I like to think of myself (and even though there is some persistent evidence to the contrary) as a pretty clever cupcake. That’s why finally, after 36 years of knitting, when my knitting doesn’t look like it should, and I’m pretty sure that I’m doing it right, I accept the possibility that it might not be me, and I go looking for errata (corrections) for the pattern.
This marks a big change from the way that I used to knit stuff, which was to rip it out and reknit it 47 times as a quivering heap of dejection, berating myself for not being able to get it right, absolutely convinced that I couldn’t knit my way out of a paper bag – until finally accepting that there really is only a couple of ways you could possibly interpret the instruction “Knit 37” and conceding that the mistake might belong to another human.
It’s refreshing. Also refreshing is the way that if you look up a pattern on Ravelry, there’s a little yellow triangle that warns you if there’s errata for a pattern so that you can even avoid that whole ego shattering first step in the first place. That means that when I decided that the next thing I would knit would be a cardigan from Vogue Fall 2006 (That’s a Rav link.) I noticed the Errata triangle thing and took note. Now, If you take a good look at how this sweater looks in the magazine (and if you don’t have it, Kirsi at Oddcherry has a great picture) you get a pretty good idea of how the cables and such should go on. Now, call me a traditionalist, but I think that the charts in the pattern should produce the cables in the picture, so when I saw that there errata symbol, I clicked on over to Vogue’s Errata section, printed the correction out and got on with the happy business of knitting this sweater properly. Alas, not so much.
As written, the pattern has you produce a cable for the left front that looks like this.
As written, the pattern for the right front has you produce a cable that looks like this.
Oh dear. One of those two is wrong, since on the pattern, the right and left fronts match. Well, Vogue knows that, and on the errata page, they smartly indicate that there is an error in the pattern on the left front. The cable on row 13, they say, should go to the left, not to the right. Awesome. Errata saves the day and I am relieved of the trouble of sorting this business out. Now the reknit looks like this:
Which is eight kinds of great, because now that the left is corrected- both sides match and are a mirror of each other, which is a very nice touch. Love it… except… in the pattern photo, the cables look like this:
That means that (get this, this is where it gets good)
1. The pattern for the left front is correct as written.
2. The pattern for the right front is wrong, as written.
3. The errata corrects the left front so that it isn’t correct anymore, which makes it now- wrong.
4. Fortunately, since the right front is already wrong, making the left front wrong now makes both of them match, which means that in a manner of speaking, they are both now correct, as long as you don’t to make the sweater in the picture, in which case both the left and the right are now wrong and things are twice as bad after the correction.
5. The errata is wrong, and corrects a right thing (on the left) to make it now wrong.
6. The right side is wrong, and the left side is right, so the errata to the left now needs to be right, both technically and figuratively.