For the look of Relax in a worsted weight yarn, take a look at Worsted Boxy.

Bark Where There Ought to Be Pickle, Or, The Error That Dogs Us

Dear Kay,
Well, I just excavated the reason why I stopped working on this sweater in December 2009. Taking a foto this morning to show Proof of Progress, I noticed this:
donegalbadrow.jpg
On Sleeve One, there is Pickle where there should be Bark. I think when I discovered this, back in December 2009, it was the last straw. I wrote:

The ever-decreasing tube of inside-out two-handed knitting has become something akin to braiding cat’s hair, to aligning grains of rice end to end, to cutting the grass, blade by blade. BLEEHAGHGGGHGH! Fiddly fiddly FIDDLY! YIKES! Godalmighty! RELEASE ME! SET ME FREE!

A bit wound up. But now, seeing as how I’m a half a sleeve from glory, we are going to call that little stretch of misbegotten Bark “The Artistic Part.” I’m feeling pretty sturdy about this final stretch. For the moment.
Tempted to just go with a solid for the last half of the second sleeve.
donegalsecondsleeve.jpg
I could be done in a day!
Love,
Ann

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70 Comments

70 Comments

  1. Could duplicate stitch be your fiddly friend next?
    I am just beginning to hear the siren call of FairIsle- lash me to a pole!
    Marilyn in Minneapolis

  2. I agree! I’d call that bit, “Making the pattern my own.” just like altering a recipe a titch.

  3. So close to victory. Crave the end product, which has a charm all its owm.

  4. would probably never noticed if it hadn’t been shown to me
    the sweater is absolutely gorgeous
    I hope you will model it in a pic!
    keep going…

  5. It looks like you’re almost to the same point on the other sleeve. Do it twice, and then it will truly be a design element!

  6. Honestly, it took two of us to locate the problem even after you circled it. I like Diane’s suggestion above: do it twice!

  7. Y’know there is a thought in art that it’s good to show some of the artist’s hand. That’s how I’d spin it. IF anyone dared to comment on your finished sweater in such a way that pointed out a color variation.
    (on second thought I might just smack them–an alternative way to show an artist’s hand).

  8. It’s gorgeous; you’ll love it when it’s done. You won’t care about the color mistake because you won’t even see it. I once mixed up some Starmore greens and blues and discovered, after swatching, that I liked my version.

  9. Leave it, do sleeve #2 per pattern. It will be a design element and if you decide in 3 years that it really bugs the heck out of you and you’re ready to just fix it, it’ll be easier to do on one sleeve than two. (Says the person who is finally getting around to fixing her 2010 olympic knitting sweater).

  10. Go for it! Perfect being the enemy of the good and whatnot.

  11. I mean the artistic part, not the solid 1/2 sleeve. Just to be clear.

  12. It is glorious! Knit fearlessly and wear proudly!

  13. BT says it for me!

  14. Pickling: all the rage. Pickled beets, pickled bark. You’re practically an episode of Portlandia. Just wear it with a paste on moustache when you’re done.

  15. Gale, I, too, might well smack such a person! Ann, I have nothing but admiration that you can tell your Bark from your Pickle.

  16. I can’t even tell the difference and I am a knitter! So I really doubt any muggles are going to notice. So carry on please…

  17. Where come from we call it a “design element”, obviously your very own special design element.
    Only you will know, anyway. Keep up the good work, it looks fabulous.

  18. Honestly there is so much going on with that sweater no-one will notice except for you. Don’t do the knitter’s thing where you point out every flaw. I made a fully steeked colorwork cardigan during Ravellenics this year (so super tight window to finish it!) and realized after knitting a good inch on the body that I had switched hands with the colors. It created a very slight stripe along the waistline that you don’t even seen when it’s on, though when photos are taken it’s like a giant glowing beacon. I just let it stand. It’s handmade. It needs some character, and no-one else will notice. Until I tell them, because I can’t help myself.

  19. I’ve been staring at it for quite some time and still can’t figure out what’s wrong with it haha

  20. I’ve been staring at it for quite some time and still can’t figure out what’s wrong with it haha. I think you’re ok.

  21. See, after 4 years you are ready to carry on. Knitting builds character…Onward to the finish line!

  22. Unless you are planning on being handcuffed anytime soon, no one will EVER see both sleeves next to each other. Problem solved.

  23. If it’s any consolation, it took me about ten minutes to figure out what you were talking about. My guess is that no one but you will ever notice. But if it’s going to make you crazy every time you look at it … I like the idea of just doing it twice and calling it a choice. It’s a beautiful sweater!

  24. Most beautiful sweater I’ve ever seen.

  25. Years ago when we lived in South Dakota, a friend of ours was teaching my husband leather hand-tooling. My husband made an error in the pattern he was cutting and was going to start over, but our friend told him to leave the mistake; that it would be the “Indian” part of the project. Then he explained how the Navajo’s would purposely make something imperfect, so as not to displease the gods. Please see this link for a conversation on this topic. Just think of your sweater as purposely imperfect!http://www.spotlightradio.net/listen/purposely-imperfect

  26. Wabi-sabi!

  27. Is that stripe of Bark going to bug you? Will it haunt you everytime you wear this sweater and detract from the joy of your mighty accomplishment? If so, then I like Diane’s idea: knit both sleeves the same way (it creates a balance — it’s sort of like Feng Shui for the sweater). I was also wondering if maybe you could do a steek there and fix the colorwork that way? Not having a firm grasp of the appropriate application of steeks, I’m not entirely sure about it, but…

  28. I noticed this in the photo on Jan 28 but assumed it was a design element. Or that you’d been knitting it on one of your beach excursions with your sunglasses on. Oh wait, 3 pounds of wool on your lap on the beach? Must have been a chilly day. That’s your story and you’re sticking to it.

  29. I seriously can’t tell the difference and you are literally pointing out the error. Don’t even sweat it.

  30. The sweater is just beautiful. I can’t see the difference either! What an achievement. Kudos to you.

  31. Nobody but you will ever notice (but of course you will see it every time you look!!). Totally agree on the design element.

  32. now you will be able to remember which arm to put in which sleeve!

  33. It’s a feature! But no solid half-sleeve, y’hear?

  34. I’m looking! I’m looking really hard and it LOOKS FINE to me :)

  35. Noooo-ooo! Not Solid! ..o.k., I think that is a consensus. I’ve been weighing repeat the “error” or leave it to please the Gods. While I do support at least one error to prove that I’m not perfect(and, honestly, I don’t even have to try), I am 98% sure that a matching second sleeve will bring balance to the finished, lovely, amazing project.
    Up close, I could not see the problem, but stepping back, yes, is it obvious. But never, never a disaster. Knit On! ..but wait, can the errant rows be dyed? Perhaps w/tea?
    Another can-o-worms?

  36. This sweater is so beautiful! What is the pattern, or did you make it yourself? As to the bark stripe, I kind of like it. Personally it would drive me crazy and I would cut it out above the beginning of the stripe, (top down or bottom up), slip the stitches back on the needle where the mistake was made, and then re-knit the 1/2″ or so that is required and us the Kitchener stitch to attach the two pieces back together. A wash and blocking and tying in ends and no one will know you made a piece. I’ve seen this done on tapestries, and no one can tell except by looking at the back of the piece. However, I am extremely fussy, and a perfectionist which is why it takes me forever to finish anything.
    The sweater is heavenly – wear it with pride! My fair isle is still un-finished after starting it in 1995, with 1 and a half sleeves to go and a little pick-up and reuniting due to moth feeding.
    Tara

  37. This sweater is so beautiful! What is the pattern, or did you make it yourself? As to the bark stripe, I kind of like it. Personally it would drive me crazy and I would cut it out above the beginning of the stripe, (top down or bottom up), slip the stitches back on the needle where the mistake was made, and then re-knit the 1/2″ or so that is required and us the Kitchener stitch to attach the two pieces back together. A wash and blocking and tying in ends and no one will know you made a piece. I’ve seen this done on tapestries, and no one can tell except by looking at the back of the piece. However, I am extremely fussy, and a perfectionist which is why it takes me forever to finish anything.
    The sweater is heavenly – wear it with pride! My fair isle is still un-finished after starting it in 1995, with 1 and a half sleeves to go and a little pick-up and reuniting due to moth feeding.
    Tara

  38. I’ll cast my lot in for duplicate-stitching the right color over, only because I know it would bother me if it were mine. And I definitely saw myself in the act of putting away a project because it has a mistake that I’m too tired or impatient to fix. I do it with embroidery projects also. Oh, there’s the mistake, all the way down the border, and now I have to rip for a few hours before I can go forward again. The curse of the perfectionist!
    It’s an amazing sweater. Great seeing it coming along so nicely otherwise.

  39. It’s not that far up the sleeve – rip back and re-knit. I like the steek and fix idea, except I’m not sure I could kitchner a colourwork sleeve back together…

  40. Saw this in Native American Times: “The traditional teaching of the Navajo weaving is that you have to put a mistake in there,” Garnanez said. “It must be done because only the creator is perfect. We’re not perfect, so we don’t make a perfect rug.”
    So there. I’m with Gale – give ‘em a good smack if they’re not buying it.

  41. Two little words: elbow patches

  42. Sort of a funny thing: when I read the header, I actually assumed that “Pickle” is a yarn color. But I also thought you are in the process of teaching a dog to observe your colorwork closely and bark when you need to change colors. And to be honest, I wondered if my dog (who is pretty smart) would play along. Now I feel kind of silly, and I’m glad I didn’t mention it to my dog right away.
    Also, I looked and looked and looked at the picture, and not only can I not see the blip – if indeed there is one – but I also think that if I had ever in my entire knitting life generated a swatch – a 4″ swatch! – of such complex beauty, I would carry it with me everywhere and force people to admire it and, by extension, me.

  43. if you keep your arms busy (like waving alot or knitting at warp speed) nobody will ever notice that little bit of “artistic-ness” you’ve taken there

  44. if you keep your arms busy (like waving alot or knitting at warp speed) nobody will ever notice that little bit of “artistic-ness” you’ve taken there

  45. Hmm…I’m with Flossie…I got my microscope out and still couldn’t find it…

  46. OH — now I do see it! It’s like one of those pictures from years back where you have to let your eyes go out of focus in order to see the hidden picture…
    I bet a teeny bit of duplicate stitch here and there just to break it up a little would work.

  47. Comforting to know that what happens to me at the stockinette scarf stage happens to you too but at a much higher level. I will remember this the next time I need to frog a garter stitch cowl. And I agree with everyone else that no one would notice if you hadn’t pointed it out.

  48. It’s beautiful. Just finish it and wear it proudly!!

  49. It looks great and while I can tell where it is, I’m not sure I would be able to tell where the mistake if you were wearing it than seeing it all flat.

  50. If it were mine it would totally bug me. That is not to say that I would rip it out and re-do half a sleeve. So my thought is, could you thread a needle with the correct color, and wind the yarn through the stitches, following the strand of wrong yarn. Then, somewhere in the middle, snip the strand of wrong yarn and pull it out, but leave it attached and weave in the ends. Maybe this is a real technique that I don’t know about. Seems a good plan in theory…

  51. My fourth grade teacher, Miss Morris, told our class that our paintings would be more interesting if we did not fill in the backgrounds with solid paint, but maybe just give some brush strokes.
    As per the lovely Miss Morris, I encourage the idea of a “solid” for the last half of the second sleeve.
    SOLID!SOLID!SOLID!SOLID! :):):);)
    lOVEdIANE

  52. It is beautiful! And there is always duplicate stitch.

  53. Ann, you’re sooo close to finishing this sweater. You know the saying: never, never, never give up!! Keep going. It’s beautiful!

  54. If someone gets that close to notice that & dares to say anything about it – just bitch slap them into tomorrow! Or do the genteel thing & say “We’ll bless my heart”!

  55. If someone gets that close to notice that & dares to say anything about it – just bitch slap them into tomorrow! Or do the genteel thing & say “We’ll bless my heart”!

  56. Do the second sleeve with the pickles and the barks where they are meant to be. And then you are done!

  57. I’d go “design element” to the maximum and repeat that feature on the second sleeve. That way, only those very familiar with the pattern will notice. Even they might think it a quirk of the yarn you were using. . .;-)!

  58. “cutting the grass, blade by blade.”
    Part of our family lore is a tale of my parents’ living in a trailer park, when my father was working on a construction project. They decided to spiff things up a bit, and planted grass on their tiny plot. Only belatedly did they recognize the need for a mower, and my mother always claimed they cut the grass with scissors.
    (this was the sme trailer where, when I was a year old or so, my four-year old brother helped me climb out a window with him, onto the roof. How to give your mother a heart attack…)

  59. Oh, if only a half of a sleeve was a day’s worth of knitting for me! It’s more like a month’s worth.

  60. If anyone notices and has the bad manners to comment, tell ‘em you knit the whole sweater in the light of a single candle.

  61. You are going to make the same color ‘modification’ on the second sleeve, right? Then there is no problem as the two sleeves will match.

  62. I vote for duplicate stitch. That way you can just power ahead and finish!

  63. I hate to be the naysayer in this group, but I noticed the “stripe” in your previous post. I am the anti- perfectionist, and truly believe in the motto “handmade”….but this would really bug me if it were mine. That said, this sweater is SPECTACULAR!!!

  64. Where is the mistake? You have circles and arrows, and I still can’t tell.
    I am with the others that vote to make the same “mistake” on sleeve #2. If they are identical, then it is a creative enhancement, not a mistake, and no one will ever know.
    They will be too busy marveling at the finished product.

  65. Well, I can not see the ‘mistake’
    and why know finish with a half sleeve of solid. If that is all to keep from calling this finished. Go Solid ! ! !
    hugs

  66. Such an easy fix! just pick up all the sts in the row above the goof and snip it apart. Reknit the goof area and just graft it together to the bottom part of the sleeve. You can do it in a afternoon.

  67. Good grief–if you hadn’t pointed it out, I never would have noticed. It is an amazing piece of work, Ann. I am awed by your talent.

  68. In my opinion it looks okay & would even do the 2nd sleeve the same.

  69. I am in awe of your talent; I remember seeing this pattern in a book years ago and imagining for one second that I could make it; I probably could have if I ignored the four children and the house and the rest of my life for a year or so! I would fix the problem, which I understand will bug you forever, with duplicate stitch. By the way, I had to look really hard to see the problem, even with your circle and arrows!

  70. for some reason, i just read over my post from the other day, and can see where it might not make sense. miss morris encouraged us to only use brush strokes of paint to fill in the backgrounds of a certain type of picture we were making. she said it would leave some unpainted areas, and THAT would create interest. i can say that most of the fourth grade class did not follow her suggestion. i can also say that i used the idea in a still life when in the fifth grade (and a new school) and it was SUCH a hit with the art teacher.
    so. i was just saying (tongue in cheek, mind you) that one half sold sleeve on this particular sweater would generate tons of interest. i would not expect that you would actually do that (although if you did, i would be your staunch supporter) .although i have not read all of the above comments, i think the general message is that the sweater is BEAUTIFUL. i wholeheartedly agree.
    when you finish it, wear it in good health.
    LoveDiane