What's Your Knitting Waterloo?

Do you have a pattern that you’ve been dying to knit, but every time you try it just doesn’t work?? Tell me about it and let’s commiserate our frustration!

I have been trying to knit the “Silver Bells Scarf” for about 4 years now or so.

Every time I see the pattern I just HAVE to knit it, but every time no matter how well I read the pattern, count my stitches and try to go slow and steady I always end up missing stitches within a couple rows and having a messed up pattern.

I have NO IDEA why this happens. I’m a fairly seasoned knitter, I’m not new to lace knitting and I can definitely do all the stitches required in the pattern. I’ve checked the pattern over and over and from other’s completed projects it is definitely correct… which frazzles me even more.

I keep trying though. This is a pattern that I am determined to knit!

Tell me about your “Waterloo”.


This is mine.

It’s a doable fair isle project, but the graph is messed up. They have the white stitches depicted as black ones and the black ones like white ones. So I’m going through this trying to reverse all the color blocks in my head. I threw it across the room in disgust. What I need to do with this is paste the graph in a program like Photoshop and do a reverse photo negative type setting on it then print it out. Why do those designers do things like that to me?

Is it possible that you’re working from an uncorrected copy of the pattern? I just followed the link you provided to Ravelry and found this paragraph:

“Thanks to a knitalong with the Hat of the Month group here on Rav, errors and confusing bits in the ha pattern have now been corrected, and the written pattern should be in good shape.”

Also, even though I’m just beginning my knitting life, I’m using differently colored stitch markers all over the place to “mean” different things: long cast-ons, to help keep my count; charted pattern repeats (of course); beginning of a row in the round. And that’s just the first couple of projects/classes. I also use markers to let me know how far, literally, a skein of yarn goes in a multi-skein project.

So…maybe there are corrections available since the version you have was produced? And maybe LOTS of nice, differently colored stitch markers would help?

My Waterloo so far is not being able to say NO to anything, unless it’s absolutely so complicated that there’s just no way I’ll be able to do it in the foreseeable future.


You would think, wouldn’t you, that the designer would have better sense. But no. The chart says that

a white square = Main Color (MC), which is BLACK
a gray square = Contrast Color (CC), which is WHITE!
a black square = stitch no longer needed…

Maybe an enlarged printout “beautified” with colored pencils? Make the gray (= white stitches) squares some reasonably light color that you like and that shows up over the gray; then color in the white (= black stitches) squares with YES! a black colored pencil.

You could outline in red the “no longer needed” stitches/squares.

This would save you the time of having to mess with it in Photoshop, and maybe making all of those squares black would be very…satisfying…aggression/frustration releasing/vengeful. :twisted:


In my experience, charts are always done this way.

i.e. the main color is a white squeare, the contrast color(s) are varying black/grey/striped/dotted squares.

It just so happens in your case, the MC is black and the contrast color is white. While it is a trick on the brain, I don’t think the author could change what is standard knitting practice when it comes to chart writing. Besides, others might reverse it and put black skulls on a white background rather than white on black.

Just wondering, could you be dropping your yarn overs?

My big waterloo is the Elizibeth Zimmerman Bog Jacket. I have the entire jacket knit but I can’t get the seaming together (kitchner in garter stitch). :hair:

( Not really tearing my hair out, I love my hair) :mrgreen:

Nope, the only part of the pattern that was incorrect was on row 11 and I had noted that a long time ago. I never even made it that far in to the pattern.

It’s entirely possible I guess but I knit lace quite a bit and haven’t had that issue before so it’d be odd to do it now all of a sudden.

I seem so have finally fixed the issue though by using stitch markers. I have never been a fan of them before and found them a pain in the butt for some reason. I only ever used them for marking the beginning of pattern when knitting in the round. But I tried them out today and low and behold I haven’t lost a stitch anywhere and finally completed a full repeat. WooHoo! It only took me 4 years… :doh:

Guess I’ll need to keep that in mind for the future if I ever find another pattern that keeps besting me. :slight_smile:

It’s possible to make a negative image of it. I tried it. It’s not perfect, but it is negative. Not sure whether you’d need to change what the text says. I can send you what I did if you’d like.

Wouldn’t you know it, I finally get the pattern down and after 2 repeats it’s clear the yarn is all wrong for this patten. :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh well… At least I have an excuse to order more yarn from knit picks. :smiley:

After searching ravelry I think I may have found the right pattern for this yarn. I’ll give it a go tomorrow. :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the great ideas on how to do my Waterloo project. I just finished a rainbow colored car seat blanket with seatbelt slot last night. A box of sweaters, booties, etc. will be winging it’s way to my daughter for the new grandbaby. I’m in between projects, so I might just have the courage to give this a shot again. I hate it when I’ve got all this yarn, all this time, and I can’t find a project that sings, “Knit me, knit me”.

In looking at my Waterloo pattern again, this pirate hat is interesting. It uses Dale of Norway Hauk. This is a wool worsted weight yarn that has been treated with teflon to make it water resistant. Sounds like this would be great for snowboarders or anybody who likes to play outdoors in winter. The needle sizes are 1 and 3. It seems right for fair isle, but does it seem right for the size needle? Seems to me I always used fingering, baby sport, or sport weight for these sizes. Opinions?

Knitting with a 1 and 3 on worsted weight yarn would make it extremely dense. I’d try it on a swatch first. Did you want that negative chart?

Oooooo I love your Waterloo! The Silver Bells hat and scarf pattern!
(I downloaded and queued it over at Rav. Thanks for the link!)

My Waterloo has been Entrelac, and Garterlac.

And now, it’s been my Waterloo [I]for so long[/I]…it’s almost dated and out-of-style! Oy vey!

Yes, I would love a negative chart. Thanks! Am I correct in thinking that this hat might be better in a fingering or sport weight yarn?

The pattern suggests sport weight so if you are using a heavier or lighter weight yarn you’d need to adjust the size probably. Fair isle is pretty thick so a lighter weight yarn may be better.

Sent you a PM

Oh I don’t doubt you would knit that up just perfectly. I can almost picture it! I am so glad I finally figured it out for myself… I need to stop being stubborn about things like stitch markers! haha

I just need to find the perfect yarn for it though. I was using worsted weight this time and it was just all wrong. That pattern just seems so delicate I think sport weight would be the heaviest that could pull it off. (At least for me) The first time I attempted it I was using lace weight malibrigo on size 1’s and it was just a disaster on every level. My wool allergy really didn’t help!

I am debating trying a fingering weight/luxurious sock yarn but not sure I would ever finish the darn thing at such a small weight. Sport is the smallest I’ve gone.