Thursday, February 7, 2013


I was sorting through my backlog of half-finished projects when I came upon the ole "Someday later maybe" folder- a lonely place, full of good intentions and poor executions. I thought it might be fun to take a tour of some of these sad never-was-es (and in most cases, never-will-bes... though a few might get a take-two someday.)

Strappy Mitts 
Some sort of weird bondage-gear/snowbunny mashup, I actually wore these for quite awhile, as the angora blend was pretty cozy. 

 Why they didn't get published: Bad photos, half-formed notes, and a general lack of enthusiasm about the design on my part.

I actually like this one, and will probably spruce it up and remake it. 

Why it didn't get published: I wasn't happy with the photos, and with a few details, and then the notes got lost... I can't even tell you what yarn that is, now.

Gator Gaiter 
A variegated Malabrigo neckwarmer with a neat slipped stitch pattern and a very satisfying name.

Why it didn't get published: This blurry monstrosity is the best photo I have of it. I have no idea where it is, now. Maybe I sold it? Yeah, this was an early one, I didn't exactly have my workflow down yet.

Here is a recent one, affectionately named the "Buttscrunch hat" on my computer (the working names are not often the final names, but even so, I think that's telling.) It looks like a perfectly mild-mannered hat from the front... 

Why it didn't get published: 

 .... and it looks like some sort of vagina-dentata, vertically-mouthed-alien, malformed anus from the back. I was experimenting with putting decreases in different sorts of places and, well... those are not good places. I made a second version with more standard decreases:

But honestly? It was boring. And the pictures weren't that interesting, and I just wasn't into it without something cool going on in decrease town.

Billie Sue 
I love this pattern actually, and it will get published, just as soon as I reknit it, 'cause... 

Why it didn't get published: I chose to knit this out of a Malabrigo test yarn over two years ago and it's still not on the market (and as far as I know, there are no plans to make it so.) It would literally take me less than a day just to reknit the thing, but I haven't yet. I am a little bit nervous that I have lost the notes. 

Jellyfish Love 
This one is a real tragedy, because the charts for it were (are) awesome. 

Why it didn't get published: The brim looks like shit, the tension is bad (needs a higher stitch count, which means tweaking the charts), and the whole darn thing is too short.

This one was actually available for awhile, and I do rather like the weird pictures. 

Why it was un-published: I realized (or rather, a knitter realized) that if you didn't have the exact stitch AND row gauge, you'd end up with a very wonky shape. I've been meaning, for ages, to rework it and see if I can't make it work anyway (because it's very hard to match someone else's stich AND row gauge- when one changes, so does the other.) This is why we test knit things! (I wasn't very good about that when I was first starting out, I'm afraid.)

I don't think I have to explain this one. It's a ridonkulous stocking cap made of handspun scraps that is way too small for a human head. I do want to knit another ridonkulous stocking cap someday, but...better than this. 

And there you have 'em... all the failures I have photos of. I'm sorry, little projects. We can't all be rock stars. Or, "barely-competent."


  1. Oh gosh, the jellyfish hat is so adorable!!! It's nice to see some of the rejections, makes me realize what a process it is learning to create and publish patterns.

  2. I'd like to see another stashbuster project some day! Also Butterscrunch's non-vagina-ish companion is cute. I'd make that.

    But I agree with Ariane. It's nice to see that not every attempt is a homerun. It gives me hope! :D

    1. I think if I redid that hat at the proper size with all one (or similar) types of yarns (perhaps my giant bag of Mal scraps) it could be cool. Maybe throw some colorwork in too. It's on the big list of someday-projects.

  3. This is awesome. I have a secret bag in my studio. A compactor-sized trash bag. It's filled with abandoned projects. Once a year, I have a little ritual; I go through it and look at each one, and thing, "What was I thinking?" Sometimes, a light goes off, and something leaves the bag, get's rehabilitated. Always, the day of shame, for so I call it, reminds me of the things I'd forgotten I'd learned. Other knitters sometimes wonder at the 'wasted' yarn. But the lessons in that large bag are not wasted, they're the foundation of my knitting, because we always learn more from a flaming mistake than a stellar success.

    1. And if you decide it's wasted you can always frog & redo ;-) I couldn't even tell you how many design failures ended up in the frog pond and are now lost to posterity. These ones made it to the photo stage, haha.

  4. Oh man, that jellyfish hat! I would learn to knit with more than one color if I could achieve that hat!!

    1. I really will redo it someday! I need a hat with jellyfishes on it, man.

  5. It's really good to know that I am not the only one with a file full of "meh" patterns. There are so many reasons we don't finish stuff off, I'm glad to see there are other people with different reasons and not everyone hits the mark every time they start to design either.

  6. Haaaahahaha, the Buttscrunch explanation made me laugh out loud. It does kinda look like vagina dentata. It's a cute hat, though!

  7. Buttscrunch is awesome. And I think a well placed pom pom (or three) could solve some problems.

    1. Haha, I can picture the directions now: "Make a horrible butt on the top of your hat. Now, hide it!"

  8. Glad you will be revisiting some of these! BillieSue is really cute.

    1. Thank you! I like that one, I don't know why I haven't redone it yet.

  9. BUTTerscrunch, haha, like what you did there. V2 is good, though, not boring at all. Jellyfish love is fabulous, and needs to be published. I actually think the really mitts might work in a different yarn. But most of all I love this post as a reminder that all those people that are successful in their field got there through hard work, and make mistakes just like the rest of us.

  10. Jellyfish love!!! If your to-rework schedule is up for input, I'd vote for jellyfish love as your first project to tackle! Thanks for sharing failures--I don't design, but I have knitted things to the end, then decided I did like them, and frogged the whole thing--sweater for myself, sweater for niece, third time through on a cowl (the first two times are just not quite right, so tweaking w/needle size, # of cast on stitches, etc.), sweater for myself that became a hat for someone else + leftover yarn, etc.

  11. Now that I've remembered that the jellyfish even exist, it's definitely high up on the list. I wonder if I still have the old charts around....


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