Friday, September 07, 2007

A Really Long Post

This post was originally twice the current length. Seriously. Apparently I thought I was so important that I needed to say much more. The first version of this post was a description of all my trials and tribulations with Morrigan (so far). But I decided that it would be too boring for anyone not making Morrigan. I considered not publishing the post at all, but thought that those 15 or so of you who are knitting Morrigan might actually want to read what I have to say. So I present a two-part post: Part 1 is general interest and Part 2 is obsessive compulsive ramblings about Morrigan.

Part 1: Finished Object: Baby Bobbi Bear


Pattern: Baby Bobbi Bear published by Blue Sky Alpaca
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Sport Weight (100% baby alpaca), natural white, 3.5 hanks and scraps of natural light tan
Needles: 5.5 mm (US size 9) DPNs
Drew gave me the kit to make this bear. I love love love the bear, the yarn, the pattern—EVERYTHING!

ScoutAndBobbi.jpg• Like S t a c i before me, I ran out of yarn. S t a c i had graciously offered her extra yarn, but I didn’t take it because I wanted an excuse to visit Twisted Yarns. I had never been to that store before and I thought that it was time to go. While I was there I picked up yarn for another Baby Bobbi Bear (did I tell you that I love this pattern?) and I stumbled upon the most gorgeous shade of Silky Wool that I had ever seen. (Click the link! See the pretty yarn!) I bought it with the intention of making the Twisted Yoke Cardigan from the latest Interweave Knits, but now I think it is destined for something else.

• I have not yet determined if the cats are a threat to Bobbi. I haven’t had the courage to allow Bobbi to sit out unsupervised. So far Scout has attacked Bobbi’s ribbon and Cleo has licked Bobbi. Was Cleo getting a taste of Bobbi for future feasting? I don’t know and I don’t want to find out.

Part 2: Morrigan “Errors”

Things happened as I was knitting the body of Morrigan. Everything worked out fine for me, but I went through a lot of charting and mathing and thinking and discussing and waffling to finish the body of the sweater. (This is the real reason why it took me so long to get from the armpits to the shoulders on Morrigan.)

MorriganSleevesAfter all that, I was pretty sick of Morrigan and I jokingly said that I was thinking about turning Morrigan into a vest. I really had no intention of making a vest. In fact, I’ve started the sleeves. But anyway, onto the business at hand.

If you are looking for tips, hints, or errata for Morrigan, you have two choices: Easy or Convoluted.

Other than the teeny-tiny error that I found in Chart B, the instructions for the body of Morrigan are completely correct. Do not follow the correction to the side chart that I mentioned in an earlier post.

Part 1: The Side Chart “error” and its ramifications
I posted the Side Chart corrections on the No Sheep for You KAL. It just so happened that the person who tech-edited the pattern saw my post and commented on it. Apparently, the “error” was in the original pattern but the tech-editor didn’t realize it was an error. (Which is completely fine, the pattern still works, the error really is just a matter of esthetics.) But here’s the rub: The tech-editor worked out ALL the stitch counts from the armpit up with the “error” in there! What’s the problem? If you correct the “error” in the way that I posted your stitch counts will not match the stitch counts in the pattern.

MorriganShoulder1Okay, I’m highly math enabled. I can rework stitch counts, no problem. Thankfully, I decided that I would work out the stitch counts BEFORE I started any “error” correcting. With the help of math, a diagram that I built in Excel, and a careful study of the photos in the book, I noticed something interesting about the “error” and my possible correction. Look at the photo. Along the shoulder seam there is a column of twisted knit stitches. Very elegant, don’t you think?

That column of stitches is Chart F in the pattern. If I corrected the “error” I would not have that nice, strong column of stitches next to my shoulder seam. Instead, Chart C (that pretty cable next to the column of stitches) would be right up next to the seam. So I had a dilemma: Fix the “error” as my anal retentive side said or ignore it to please my artistic side. I chose to ignore the “error.” (gasp!)

Part 2: The error that both there and not there
I should pause for a moment to tell you that as I was working through all these error/no error issues, I was corresponding heavily with the tech-editor. She’s a saint. I think I love her.

In our email conversations, she noted that when you finished working all the armhole and neck shaping, you would have three more stitches on the back shoulders than you would have on the front shoulders. However, one must have the same number of stitches on the front and the back to do a proper three-needle bind-off. So, Ms. Tech-Editor told me, she had worked in decreases on the back shoulders to get rid of the extra stitches. I checked my math, confirmed what she said, and went on my merry way.

But then I got an email from someone else who was making Morrigan. Janis had surged ahead of me during all my mathing and charting and futzing. She was up to the shoulder shaping already and had a question about what she believed to be missing markers. Somewhere in the back shoulder shaping, the instructions say something about knitting to a marker and turning. The marker indicated one side of the back neck shaping.

What Janis didn’t realize (or forgot) was that the markers for the back neck shaping were placed on the VERY FIRST ROW of the pattern. Janis had placed markers all around her Morrigan and didn’t realize that back neck shaping markers were different from all the other markers on her needles. Anyway, I didn’t email Janis back immediately because she emailed me at night and I didn’t check my mail until the morning. So she emailed Jenna, too.

So by the time I did check my mail, I had the original question from Janis and a forwarded correction from Jenna in my in box. (Jenna also took the opportunity to point out that someone was beating me on Morrigan.) But wait! It gets more exciting!

Jenna ALSO didn’t realize that the back neck markers were already placed! So in her correction, she added a line right before the back shoulder shaping instructions saying to place markers X many stitches from each side of the back. BUT what I immediately realized was that the originally placed markers were not X number of stitches away from the sides. In fact, the original makers were X+3 stitches from each edge.

You see what’s happening, don’t you? The whole time Jenna meant for the number of stitches on the shoulders to be the same. The markers placed in the very first row are placed in the wrong place! Each marker should be placed 3 stitches closer to the center of the work.

But if you do this, you should not do the decreases on the back that get rid of the extra stitches because the extra stitches will not be there! If you move the markers to the corrected positions and do the decreases, you will end up with 3 fewer stitches on the back shoulders than you have on the front shoulders. (Whew! did you follow that?)

So what did I do? I moved the markers and didn’t do the decreases because it made much more sense to work it that way.

If you managed to read all of that: Congratulations! Sorry it was so long, but you know what it says at the top—I use too many words to describe what I’m doing.


Sarah said...

I'm impressed with the Tales Of Morrigan!

Keep on, I can't wait to see it!

errs said...

Just promise me that somebody is going to have the correct pattern somewhere? This is on my "dream list" to knit. :D

Laura said...

errs: As I said, the published pattern IS correct in a way. (Except for that one error in chart B, which is so tiny that you could not correct and not notice the problem.) If you follow the published pattern, you will have a perfectly good sweater.

mel said...

Love the Baby Bobbi Bear - I've wanted one of these for a long time, it's so very cute. I may cave.

And I enjoy the Morrigan ramblings. I've got too many things on my plate right now, but I'd love to knit this someday too. Glad to hear you decided to continue on with the sleeves ;)

Elizabeth said...

I just skimmed. I'm glad it all worked out ok.

When in doubt, always go with your artistic side. ;)

s t a c i said...

I'm guessing that your Bobbi Bear is a girl, pink ribbon and all.

I think I made her brother, since mine has a blue ribbon.


Sally Comes Unraveled said...

Thanks for the info. I'm planning to start Morrigan in the coming months, and this will come in handy.

Jennifer said...

Isn't the Baby Bobbi Bear a fun knit! Yours is super cute.

Micky said...

I did start Morrigan. Only a couple rows in though. Cause then I started the Forest Path Stole. And now I am working it and the Civil War Shawl. Oh and practice swatching for the Kuani Cardigan. So Morrigan is on hold.
As for my yarn in the FPS, it's JoJoLand.
And I don't mind the babble. I get a lot of knitting help from reading bloggers' progress on their projects. Kind of takes the place of real live knitting groups.

knitseashore said...

I love your bear, and even though I'm not knitting Morrigan, I find your notes fascinating. These are the kinds of things I like to know before I start something like this, so I'm prepared. :)

Rachel said...

Am I demoted from being your very best blog friend if I admit that I didn't make it all the way through the Morrigan section? Can I make up for it by telling you that YOU KNIT A VERY VERY CUTE BEAR, AND HIS WITTLE NOSE AND EYES ARE JUST THE SCHWEETEST WITTLE THINGS I EVER DID SEE, YES THEY ARE YES THEY ARE! AND HIS PWETTY PINK WIBBON MAKES HIM A VEWY HANDSOME BABY BEAR! (The capital letters are an attempt to make the comment seem more substantive even though I skipped the bulk of your post; they're not an indication of shouting.)

I know, this comment makes no sense and is apropos of nothing.

GretchenX said...

Brutus says that Scout needs her OWN Baby Bobbi Bear!


Karen Frisa said...

Sorry to be so slow to post a comment... that's just the way life goes sometimes...

Thanks so much for your kind words about me and our interactions. Thanks also for pointing out that, aside from the chart error, the pattern is "correct" as written, and will produce the sweater shown in the book. I think your writeup of the "convoluted" solution had a nice amount of detail, which, as you might imagine, I thought was great! Wish there was more of that floating around.

Best wishes as you tackle the sleeves!!