*Not naughty in that “German bulky-wool fetish wear” sense, but the “I knew better and did it anyway” sense.

Hawthorne Pullover by Kathy Zimmerman (Interweave Knits, Fall 2010)

After the heady success of my recent F.O., I decided to get going on this sweater. I bought the wool back when it was too hot and humid for anything besides dishcloths and it’s been languishing in my knitting bag, so the recent shift to cold weather inspired me to grab it.  In fact, I was so gung-ho to get started that I broke a number of the Cardinal Rules of Knitting. After 20-plus years of wielding needles, it seems I’ll never learn. Of course I was punished by the knitting gods for my foolishness!

Rule Number One is “never begin a project when you’re tired.” Since a new project means following directions very closely, figuring out charts, and counting stitches, you need to be sharp. On the day in question, your Rubi was dull as an old butter knife. Which is probably why after painstakingly reversing the directions (knits to purls and purls to knits) so that I could knit the sweater in the round (I hate seaming), I managed to twist the stitches and end up with an enormous, 355 stitch-wide Moebius strip. Then again, even if I hadn’t twisted the stitches, I’d have had to rip the whole thing out and start over…

Which brings me to Rule Number Two. That is, “always make a gauge swatch.” After all, a gauge that’s off by just two stitches per four inches is going to mean a lot more — or less — sweater than you bargained for. Did I make a swatch? I did not. Did I rue it? Let’s just say that after three and a half hours of knitting, I decided to measure my work, and found that rather than 27 stitches per four inches, I was getting 22. Ginormous sweater, here I come!

You probably won’t be surprised to find that since my evening of wrong-headed work, and subsequent frogging, the yarn is back in the knitting bag. I need to take a deep breath!