Rookie Mistakes

The Dream: You found a nice pattern online for free and you print it out.  You look in your Knitting Notebook and see you already have the correct needle size and you know you have plenty of markers.  The pattern calls for 10 balls of Crystal Palace Nubbles – Icestorm Yarn. You notice this yarn has been discontinued. You ring up the local yarn store and the lovely lady thinks she has some in a basket in her cellar. She will ring you back as soon as she counts it. Ten minutes later you are on your way to the yarn store to collect the 10 balls. It’s discounted and you save 66%! You have a cup of coffee with the owner of the yarn store and begin knitting the piece right there and then.  You spend the next two weeks knitting whenever you can and in the third week, you have completed the project and make it all up. It’s a perfect fit. You only have two inches of yarn left over and this goes into your Knitting Notebook and the area marked “Samples of Yarn”. You take a Poloroid picture of yourself in your finished project and insert it in the Knitting Notebook. You take another picure on your phone and post it on Ravelry and all the social media platforms you are on. You get a culminated 1000 likes. The finished project goes well with your skinny jeans (you’ve been doing Pilates, after all!), Ugg Boots, the tan Michael Kors handbag of the year, Oakley sunglass and Channel scarf. Your hair and makeup are on point! You look like a “How-To-Accessorise” model on Pinterest. Happy days!

The Reality: Buy another pair of needles because you can’t remember if you have them. Find the exact same pair in your knitting bag. Couldn’t find the 10 balls of yarn at the local shop. Google search brings up a discontinued yarn shop that has 10 on sale at $2.72 each from $8 each. It’s a saving of 66% but it still needs to be shipped from America and you live in the UK. You read the shipping information and get confused. You end up paying more than full price. Oh well. You bought it so now knit it up. Your gauge is off and you wind up with a shortage. Gotta frog it. You start with sleeves. They look great. You mess about with the length of the front and back and when you finally finish it, you reckon it looks like a crop top jumper from the London Fashion. You put it on.  You look like an out of work busker. You rationalise. It’s good to wear when you wash the car. Meh.


Yankee Yarns Fearless Leader, Sara, said this can happen to ANYBODY.  “Sit down. Let me tell what I did,” she said. “This is what is happening right now.”

Sara decided she would make herself something, for a change. She picked out expensive 100% chunky wool. She needed 13 100g balls to make a cardigan. She cost it up and placed the order. When they arrived, she nearly collapsed.  What she thought were 100g balls turned out to be 50g balls. She made a slight error. She had to order more.

“It was supposed to be a £40 cardigan,”she said. “Now it’s a £80 cardigan. OUCH!!!” The moral of the story, she says, is ALWAYS double check your yarn.

  • ALWAYS double check your yarn
  • ALWAYS double check the yards
  • ALWAYS double check the grams
  • ALWAYS make sure how much the pattern requires. If you have any question at all, double check with your local yarn store…

“I cannot believe I made a rookie mistake!” Sara yelled.

“Like, do you even KNIT, bruv?!” I said.

“I know, right??!!” Sara said.

Whilst she was on the rant, Sara described how, in her need to not waste the wool, she needed to find an alternative to the Long Tail Cast On.

Sara really hates that method but it gives you a good stretch where you need it. “The problem is that it wastes so much wool! And it looks a little loose.”

Well Sara found the best cast on technique!

“You need to check it out. I school you!!!” she said. There may be another name for this cast-on but Sara calls it the Stretchy Ass Cast On. This cast on method gives your project the stretch without being sloppy. Sara said, “Step away from the long tail!” 

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