Teachers the world over bemoan the seeming inability of some of their students to fail to follow or, in some cases, even read the directions. Heh. Read on for a prime knitting example of why directions are important.

Way back in June, I started working on a sweater that I am DYING to be done with - I can't begin to explain how much I want to have this one off the needles and on my back, particularly when the mornings have a bit of a bite, and I need something to throw on for the school run. 

Well, things were going pretty well for a while (after the first ripping festival when I decided to change needles and knit it inside out, because (shudders) reverse stockinette dontcha know). But then the move happened, and I put it down and it was forgotten for quite a while.

About a week and a half ago I picked it up again - I had managed to get through the short rows for one sleeve, and once I figured out where the heck I was in the pattern, the second sleeve cruised along and I managed to seam them up and finally, FINALLY start on the body.

Now, a sweater in fingering weight yarn is, as I'm sure we'll all agree, a commitment. It's a labor of love, because it certainly isn't any kind of instant gratification project. So I was working away on the body, a few rows here, a few rows there. Last weekend we went to take the dog for a walk in Richmond Park, and I attempted to mortify my children by knitting and walking at the same time. With other people around! Imagine their horror*.

Yesterday Allison and I had a meet up at a coffee shop, and while I was waiting for her, I pulled out my Juniper and started working, hoping to get a few more rows done before she arrived and we had to talk shop.

After a while, I thought "Self, you've got your Kindle here**, and it might be a good idea to see how long the body needs to be." Which was thoroughly unnecessary, as the body certainly needs to be longer then the approximately 3 inches I had done, but anyway: I pulled out the Kindle and opened up the pattern.

I looked at the pattern. I looked at my knitting. I looked at the pattern again. I looked at my knitting again. And do you know what I saw?

  Pretty red...

Pretty red...

Actually, more important is what I didn't see.

  Wait a minute...

Wait a minute...

What I didn't see were any decreases. Because in the pattern, you're supposed to work a set of decreases every few rows for waist shaping. And I, in my complete and utter daze of enthusiasm to get this thing done, had read through the sleeve directions and joining to work in the round for the body and NEGLECTED TO READ ANY FURTHER. 

Because I am an idiot. Knitters, don't be me. Learn from my bad example. Because otherwise,

You too may end up with a pile of red, fingering weight spaghetti, for the SECOND TIME*** in one project. Woe. Woe is me.


* Disappointingly, when I said to Devil "Is this weird that I'm walking and knitting?", she replied "Nope." Darn it!

** I am trying to both a) save paper and b) combat my tendency to print out a pattern, make lots of notes on it, and then promptly lose it by using electronic copies.

*** At least one time too many, if not two times. Bah!