Big Box of Knitting Fails – It’s a GROWER!!

Big Box of Knitting FailsFor those of you that have taken classes with me, you know all about “Patty’s Big Box of Knitting Fails”. I seem to have an example of something tragic I’ve done in my knitting for nearly everything I’m teaching. So, I’m launching a new blog series to dig into my knitting boo boos. Today’s episode . . .

Bad Fit or The Tale of the Amazing Growing Yarn


A long, long time ago, in a land far away, a young girl knit a top . . . okay, it was Brooklyn about 9 years ago and I wasn’t that young.

It was this cute little top in Knit Simple, and it was originally knit in cotton.img_9719_medium


I had some lovely 100% bamboo yarn and the gauge was right, so I cast on. Yes (before you ask) I did a gauge swatch, but I didn’t know what I know now about slick yarns that groooow. I didn’t do a “hung” swatch (read about that here), and I did not what to do when working with

A yarn that grows!

So I cast on and off I went.  The top when finished fit me quite well. The neckline, hem and all were looking good.



However, after wearing it for a few hours thing started to, well, shift. Here you can see the hem has gotten a bit floopy, and the neck line has really stretched out, but that’s not the wardrobe malfunction that became an issue. (NOTE: warning ahead, I must use a pg-13 rated term coming up . . .)


That’s right, I’m speaking of the dreaded “side boob”. Here’s the last known picture of the top before It became to dangerous to wear in public.


By later that day it became clear this would be a top I could only wear with a tank top.

The solution did come to me and I ended up doing a double crochet edging around the armhole and that tightened things up.

In case you were wondering what a nice neat armhole looks like when knit in a cotton, here are two lovely projects from the Ravelry:


LaurenL’s Ravelry project


michelerenee’s Ravelry project

Does that mean a top cannot work in 100% bamboo? Of course not! It just means that you need to think about the fabric you are making and is that the correct fabric for the pattern you want.

I am also asked if yarns that grow keep growing. Not really. Think of them like teenagers. Once they grow to their full height, they are done. So, had I hung the swatch and knew what the final fabric was going to be I would have been able to 1) decide if it was the correct fabric for that top and 2) Did I need to knit it to a tighter gauge to anticipate growth.

Yarn sub can be tricky. So many things to think about beyond gauge.

Don’t make my  mistake. Learn about the Secrets of Yarn Substitution. Click on the picture for more info


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