The other night I decided to knit up a quick, super bulky slouchy beanie because FALL IS COMING, people! The pattern called for size 13 dpns and circular needles, and yarn (obviously); I had the circular and the yarn on hand, but I couldn’t bring myself to wait the two whole days for the dpns to show up from Amazon (none of the stores I visited had the right size). So I figured I’d just improvise and magic loop the shaping on the top of the hat, except my circular was way too short to do it correctly.
The tension got way tighter than it should have been, so instead of a nice drapey slouch, the top of the hat is standing straight up. Kind of like a hat you’d see on the Coneheads.
Moral of the story: THIS is why you juggle multiple projects all at the same time. When something weird comes up, like having to order a crucial item and it’s going to take a couple days, you can work on something else properly rather than plowing through and hoping for the best.
I consider myself a fairly strong knitter. I’ve been doing it consistently/ obsessively for over ten years and don’t shy away from more advance techniques like steeks (not for the faint of heart). However, as you can see, no amount of experience is going to help you if you continue to ignore the basic necessity of correct tension.
Check your gauge. Not just with your test swatch, but throughout your project. Especially if you put that project down for a while and come back to it. Things change. I am not ashamed to admit I hate swatching and rarely do it. It’s just who I am, even though I know better. Most of the time, I jump right in, start knitting, and then after I’ve done a few inches, I think hmm, better check my gauge now just in case. Lots of times, it’s fine and I keep on going (for the record, I had the correct gauge at the beginning of this hat).Sometimes I’m off and have to rip it out, but it’s not a big deal. I’m telling you right now, nothing is worse than completely finishing something and realizing you just wasted your time. So please check yourself – don’t end up with a conehead hat or something worse!