A Cautionary Tale

Today’s knitting lesson is brought to you by the letter


For Denial.

So, I’m knitting that vest. Knitting along, minding my own business, churning out the yardage, and when I get to the armholes, this little voice in the back of my head says “Don’t you think it’s a little short for your taste?” I’ve learned (sort of) not to ignore that voice, so I say “Well, maybe, yeah”, and I break out the pattern and the tape measure. I’m knitting the medium. I’m sort of short, but I like things a little long and I have accessories out the front that knitted things need to accommodate, so medium usually suits me fine. The pattern says 10.75 inches is the length for the medium, and that’s what I have, but my inner knitter (who knows lot more than my outer one) says “that’s not going to cut it” and I listened. I decided to use the length for the XXL. Awesome. That’s got to be plenty long enough… right?

I keep knitting. The next time I think “that looks a little short” is when I’m done the front. The finished piece is to be 18.75 inches for the medium, but I’m still using the XXL for length, so I keep trucking until I’ve got that length, 19.75. I measure, remeasure, measure it lying down and hanging up, and in the end I can’t shut that voice up, so I add a couple more centimetres. I now have a vest that’s the XXL length plus a bit, and that’s just got to be good enough, so I ignore the voice (“that looks a little short“) and cast off.

I start the back. I take blog pictures (“don’t you think that’s a little short?“) and I fold it up (“I think that’s too short”) and take it to knit night. At knit night, I pull out my knitting and lay the finished front nearby. Several people look at it and admire it, squeeze the cushy cormo yarn and compliment the colour, but they are a polite crew, and nobody says much else – with the exception of one knitter who asked if it was a cropped vest, but said nothing more when I said No. (The inner voice wondered why she said that, but my outer self blocked it.) I looked it over again. I thought about it some more. Finally (“DON’T YOU THINK THAT’S A LITTLE SHORT?”) I smoothed it over my leg, then held it up to my front, and turned to the knitters and said “Do you think this is a little short?”

Molly, sitting across from me, has this look flash across her face for an instant, and the look said “Holy cow am I ever glad she’s ready to talk about this” and she answers so fast that I know that she really means it.

Yes. Yes. That’s too short. Totally too short. That vest is not long enough, it is too short. Totally.

“Really?” I say, feeling the first knowledge that a big rip is in my future, and everyone agrees. Really. Too short. I’m still dwelling in the land of denial though, so I defend it – and I confide that it can’t be too short, because I measured, I checked the pattern, and I knit the XXL for length. Several knitters stare at me. XXL? That’s the XXL?

Thus began a campaign to bring me out from the land of denial and try to match the vest with reality.

Here it is on a knitter who’s an XL – not even the XXL it’s the length for.


Here it is on a knitter who’s a large. (Better.)


Here it is on a knitter who’s a medium (that’s me.)


Here it is on a knitter who’s a small.


The width is fine. Drea, the XL, might need a little more room, and Mairi, the large, is a pretty skinny large, so she needs less width, but the point here is that it isn’t enough length for any of the sizes – unless it’s meant to be a cropped vest, or a vest that comes to just above the waist, in which case a couple of us are going to be alright.

My point isn’t that the pattern is wrong. It may or may not be, depending on what the designer intended, I mean, for all we know, that’s the length it’s meant to be… and it’s a pretty easy fix to get it to fit the way I want. I’ll rip back to the divide for the front and do another repeat of the diamonds, which will make it long enough for me easily. The point is that the whole thing is my fault, because the length for this vest is clearly stated on the pattern… which I thought was too short, which then seemed too short in the knitting, which I then could see was too short when I held it up to myself, which I then KNIT ANYWAY, even though I know I like my stuff longer than that.

Sigh. Denial. Baby Elwood wants you to know…


It ain’t just a river in Egypt.

233 thoughts on “A Cautionary Tale

  1. We’ll just call you Cleopatra for a while. That should help matters.
    And baby Elwood??? WOW he’s growing fast, and what a face! I want to squish it and kiss those cheeks!

  2. I hate to say it but it looks like there a tink in your future. But when it is done it will be beautiful.
    Elwood is so cute. I love those checks and he has so much hair!
    BTW – Just got a new furnace. I can actually feel my fingers enough to knit. πŸ˜‰

  3. No comment on the letter D – we’ve all done it, and will continue for the foreseeable future.
    But Baby Elwood?? Holy Crap, those cheeks! What an out and out cutie!

  4. Yes, it’s too short! But sometimes, just sometimes, we want to knit to length according to the directions and have it turn out. I just did that with the Central Park Hoodie, and it’s perfect. But it was serendipity; I’m short!
    PS Thanks for the hooker post way back in February; I slip stitch crocheted across the back neck according to your suggestion (no bind off there), and it doesn’t sag any more!

  5. Wow…they seriously suggest a 10″ length for a medium vest? I just keep looking at my ruler and shaking my head.
    What’s even funnier (to me) is that I looked up the pattern on Ravelry and the little blurb says “If you wish to shorten the vest, you may do so by working a shallower ribbing section.” You know…for those people for whom a 10″ long vest is just TOO LONG.
    I mean, if that fits you, great, but 10″ seems AWFUL short.

  6. Ah yes. That inner voice. I thought is was my evil twin. Crap! That means I’m…oh no!
    BTW Elwood is absolutley adorable!

  7. Baby Elwood is in the sweet spot of cute!
    I loved how you took a page from Sandi Wisehart’s Gallery Girls – the Toronto edition!

  8. So… why not have baby Elwood model the vest? Maybe on him it wouldn’t be too short.
    (But OMG is he adorable and LOOK how big he’s getting! They do that, don’t they.)

  9. Huh. Weird! I wonder if it should be 19.75 inches to the armhole instead of the shoulder.
    Elwood is DARLING!

  10. baby Elwood: 10/10 for cuteness!!
    Strange how that river in Egypt leads to the frogpond more often than the Mediterranean… *ponders knitting geography*

  11. Ha, and I thought this was going to be another “centimeters do not equal inches” lesson.
    That baby face! *dies from cute*

  12. It’s so easy to ignore that inner tape measure sometimes! Why do we convince ourselves when we ought to know better by now? These same problems crop up in other hobbies and fix-it projects too. Sigh.
    Elwood is ADORABLE, and also looks quite surprised! The caption should read “ooooooo” haha.

  13. I love the expression on Elwood’s face. He doesn’t miss anything, does he? As for your Egyptian travelogue, I think we can all relate. I haven’t been able to figure out why we continue so stubbornly in the face of something that is obviously not going to plan, but there it is. Glad I’m not the only one. On the up side, it is a beautiful vest.

  14. Ohmygosh, Elwood is Adorable, with a capital A!
    (And that vest is gorgeous – maybe it would fit me…?)

  15. I kept waiting for you to say you discovered you were knitting a child’s pattern – that would have made so much more sense!

  16. Oh, my. Elwood is gone and away one of the cutest little balls of baby I have ever seen. Can I come up to Toronto and kiss him?
    I’m probably not the first to suggest this, but perhaps did you read it to be 19.75 to the shoulders, and it might have been to the armholes?

  17. I hate to ask the stupid question, but I’m going to anyway. Is it possible that this is an American pattern and that the numbers are given in inches? That would make a bit more sense I think. It’s going to be wonderful once you’re done.

  18. Oh BABY!!! Holidays are coming…WE are ALL going for a swim in dat RIVER!!!! LMAO…and ps….thanks you for sharing this one!

  19. Not to argue with a knitting goddess, but wouldn’t it be easier just to snip off from the cast-on and add one some more ribbing on the bottom? Though perhaps that’s not the look you’re going for. And now that I’m thinking about that, it doesn’t work for ribbing, you get that jaggedy edge, it only really works well for stockinette and purling.
    I’m so wrong. This is why I have yet to attain goddess status. I run around with the nymphs in the forest. Oh, if it weren’t so cold.

  20. Umm the armholes for a size 4 toddler sweater I just finished were placed after 10″ of knitting the body … Sorry you have to practice your ripping skills.
    Nice yarn though!

  21. Well, sorry you gotta rip, but you know if you didn’t you’d never wear the thing. (That’s what we call “getting your money’s worth” out of it, when you get the pleasure of knitting it twice!)
    Ohmigosh, them’s the cutest fattest most scrumptious baby cheeks I’ve seen in a long while! Kiss Elwood for me next time you see him!

  22. BUT… the vest is beautiful, and you don’t have to rip that much. And I love your solution, simple and (relatively) quick.
    That Elwood – look at that face! And I am amazed the boy has any hair left – I wouldn’t stop petting the cute little head all day long. Thanks for the baby fix!!

  23. Ouch! You’re so much more calm than I would be in that situation. Are you sure you didn’t curse a little when you realized the pattern was wrong(Elwood’s expression gives it away)? LOL

  24. Love the photo series. Best case, the vest is supposed to be cropped. Or the designer is working in some new system of measurement.
    And the knitter who’s a large? What a sweater she has on, behind the vest! Beautiful!

  25. The original is on display at Purlescence, my LYS. Yeah, I’d describe it as cropped, definitely. I’d also say it looks fine held up against you; I really like it.

  26. Are you sure you weren’t measuring with the centimetre side of the tape?
    Actually, it looks like it would work well as a cropped vest. Does the pattern not show it on a model to demonstrate the intended look?

  27. Glad to see other cute baby comments, as the old song says “Oh what a beautiful baby”. Kiss those cheeks for us!
    Nice vest, will be even nicer longer.

  28. I’m going to second whoever suggested those pattern numbers might be inches.
    And I recently had a serious issue with denial, gauge, and a sweater for a dog I’ve never met. I had to start the whole thing over after it was more then half done. We all make mistakes!

  29. I love baby Elwood. What an adorable face, and all that hair! Babies grow so fast. I have a particular affinity to Elwood, because my father’s middle name was Elwood and I think it is a great name. And he certainly is an adorable baby.
    It’s good we have knitting friends who can help us remove ourselves from the river of Denial and face reality.

  30. I was wondering if (1) the knitter mixed up Cm and Ins in the knitting, or (2) if the pattern did. I was just teaching a class, and despite the designer’s website trumpeting all the people who review her patterns before they go to print – honestly, I think I found five or six errors! Some of which are now on her errata page. So I never trust patterns to be accurate unless my knitting matches both the picture and the body.
    Since I am also short and accessorized, I just go with the measurements that match ME, and devil take the ones in the pattern. He’s probably the one who came up with them in the first place.

  31. I bet you have a daughter who might love acropped vest, if you could let her out the door in it. except maybe it is pretty cold already in Toronto for cropped clothing.

  32. Ok, first off, I love to read you and see you in person. However, more Baby Elwood would just add to your allure. πŸ™‚ What a cutie! And I have to agree with Margo Lynn in the comments about the Devil and patterns. He’s got to have a hand in this.

  33. Wow, Baby Elwood looks like he likes shorter vests. Easier access to boobages probably.
    Poor you on the re-knit. At least it’s cables and full of fun. My friend was visiting the same area a few months ago in estimation of how far her yarn would go and knit a top-down raglan sweater, full stockinette, went back in for the arms, knit one full one and started on the second one when she realized that there wouldn’t be enough yarn for the rest of the arm. We all suggest a 3/4 length sleeve, but she was having none of that. She re-knit the entire thing, again, full stockinette, in the smaller size. Her daughter loves it. I think she’ll never do that pattern again, if only because she did it twice. In a row.
    Don’t feel bad. We’ve all been there. Some of us like it so much we visit often. I wonder if there’s a Ravelry group for that…

  34. Are you really sure this isn’t a pattern for a child’s vest? 10 inches is really short and I’m VERY short waisted.
    Yes, denial is a powerful thing; happens to us all. Sadly.

  35. Oh dear. That photo-essay says it all. If my Emma had been there you would have also seen it in an instant because it would fit her 9year old body very well.
    Love the Elwood photo.

  36. Sorry to hear that you’ll have to rip back the vest, it sure is lovely despite being too short! Glad to hear that it will be an easy fix though. If it were me, I’d be in a panic, I think!
    And omigosh, Elwood is TOO CUTE. The hair! The cheeks! It’s too much!

  37. Add me to the camp of people that totally thought this was going to be an inches/cm issue. I actually felt really smart because I thought I solved the mystery before I got to the bottom of the post! Is it possible that you could have overlooked something like that? NASA has done it…

  38. And the only person on Ravelry who posted about the vest added an inch to the ribbing while working it, and then added two inches to the “straps” because it was too short! And in her finished photo it is still shorter than I would wear a vest. Wow.

  39. You know, I haven’t been knitting as long as you, nor am I as good a knitter as you, but I too have that little voice that tells me that something is just not right, but I always ignore that voice, after all, what do I know? I’m not a designer, they certainly know more than me, so I ignore the voice that says ” do you REALLY want to do those decreases that way?” and plow ahead, only to look at the finished product and say, “I should have done the decreases the way I wanted — I should LISTEN to that inner voice ” knowing perfectly well that I probably won’t. sigh…..

  40. Poor Stephanie! I feel your pain, I really do. That will be one lovely vest, when it is the right length.
    Baby Elwood is too cute!

  41. drea and elwood! yay! i sort of regret not making the trek last night. next week for sure.

  42. I don’t need pictures like that when I’m trying to convice myself to wait a little while longer for the second baby! (Deep sigh) There is time for a second baby, you don’t need one right now…rinse and repeat.
    Is the vest meant to be worn over a button down shirt with the tails hanging out? Because that would be so cute, even at that length, and a very hot trend on the East coast right now.

  43. The vest is CLEARLY meant to be cropped. I mean, unless it’s some kind of odd children’s vest… at least the yarn is such a pleasure that you don’t feel too terrible at having to knit a great deal more with it.
    That Elwood is FANTASTIC! Some babies don’t lose that dazed and confused look for a few months but Elwood is still so little and ROCKIN’ the personality and facial expressions. What a baby!

  44. You were making your fish face, weren’t you?
    re: the short vest
    To quote Sensei Bonne Marie Burns ~ “If it feels hinky, it is hinky.”

  45. Ahh..the trials and tribulations…
    Ha, I had the pleasure of meeting Mairi at the Knitomatic Sunday SnB last week. She is an incredible knitter. Wow

  46. My guess is that the inch measurement might pertain just to the ribbing and not the entire front.Or, it is indeed a cropped vest.

  47. So….what if you picked up stitches at the bottom and repeated the upper pattern for five inches or so? It would make the ribbing look like shaping…or you could just knit that as a seperate piece…
    Just a though if frogging wasn’t appealing to you.

  48. OHMIGOSH!!! Cuteness overload!! Awww! I want to smoosh those sweet checks and kiss those little lips! Doesn’t he look adorable?? Boy – I’ll bet his mum gets stopped everywhere she goes!
    You know – that pattern is just plain WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrong six ways from Sunday. But it’s gorgeous, alla same πŸ™‚

  49. Elwood is adorable!!! Looks like they chose the right name for the personality, too! Don’t worry, you’ve got lots of company on that river – and I’m glad the fix will be relatively easy. Great vest.

  50. Oh my Lord that’s funny. Truly is there anyone out there who isn’t guilty of having done something similar? Anyone? Anyone?

  51. Well that’s silly…why would anyone want a vest that short? I mean, maybe some people do. I just don’t think this could be blamed on you. I mean, you saw it needed to be longer and you lengthened it. Far too often, I find that I second guess myself when I should really just trust the pattern. But then things like this happen. Maybe all those wool fumes and bright colors distort perception. In any case, go easy on yourself!

  52. The funniest stuff happens to you! You make me laugh with your shorty vest, and Baby Elwood is so cute he makes my uterus hurt.

  53. Forgive my ignorance here but could that be a childs sweater pattern?? In the photos it looks like it might be the perfect size for a 10 year old.On another note I am glad to hear that I am not the only knitter who ignores the inner knitter voice.

  54. Teenager sizing? you could just pierce your belly button and roll with it! Really, I commented only so I could gush over Baby Elwood…he is a.dor.able.

  55. Go for the cropped look over a long T or leave out the shirt tails. Very cute. Keep dressing young it keeps the teen kids guessing.
    You do pick the cutest babies to present. Though I have not seen too many non-cute babies.

  56. It would almost be worth the unintended shortness of the vest just for Elwoods input! Darn he’s adorable!

  57. Oh I so agree with Elwood (and he’s SOOOO cute…you caught the expression on his face perfectly!)
    Now I just HAVE to know….the “knitter who’s a large”….What is that sweater? I MUST have that sweater! GORGEOUS! (Love your vest too, but start ripping)

  58. Oh, that Elwood! How much more adorable can you get than that?
    (I notice you didn’t try the waistcoat on him eh? Might have almost fit)

  59. Ah but at least you did not knit the entire rest of the vest and only decide at finished product point that it was too short.
    So you’re learning….

  60. Is denial contagious? That might explain the events of later in the evening (still trying to forget that tangle.)
    Thanks for putting up an Elwood pic. I didn’t get nearly enough baby-ogling done last night!

  61. You do realize, don’t you, that I was coming along nicely with dealing with my sweaterphobia, thinking I might actually try one soon, or maybe a vest, since after all one can think of them as sleeveless sweaters… and now you’ve set me back. Way, way back. Because you’ve knit how many upper-body garments for yourself? scores? hundreds? and if you can get snookered by a pattern, there’s no hope for me.

  62. I’m always so afraid of making my sweaters too small that I make them a foot too long and a yard too wide. Shall we meet in the middle?

  63. Thanks baby Elwood gave me my first grin and chuckle of the day, what a squeezable little guy.

  64. If you notice, the other project on Ravelry had to redo her straps to make hers long enough.

  65. Um, just had a thought. Did you wash the swatch? I mean, this isn’t one of those that stretches a mile once it’s in the water, right? Right?

  66. Sanity check: Hold a tape measure up to your pody and check where the pattern’s measurements fall on you. My husband likes his sweaters long in the body and shorter in the arms. By doing this, I can see by how much I must differ from the pattern.
    Of course, if you did the sanity check, you wouldn’t have such amusing blog fodder and that is a serious draw back for a woman in your profession.
    Baby Elwood’s expression is perfect.

  67. Baby Elwood is just TOO CUTE! Those CHEEKS! I just want to pinch them! Awwwwwww!
    A vest that short has to be a kid’s pattern. Or that length is a misprint. Or something. It looks like a knit bra on all of you.
    To Ms. Size “Large” – that grey sweater you’re wearing is gorgeous! My apologies if it’s not in fact grey – it looks grey on my computer monitor.

  68. That Elwood is a smart cookie along with being darling beyond reason. Good luck with the reknit. And remember: Intuition is your friend despite what Reason (and Tape Measure) may say.

  69. Oh that cute baby, sure looks like what he is, a boy ! A darling……Sending hugs…..
    The length of the vest reminds me of my first crocheted vest, in the early ’70’s……..that was the style, & I was much thinner then……

  70. Looking at the pattern photo on Ravelry; particularly one that someone else knitted (which shows more of the vest), it IS a short vest. Just above the waist! I don’t know what the photos with the pattern (if any) show. But I suspect that if you want it slightly short (which you don’t) it’ll be fine after you block it. However…the photo on Ravelry is a tad deceptive, not showing the bottom of the vest!

  71. OMG! I do feel for you about the vest and all, but thankfully I forget all about in the face of the thought: I WANT TO SQUEEZE THAT BABY!!! screaming in my head.
    I just want to eat him up!
    Uh oh I’m baby deprived.

  72. Listen to The Force Luke! It’s nice to know that The Harlot has measuring issues too!
    That Elwood is the most adorable little guy! What a head of hair!

  73. Um, maybe it will work with a big white collared shirt underneath.
    Or, better off, find a teeny tiny XS person and bequeath it. Who wants to frog? Not me.

  74. It’s amazing that we do this to ourselves. Knowing it will be too small/short/whatever, we just knit on. I sincerely believe that we expect a knitting miracle, if we will just finish the darned thing! Or, are we afraid that the knitting police will track us down, accusing us of an unfinished knit? It is a single-minded obsession to FINISH it–right, wrong or too short!Just be glad that you don’t mind ripping back!

  75. Love the baby photo! It’s perfect!
    Having just completed a sweater that’s roughly two sizes too small…and having my own set of denial issues…you have my sympathies!

  76. Been there. Done that. I think the main problem was that when the voice said “too short” you looked at the pattern. Might have been better to look at an existing vest that you knew fit well and taken your measurements from there.
    Nice to see Mairi, former Ottawa knitter and the mother of an awesome babysitter that I was sorry to lose to your fair city.

  77. Hey “Medium” Lady- Crazy Great Sweater under the short vest! Don’t know if you knit it or bought it but it is great on your figure.

  78. Well, it *will* be lovely when you are done adding those extra few inches. Stop ignoring your brain, it seems to know a thing or two πŸ™‚

  79. Well, if that ain’t a typo it must be a pattern from the fifties. Have a look at some of those old knitting patterns; the ladies’ sweaters nearly all stop at the waist. Your vest would fit right in!! Maybe it’s a case of-IT’S SO OLD IT’S NEW AGAIN- ROFL. Good thing we knit to our wants and not always to the pattern-except when that river D interferes!!

  80. Ummm…I mention this rather cautiously as merely a possibility that wasn’t addressed in your post: is the pattern, perhaps, written for a yarn that grows with blocking? Some yarns do that when they hit water, and maybe the one you’re using doesn’t. Like how a petite little capelet that you spent hours on can suddenly reach down the knees on someone who is 5’9″ and all because of water. Good luck either way!

  81. I’m sure you said something about knitting on here, this being that kind of blog ‘n’ all, but all I can see is the lovely wee boy.

  82. Hey Steph,
    One of the people in Rav made comment about the length as well. So its not just you.
    If it was me, I would slice and pick up just under where the diamonds start, add in what you want and then do the rib. Seems like the arm holes and neck are okay from the pics… just too short in the bod.
    There was no errata listed for it on Rav, but you might wanna let the designer know.
    Have fun!

  83. Look at Elwood’s hair! What a cutie!
    I have this current conundrum going in my head for a cabley cardigan that has been languishing. However my voice is saying, “Isn’t that a little thin?” along with “Isn’t that a little short?” Turns out it’s a couple inches shorter than where I like my natural waist (I’m five feet), AND a couple inches too thin. I’m not ripping all that cabling back, so this sweater is going to be “heavily modified version of a design” one day on ravelry.

  84. Baby Elwood is just the cutest little thing! Amazing.
    I don’t think I would ever make a vest short. I have a tendency to use vests more like tank tops (because most tanks are just vests made with straps anyway), so I would want it long! I understand the layered look is in, but I don’t really want to wear a shirt that is 6 extra inches long just to feel like I’m not sporting a midriff baring top.

  85. Shame on you! Using an innocent baby to divert everyone’s attention from the necessity to re-knit!
    Boy! is Elwood one adorable baby boy!
    I saw a picture of your vest on Ravelry that suggests that you might want to use some short row booby shaping. But don’t count me as a voice though!
    Oh, yes, again, you are a gift to knitters everywhere. I feel like such a failure when I need to re-knit. I get over it though when I fix something so it works. Thank you!

  86. OMG, that’s the sweetest baby EVER!
    At first I thought maybe you’d confused centimetres for inches but I guess that would’ve been too easy. And a mistake I’m likely to make!

  87. That was a very sad story of denial, but you saved a pick-me-up for the end… that cute baby’s face!

    Though it’s like eighty degrees here in Southern California right now, I would still wear that sweater and sweat my brains out willingly.

  89. I didn’t arrive in time for last night’s “vest”-ivities, and only heard about it afterwards, but now I understand. Yikes.
    If you’re still looking for a link to the designer’s photo of the vest, here it is: http://store.purlescenceyarns.com/diamondrain.html
    The mannequin wearing it must be very short-waisted, because the vest seems to hit just above the hip bones.

  90. Mercy. Elwood has my old post menopausal self in a cramp to beat all cramps. As to what you were writing about….huh? did you write something? :^)

  91. Elwood, Elwood……. Would he like to come and live in England? He IS the cutest. Ah, yes that Egyptian river, so persuasive!

  92. I LOVE your vest. I even found the pattern. It does look longer on the form, though. I’d like to give it a go, but I’m really tired of the uber-short stuff. We will see photos of the completed project, right? Maybe your solution will inspire me.
    Cute baby!

  93. Yup. The “slice” might work – as suggested above by Kelly – and insert a 3rd diamond pattern.
    Besides, it’ll look more “balanced” with THREE DIAMONDS, rather than 2…symmetry, and all that.

  94. I downloaded this vest from the Ravelry site and the picture on the pattern is shown with the vest on a mannequin. The mannequin has a long-sleeved white blouse/shirt underneath – the sleeves on that look VERY, VERY short – like a child’s, now that I’ve heard your tale of woe. I have “large accessories” and wonder if it would fit me at all unless I knit to where I would normally begin to bind off for the armholes when I knit a sweater. I’m sorry this happened to you….but we’ll all be the better for it!!
    Love Elwood, what an absolute doll!!!!!

  95. Enough about Elwood. Yes he’s adorable, but I’m here for the knitting :-).
    So I’m thinking that the top bit above the ribbing looks great. If your armholes are good, I’d leave it alone. Just add extra ribbing to the bottom. Either pick up along the CO edge and work down (a line may show where you do that). Or cut (yes I said cut) along the part where rib becomes cable. Rip out the bottom rib section and then pick up along that edge and knit the rib section downwards.
    It will give you a great empire waistline, that I think enhances my waist and makes me look slimmer. Denial comes in many forms.

  96. I feel for ya! I did this with my last sweater but I thought the pattern was in inches instead of centimeters. I had five INCHES between buttonholes instead of cm.

  97. But baby Elwood made you feel all better didn’t he? Look at that little cute face. Hey — he’d fit the vest, right? See, it wasn’t denial, you were really making a baby smock!
    I can rationalize anything. Including the fact that the turtleneck I am making is much much too long. I’ve decided it’s going to be dress length.

  98. I was reading and reading thinking at the end we would learn the pattern length is in inches…and you measured in centimeters. So are you going to make more ribbing or more diamonds?

  99. Can we get a picture of the sweater that your “Size L model” is wearing? It looks AMAZING.

  100. The look on your face is utterly priceless.
    And so is the baby! No wonder you want to steal him! Oh well, at least the Nile is in Egypt, it should be a lot warmer than Canada.

  101. I am thinking the designer designed it for some one short waisted with no boobs.
    That said.. Can Baby Elwood possibly be any cuter??????????

  102. Maybe you measured in cm instead of inches? Or you skipped a step (knit even for xx inches) between the rib & cables?
    That, or the pattern is seriously whacked.

  103. Baby Elwood, you make my heart sing. I want to kiss your rosy cheeks. And yes, I know what denial is. For some reason, knitting brings out that out in me, more than anything else I do. How can I possibly think that “no one will see that mistake I just made; I’ll just smooth it out a bit and…” when the mistake is as obvious as a skunk in my backyard. I do like your vest very much.

  104. The story, the time spent knitting; only to ‘frogged’ at a later date, is ALL worth it to get a shot like that of that sweet baby!!!
    I think he needs a vest too. :o)

  105. Well, it even looks short on Purlescence’ mannequin (see Rav photo) and I’m there often. I do love how it looks though (taking into account the cropped length).

  106. how is it even POSSIBLE that little Elwood is old enough to be that adorable and engaging?!?!? OMG, my ovaries hurt. I can handle another baby, right?

  107. I have socks too big for my 6’3″ sweetie (in a pink fleck, no less) because “I like my socks a little longer,” and “I do wear 10’s,” and “they’ll pull up after a trip thru the dryer.” Answers: “Yes, but not so long I can fold 2″ under my toes.” “I wear 10’s, not 14’s!” “No, they didn’t. Not even a little bit.” Maybe they’ll work as Christmas stockings for the cats. (sigh)
    And Elwood? Cutest baby ever!

  108. Of course, the next question is: Are you going to have enough yarn?
    And omg, I want to saute those baby cheeks in butter and eat them whole.

  109. Elwood= Gorgeous πŸ™‚
    but but but
    please please please? assuming i’ve got it right and Mairi is indeed the one wearing the belt over her sweater.

  110. I understand denial. I live denial.
    However, in the meantime, while we’re dealing with
    denial, tell me about the lovely “large” model’s sweater/tunic/jacket. The cropped vest is covering up major detail, but I can see that it is absolutely lovely. Will you give us information on it? Thanks in advance.
    Marlyce in Windsor, Ontario

  111. Awe, who cares? Just look at baby Elwood!
    How do you feel about circs and trying things on as you go?

  112. I’m sorry, you were saying…something…about knitting, was it? I stopped paying attention once the adorable baby popped up.

  113. This is only hilarious to all of us who love to read your stuff BECAUSE WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE!!!!! I am so glag I am not the only one!

  114. Did you measure in cm instead of inches or something? You know, on you it looks like it would work as a cropped vest. And yeah, I like stuff long too but sometimes cropped works. Or you could just add a bit more ribbing.

  115. Stephanie,
    I just started a vest also, and was considering the whole, hmmm perhaps it should be longer, no doubts now. Thanks for the nudge. Damm girl, how do you knit so quickly? Elves at night helpin’ out while you sleep!!??? But as always inspiring. Thanks!
    Elwood just the sweetest little guy, what a perfect name.

  116. Sounds like a unit conversion fail to me. Perhaps they wrote centimetres in the pattern where they meant to write inches?

  117. Oh, that blasted voice. I hate that voice. It even pops up when it’s wrong. Argh!
    Doubt, meet Denial. Denial, Doubt. You’ll get along famously.

  118. For anyone wondering, at least 4 of us besides Stephanie checked the pattern to make sure there wasn’t a misread or a centimetres/inches confusion – all the measurements in this entry are what the pattern actually said (and yes, they were all in inches). In fact, I may have been somewhat vocal about there being no way that that length was appropriate for an XXL even before the pics were taken, even allowing for the fact that I am, as the phrase goes, “well endowed.”
    (I’m still impressed the width worked – or was that close to working – on me, which means should I ever decide to knit it I could get away with one bust size up… and double the number of diamonds. On second thought, maybe not ;))

  119. I wonder if they meant to measure from the top of the ribbing? Because man, that’s just way too short otherwise! It will be lovely when done. And Elwood is a cutie!

  120. That baby!!! Wow!!! How cute is he!!! I bet the vest would fit him and he would love it πŸ™‚

  121. If you get a pink or something that goes well with that shade of brown scoop neck, long sleeved shirt that has a long long body, you could totally wear that vest as it is. It’s super cute.

  122. Wow! Synchronicity! Last night I was thinking about this very issue in relationship to our knitting and knowing that I really had to blog about it.
    I was working on Xmas socks for my brother, who has the World’s Largest Feet. There is a color-work motif mid-leg, and when I finished that and was blithely and smugly knitting on with the main color to finish the leg, I realized that on the very first row of resuming the MC, I had continued the patterning from the last chart row of the motif – for only half of the sock. And this is the second sock.
    I realized my mistake RIGHT AWAY. But I continued to knit on with the MC, pretending to myself that A- It didn’t really matter. (Except when you start the heel flap, which leaves the front of the sock with half the correct st. pattern, and half the Lynda-is-moving-and-is-not-responsible-for-her-actions st. pattern. And B- That somehow it wouldn’t be noticeable and it would just be my little secret that I could keep all to myself.
    Long story short? Five rows later, I frogged.

  123. Um, Harlot dear……
    Rip and re-knit to your cheatin’ heart’s content, BUT please remember not to use up more than half the wool on the front. If you get carried away, you won’t have enough for the back.

  124. Not putting down the design, because each to his own, but WOW. That is a *really* cropped vest if that’s what it is meant to be. I’m thinking halter top rather than vest.
    I am really bad with written measurements. I have to physically whip out my tape measure to make heads or tails of 17″, for example. I always have to lengthen patterns because I am tall and long-waisted and prefer my clothes on the lengthy size also. So, as always, my sympathies on the sizing headaches.

  125. And,regrettably, that Elwood knows his stuff. Yeesh, what is it about numbers that makes us believe them?

  126. Oooh…I love Elwood. I want one just like him.
    As for the vest – well, I think the ability for knitters to occasionally squeeze their eyes shut and just do what the pattern tells ’em is the way a lot of us learn. Honestly, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a few lines of a pattern and gone “uh huh…I have completely no idea what that means but I’m gonna give it a whirl and see what happens”. Those are the moments when I learn new skills and feel like a smart knitter. Unfortunately, it sometimes backfires. Smart knitters who wanna learn also occasionally make cropped vests and slouch socks and all that other stuff that went out of style a decade or two ago (but only trot out the really genius stuff to show friends). Besides, in my world knitters who can’t let it go and either try something new (or deny the obvious) are like those folks who won’t read Lord of the Rings because elves don’t reeeeealy exist.

  127. Oooooo…that baby! Oh my gosh that baby is adorable!
    Yeah, yeah, yeah…the vest is cool too.
    But the Baby!!!!!!

  128. I suspect we could fill a VERY large cruise ship with knitters on that long river in Egypt! I know I’ve made six pairs of socks exactly 1/2 inch too long for myself and given them away to various friends and relatives instead of frogging. One would think after 5 pairs too long, I could get the 6th one right, but OH NO, still can’t figure out how to use the *^@*# measuring tape. Sigh.
    And in Websters, Cute=Elwood!

  129. I learn something new every time I knit a new pattern – usually the hard way. I, for one appreciate hearing that I am in very good company.
    What a beautiful boy. Really.

  130. OMG! Those cheeks! I may just die! He is too cute for words. And that hair! Ugh! Listen lady, I am relatively certain that I was one of those women put on Earth to spoil children but never have any but those cheeks might just change my mind…darn you Harlot. Darn you….

  131. Cute baby!
    I used to make everything exactly to fit my measurements and nothing ever fit. Always too big, by a lot. One day, it occurred to me to measure myself instead of the knitting. Yup. Turns out I’m not the same size I was the last time I measured myself, about 20 years and two kids ago. Imagine that.

  132. Since I’m tiny everywhere and it’s an automatic thing for me to size down every pattern I knit, and since I completely hate gauge swatching and never use the suggested yarns, I very often end up with teeny tiny little knitted items..I once knit an entire cabled hat with pom-pom that wouldn’t have fit a newborn baby.

  133. Knitted objects make me sad because it seems that they tend to show their true short selves in public.
    I daydream about creating a Knitted Object review board whom we could present our denied projects to for an objective opinion on their status.

  134. well… it definitely appears that 1/3 of that vest is missing. i’m sure that it’s frogged and back on the needles by now. i love the colour.. i love the pattern. it’s going to be so great.

  135. Sorry about the visit to the frog pond. At least you love the yarn, color, and pattern that you’re working on. The only thing worse than ripping back, is ripping back something that you hated the first time you knit it! As in hated the yarn, color, pattern etc. You know, something that you are usually knitting for someone else and they picked out the yarn and pattern. SIGH! Elwood is absolutely adorable. The big question is, what did you promise to knit him to get him in the perfect pose and make that great face???

  136. The vest is looking good otherwise. OMG Elwood is getting so big already. I see he hasn’t lost any of his hair. CUTE !!!!!!!!

  137. Slightly OT, but where did Mairi get that sweater? If there’s a pattern out there, I _want_!

  138. Hate to hear the vest is too short, BUT….thanks for the highly entertaining story & great picture of Elwood! Laughter is wonderful, especially when we can laugh at ourselves….you are laughing aren’t you ?!?!?!

  139. accessories … lol … sounds like you can take them off and replace them with different ones!
    Around here we call those ‘feet’, they are permanently attached, stick out in the front, always seem to run into stuff unintentually, can be compared by sizes, and need specialized equipment when leaving the house.

  140. I had great fun taking Renee’s knitting survey. I want to send her an email, because I would like to read her results and completed dissertation. However, I forgot to write down the email address and now can not get back to it. Could you please either send it to me or post it? Thank you so much.

  141. Wow. I love puzzles like this, but I am thoroughly baffled. Checked the pattern on Ravelry– same number of repeats and the ribbing length looks about the same. What’s really mind-blowing is the suggestion on how to make the vest *shorter*. Please let us know what you figure out.

  142. OMG! That is one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen! What a little sweetie! The vest is really nice, too! I spend half my life in denial of one kind or another (including the knitting) so I get it. Good luck with the re-work.

  143. Oh, WOW, that is short. I started to read this in Bloglines, but there were no pictures, so doop-de-do, I have this image in my head of what this too-short vest would look like, and while I mosey over here so I can see everything (and let’s have straight talk here, Baby Elwood has some seriously compelling cheeks), I was so unprepared for Teh Shortness! No coffee yet, still bleary from a late night of costume-making, but still – a good chuckle, for indeed, it is too short, even on teeny-tiny peoples, except maybe Elwood, and nobody would see his hemline because they’re too busy trying to get at those cheeks….
    Good luck ripping, and thanks for sharing the foibles along with all your fantastic creations…

  144. umm… did they mean inches instead of cm? That’s all I can think of for the shortness. Elwood is adorable! Thanks for the laugh this morning.

  145. Since a couple of people have asked, the sweater I was wearing that night is ‘Kilronan’ from Alice Starmore’s “Celtic Collection”. As an added bonus, that’s one of the few Starmore books that’s still in print.
    Diane in S. Calif. will be pleased to know that I knit it 15 years or so back while living in San Jose. Sweater love trumps local warming.

  146. Elwood is the cutest baby ever!
    Oh, the vest, forgive me for asking, but was it an inches vs. centimeters mistake? Not on your part, of course! πŸ™‚

  147. ok sorry for this question… but they got it wrong with the Mars Rover also, did you use the right side of the tape? The one with the inches? Or did you maybe flip it by accident? just saying.

  148. Oh my goodness…..I was reading along, merrily enjoying your little story, wondering how the whole thing would end, and when I scrolled down to the first picture I started laughing so hard I couldn’t stop. Verrry funny…..

  149. OK, in your favor the picture on Ravelry doesn’t show the length of the vest unless you click on it. In full view it seems to be a bit short. Since you’re going the way of the ripout anyway, may I suggest you work on the shape of the armscye? As shown I think it will tend to gap on a woman with “assets”. And the neck might be a bit open too. IMHO. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  150. Drea – the wider it goes, the shorter it gets.
    Stephanie – how did that beautiful pinky color turn brown? Please tell me it’s just the light.

  151. How bizarre. Was the pattern designed that way on purpose? Weird.
    OMG! Baby Elwood is beautiful! Love those cheeks! πŸ˜€

  152. I’m wondering: if I combed the archives, how many entries would I find that are called something along the lines of “A Cautionary Tale”?
    I, for one, want to thank you for taking hits for the team so we don’t have to. (Of course, we do anyway…)

  153. I have to wonder if the pattern is a child/teenager sized pattern? Not that I’m any expert, but if it’s too short for a wide variety of adults, then I’d think the next people down would be the teens and then children…maybe it’s meant for them?

  154. Add me to Diane and ~laurie who MUST KNOW ABOUT MAIRI’s ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS SWEATER!!!!!
    I’m sorry about your vest, and have seen others with the same problem – something goes wrong about the armholes somewhere and where the start of the v-neck should be in relation to the armholes.
    But …. but….. Mairi’s sweater is undoubtedly the most amazing thing I’ve seen lately.

  155. Yup. They’re all too short. Time for a “dear Designer, what were you thinking?” letter. What design is Ms Large wearing? the little peeks of it look wonderful!

  156. Well, I think the vest is cute…it does seem like a crop vest, but cute. Terrific work on it too. Baby Elwood is daaaarling, I think I’d stare at him all day long.

  157. It is so frustrating when a pattern is wrong. I’m one of those people who just keep tamping down my common sense, thinking, ” The designer must know what she’s talking about.” By the time I’ve reached the absolute truth that something is terribly wrong, there is a boatload of fixing to do. We must revolt!

  158. That darn inner voice….but it was the picture of the baby that really made me laugh…and your comment about “it isn’t just a river in Egypt”–the last time I heard that phrase, it was 6:30am and I had just woken up in labor with my first child…I woke my husband up and said, I’m in labor! Expecting, of course, to see him leap out of bed and immediately launch some plan of action–what, I don’t know, but anyway. Instead, he looks at me, closes his eyes, and says, “well, maybe I’ll head off to the lab for a hour or two and finish a few things up.” Dead silence, and then he opens his eyes to a look of utter disbelief on my face, and just before I open my mouth to begin telling him in no uncertain terms he is NOT GOING ANYWHERE, he closes them again, and with a smile that says he knows his life will never be the same, says “just let me keep floating down this river” and quite confusedly (because, after all, I am in labor for the first time and am a bit preoccupied with that fact), I ask what river? and he smiles again, and says “denial”

  159. I got an email from one of my testers knitting my new baby sweater pattern. The email said “Is this pattern for a baby orangutan or did you mean to make the sleeves this long?” I checked the pattern I sent her. 17 inch long sleeves instead of 7 inch long. I answered “Nope it’s a typo, 7 inches thanks” and she answered “Ok, ripping back.” She knit them 17 inches long.
    You’re not the only one in denial.

  160. Oh my goodness! I just want to kiss his little cheeks and I do not even know this child! SO CUTE!
    Can’t wait to see you tame this vest. It’s going to be pretty!

  161. This is one of the many reasons knitting groups are so necessary!!! Thanks for sharing this. You got me to gauge now I will measure too.

  162. “Woody” has the look that says”Can you believe she finally got the fact that it is too short??”
    He sure is a cutie !! Why can’t they stay that small-life is so simple when they are that small.
    Then in a blink of an eye he is 6 ft. tall and is asking for the 318th time-why can’t I geta Tat of a screaming skull???

  163. Elwood is adorable! And ALL my knitted things have some sort of proportional boo-boo. They look wonderful hanging in my closet — not so much on the body.

  164. I was going to mention that the picture of the finished pattern looked as though it were supposed to come only to the top of the waist, but I was totally broadsided by the incredible jacket your ‘large’ model was wearing.
    Holy cow, is that thing beautiful. Do you know what pattern it was from?

  165. First off, Elwood is adorable. Second, everyone has a bad sweater day. You just share yours with more people than most do! πŸ™‚

  166. Stephanie, I don’t know whether you read down this far, your story about Denial is great, and can you tell Mairi I love her Kilronan. ramblybear in Ravelry

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