The Third Time is Not a Charm

When people say “the third time’s a charm!” in an irritatingly cheerful voice, don’t believe them. At least it didn’t work that way for me. I re-started my Hollygrove Scarf four times, and it looks like I have finally gotten it. But FPS. Really? I think this is the most times I’ve re-started something.

The first time – I mis-counted something in one of the early cable rows, and couldn’t tink or frog it back. (The Cascade Eco Alpaca is a little fuzzy, but it’s definitely tink-able if need be. Just not by me, that first time.)

The second time – I messed up the “cable without a needle” thing. I’m still not sure how. But what I did decide is that I like the version where you move the stitches first and then plow into the knitting/purling (versus the method I linked to last week that has you moving, then knitting, then moving again. I think that linked-to method is probably faster in the long run, but my way is easier, and still lets you whizz along without a cable needle.) I also took some colored pencils and colored in the different cable symbols on my chart last week. It made a huge difference in the speed of my knitting in those rows.

The third time – I had actually done two pattern repeats and couldn’t figure out why it didn’t look just right. (Note – this photo is the corrected version. Don’t get your glasses out, trying to figure out where I messed up on this one.) The first repeat didn’t look right, either, but in my state of eternal optimism, I figured that it “would all work out”. Then I figured it out. Β The cable symbols said to “move 2 stitches to the front, knit two, then knit two from the cable needle” so that’s what I did. I’m literal like that. And I don’t knit charts often enough to be completely comfortable with the whole “this symbol means this if you’re knitting right to left, but it means the exact opposite if you’re knitting left to right, which you will be doing on every other row” thing. In this case, the pattern was happy to remind me that the knit and purl symbols were opposite, depending on which row you were on. But they forgot to tell me that the cables would also be done the opposite way on the back rows. So instead of knitting the stitches when they said to knit them, I needed to be purling the cable stitches, when working the left-to-right wrong side of the chart. And the repeat section only has the big cables on the wrong side of the chart, so I’m thinking a gentle reminder in the key would’ve been helpful. You can imagine how lovely (and glaringly obvious) that mistake was in the knitted fabric, as I went along. Still not sure why I thought it would all work out, but eventually I realized that it would not, and frogged it again.

The fourth time – things are going swimmingly. I think I’ve got it. I love working on it, now that it’s going the way it’s supposed to.Β Carrying on.

How is your Cable Challenge project coming along?

Sheri whoisstillabigcablingfan,despitethedo-overs


  1. The cables look gorgeous. I know what you mean about the eco alpaca – it’s a sticky yarn and I found it hard to tink back (especially when it’s 640 stitches a round)

  2. Oh yea! I’m in good froggin company this week! I was trying to update 2 computers to Win 7 while working on my first shawlette. Mind you the shawlette has been a love/hate relationship. I realized after a good 50 rows that I had my ssk and k2tog mixed up! But I figured long as I keep it that way the whole way through it’d be fine… such logic πŸ™‚
    Anyway, the combination of having to work on computers at home (it’s what I do all day at work) and trying to work on this continuing knitted frustration, I broke down and frogged the whole thing. Now I’m debating about trying again (your color coding sounds like a grand idea) or starting a cabled pullover.

  3. Hi Sheri!
    It sounds like you have a darn persistent spirit : ) I’m happy to hear 4th time is charming for ya. I have yet to start any cable adventures. Still happily knitting and purling on a bday gift for a little girl. After that, I’ll see fi I can muster up enough courage to try the cable link you gave us last week. I was optimistic when I viewed it. I even told my mother in law that I might start trying that … and then I remembered if I wanted to I could use my stitch holder as my ‘cable needle’ – is that possible? I mean more annoying with the extra needle holding bit, but like practically, it would work right??

    Keep up the great work – that scarf looks delightful : )
    Happy Wednesday from NJ <3

  4. I hope to start the same scarf at some point and I also hope that your do-overs mean that you’ve worked out all the kinks for any of us knitting the same scarf! You know, a form of knitting karma! πŸ™‚

  5. Good for you for sticking with it! My cable project is knit in the round, and is small, which tends to limit the opportunities to mess up. I sure hope I didn’t just jinx myself. I’m knitting St. Brigid’s Carnamoyle socks with modifications. I decided to continue the cable all the way to the toes. I’m using DiC’s Classy in Chinatown Apple, and making good time on sock number one. Wow, I am really tempting the fates today.

  6. Also doing the Hollygrove Scarf and this is my first cable project. Also colored my symbols and instructions so I could get it right at a glance. Also messed up my first cable and after 2 repeats, decided to rip it all out and start over. Don’t have a clue what you’re talking about with the purls and knits being opposite so I surely hope I’m doing this right! πŸ™

  7. Your scarf is BEAUTIFUL! The worst knitting thing that happened to me was years ago in a laundromat. I was knitting while waiting and when I went to put my laundry in a dryer – a woman was so not watching her child and the kid had walked up to where I was knitting and proceeded to begin ripping all of my work out off my needles and it was a patterned knit piece – had NO idea where I was then – got nasty with the woman and she just ignored me. It IS a mess to frog cabled patterns out (at least for me) and pick up where I ripped out to. I’m a “frog wimp” I guess – if it’s a pattern – I either just move on and continue or rip it all out and start over. I will have to look up the pattern you’re using and maybe knit in Cascade 220. Where are you going to show off your scarf for the first time? πŸ™‚ (it’s worth showing off!!)

  8. “Cables . . . look impressive, but they are amazingly easy to do. ”

    Didn’t I just read something like that somewhere? Your scarf looks absolutely fabulous! I’m still mulling over what might be fun for the Cable Challenge. Something I won’t be doing, though, is cabling without a cable needle-I spend too much time fishing for dropped stitches when I do that. πŸ™‚

  9. Loving the tosh yarn!! Doing a seed stitch border, 4 stitch cable, then honeycomb center. Didnt want it so wide so doing a narrower cable on the sides. Love the texture if the honeycomb!!

  10. I’m doing a very easy piece (this is my first time with cables) – Irish Hiking Scarf. It is coming along very well. I’m not sure if I would have tried FOUR times, but I congratulate you for doing so. Your scarf is beautiful.

  11. I’ve finished knitting the Irish Cabled Neckwarmer and need to shop for three buttons to top off the look of the beautiful Teal Feather Malabrigo yarn I chose. The Neckwarmer is a great pattern and I love Malabrigo! I may make another one in a different color. Congratulations on hanging in there, Sheri, and finishing your project. It is lovely! I may have to do that one too! Yikes!

  12. So glad you’re liking the scarf! Yours is coming your beautifully, and i’m really impressed at your determination, keeping with it after the challenges you ran into. If you or any one else has any problems with theirs, i’d be happy to help trouble-shoot it with you. Feel free to e-mail me at judy at kaethler dot com or pm me on Ravelry at judyka. Happy kitting!

  13. Tomorrow is D-day. D-day I finally get to start my project! Made myself finish a WIP before starting. My yarn – Tosh Vintage in Mulled Wine arrived on Monday and I am in love with it already. Love the color – love how the yarn feels and I can’t wait to start. The best part is I get to try out the yarn swift DD gave me for Christmas!
    Love the scarf and Congratulations on your persistence it definitely was worth it! Yet one more project to add to my to do list! Thanks for sharing.

  14. i had a shawl i was knitting, almost 600 stitches cast on…. i restarted it 6 times…and it was a special cast on with beads.. came close to thinking about giving up!

  15. my project is picked – Sweet Little Nothing beret – pattern downloaded and reviewed – #2 addi lace needle purchased and MT sock in a yummy color on the way from TLE – WHEEEE – maybe I’ll get started this weekend.

    Sorry your scarf got a rough start – glad I did not download that pattern after all – but then isn’t it supposed to be “A CHALLENGE” LOL
    enjoy! Melody

  16. My first lace project, a simple leaf lace scarf, got completely frogged and restarted SEVEN times before I finally got the hang of it. It was simple pig-headedness that kept me going, but I loved the result. Haven’t started my Challenge project yet, trying to be good and finish my Clockwork scarf/shawl (I can’t decide what to call it) first. I’m going to knit the Highland Fling socks in String Theory Caper, a lovely sage-y green color. But I still to pick up some size 0 DPNs…never knit on anything that small. Gulp. πŸ˜‰

  17. I’ve done cables before and can’t decide on a pattern. I thought I had it down to the cabled gloves and may end up doing them as I haven’t done gloves yet and the fingers will probably intimidate me more than the cable on it. But, I am still searching Ravelry so that may change.

  18. I have no cable challenge because I’m challenged enough trying to finish projects already otn.
    I just wanted to say the mug in your picture looks very similar to one I drink from every morning. It has to be from Ron on Etsy. I’ve had him custom make several mugs for me as presents. I’m sure I found him from a link on your blog, thanks :).

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