Usually I will find a pattern I love, download it, dig through my stash for an appropriate yarn and begin knitting. Often, as I knit, I will begin to understand the thing I’m knitting will be a gift for someone. Every so often, I don’t read the directions fully and don’t realize I’ve made a major project mistake until halfway into the project. And sometimes, that works out okay. This was one of those projects.
I downloaded the Flying Geese Shawl pattern because it looked soft and snuggly with just enough interest to make it pretty. I dug through my stash and found a lovely yarn I had been wanting to work with for some time, Monsoon by James C. Brett. I knew I didn’t have enough to make a huge shawl, but maybe it would be a nice mid-sized shawl. I didn’t check gauge because I was just going to knit until I was out of yarn. I pulled out my needles and cast on.
Except I got lazy. I kind of skimmed the materials section. So when I pulled out my needles, I pulled out my US 7. And I knit away. But when the pattern said to get ready to finish after seven repeats, I was flabbergasted. I barely had a toddler shawl. That couldn’t be right. So I unfolded the pattern I had been using and read through it from the beginning.
That’s not a size 7 needle, that’s seven balls of yarn. It was supposed to be a US 15. Which, if my very basic math skills are correct, is over twice the size of the needle I was currently using.
I could have pulled it out and started over, but I really liked how it looked. While the original pattern is more airy, this was a little warmer, softer and more compact. I kept at it, and finished the pattern. I didn’t have quite enough yarn to finish the last two rows of garter and still bind off. But I used two balls of yarn and made a respectfully sized shawlette.
As I knit, I knew this was going to be a gift and exactly who it was going to be for. I finished knitting and blocking two days before the gift-giving event. Phew. The giftee loved it and I hope to see pictures of her wearing it (hint, hint, nudge, nudge, Susan).
This is a pattern that I will likely try again on the appropriate needles with the appropriate quantity of yarn. It was an easy pattern, though I did have to pay attention for the yarn overs. Sometimes I did them too soon and quickly learned how to fix those on the fly (not fun moving a yarn over several rows back). It was mostly mindless, but needed enough brain to keep it interesting. The pattern comes written out or with a chart, but it’s easy enough to memorize.
The yarn is very soft. It’s an acrylic/wool blend so it should live a nice, long life. The yarn did have a tendency to split and there were several bad breaks causing a color stripe to change abruptly. That was disappointing, but I think you only notice if you look hard. The colors are beautiful though a little unexpected together. That’s not a bad thing.
All-in-all, a successful project!
- Knit through front and back (KFB)
- Knit two together (K2tog)
- Slip, slip, knit (SSK)
- Bind off
Have you ever mis-read a pattern but ended up happy with the results? Let me know in the comments!