rest of the weekend, huh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Angela says:

    Don’t give up! If anything, just let them dry and work on something else for now. Don’t worry about the sleeves, it might not be as bad as you think. Just see what happens first. If anything, you can always try re washing the pieces and reblocking them.

  5. Heather says:

    I’m sorry you are having so much trouble with your sweater. I don’t have any advice for you but I hope you can get it to work ๐Ÿ™‚ I would be really frustrated if that happened to me!

    Have a great weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Diana says:

    Hey, definitely still make those other sweaters! This sounds like just a fluke thing, and maybe it will still work out. As long as the measurements aren’t waaaaaay off from the schematic, it will fit ๐Ÿ™‚ good luck!

  7. jillian says:

    Don’t give up making sweaters Caitlyn…it seems like the first time I did any new technique it didn’t turn out quite right. Sometimes I felt very discouraged. But I would learn something from the experience, and (usually) the next time went much better. I’ve only had 3 of about 5 garments I’ve attempted come out good enough to wear, and one of those was too big and I gave it to a friend. On the Kepler, if it doesn’t want to come together quite right, just do the best you can and then block it again after it’s seamed to tweak it. And maybe use some vinegar! It is so disappointing that high-end yarn would bleed that much.

  8. Jennifer says:

    This has happened to me with my first couple of sweaters. I’m going to second, or third some of the other advice you’ve received. Finish drying the pieces and set them aside. Work on something else for a while and then revisit the sweater. I’d say go ahead and seam it up. If it really isn’t going well, just frog and reuse the yarn with something else. You could always salvage the cable bands and use them as the bottom edge of a purse.

  9. Gracie says:

    Oh no! I am so sorry that the color ran! It will all be ok though… take a break from it and then come back to it. You can always reblock when you get the whole thing sewn together.

  10. Heather says:

    Oh Caitlyn..that absolutely sucks about the dye! What a pain in the ass.

    As far as the sweater goes, I’m of the sentiment of most of these other folks! DON’T GIVE UP!!! Wool is so resilient and it’s very hard to ruin it and your sweater will come out right it just probably needs some more TLC. You really can’t stretch it too much, well actually you can but you’d really have to be pulling, so just get it wet and smoosh the stitches back together. They’ll hold when they dry, believe me.

    Let it dry, then go back to it with a water sprayer, and pin and spray parts that aren’t lining up as need be, then you won’t have to worry about stretching it out again.

    I swear, I thought I’ve massacred some sweaters int he blocking process (cotton..yuck!!!) but they turn out fine after a little finesse. It’s can do it!!!!

  11. Stephanie says:

    Oh no. I hate it when the water turns the color of your sweater. Vinegar does indeed work wonders. I’ve had sweaters where I’ve struggled to get them to look right blocking and I’m sure it will turn out just fine. The nice thing about wool is that it’s resilient – even if you stretched it when you were rinsing it, you can pat it back into shape. Good luck and don’t get discouraged.

  12. Purly Whites says:

    Oh, this sucks! I’m so sorry.

    And just to put my two cents in on the bleeding issue. I’ve got a pair of socks out of Koigu that bleed whenever I wash them in Eucalan, but whenever I wash them in Woolite, they don’t bleed at all. I think there is something in that Eucalan that instigates the bleeding. Although in this case, it was definitely the yarn.

  13. Jen says:

    Well, is the dye fading in the garment as well, or just coloring the water? I hope it’s not too bad and the sweater can still be salvaged. I haven’t had much experience with set-in sleeves yet, so I don’t have much advice to offer as to whether they’ll fit on the body at this point. But if it doesn’t look right, perhaps you could leave the sleeves off and just attach the body band to the front and back and make it a shell? If you went the sleeveless route, you should probably pick up stitches and either crochet around or knit a few rows of ribbing around the armhole opening to get it to lay right.