This week, I noticed something very disturbing in my current fair isle knitting project, Urban Mandarin. The fabric was wavy and bunched in places. Ahhhh!
Fabric bumps are caused by the yarn being help too tight when it is carried behind the work. If you're not familiar with fair isle knitting, this might be gibberish. In fair isle, only one color is being knit at a time, the other strand of yarn gets pulled along on the backside of the work until it is used a few stitches later. If you are not careful, the stranded yarn will pull the fabric together and create these bunches.
As I got comfortable with this pattern, my tension has relaxed. Therefore, the fabric closest to my needles lays nice and flat; i.e. no waves. I was terrified that the whole project needed to be frogged. Frogging is a term for ripping the entire work out and starting over. That's about 10 hours of work right there!
Luckily, my awesome co-worker at the knitting shop calmed me down. Imogen told me to steam a small piece of the fabric and see if the bunches relaxed. If they did, I could chill out and keep working. If they didn't.... well I would cry when the time came.
Imogen to the rescue. Steaming worked! It will all be beautiful when it is blocked (that is steamed / washed) when I am finished. Phew.
Here are the before and after photos. The right image isn't perfect, but blocking a portion of a fabric is difficult. I'm confident it will look so much better when I work with the full garment.
I nearly ripped out all of this work without testing a bit of the fabric to see if I actually had a problem. Moral of the story. Take a deep breath and get a second opinion! Thanks a million Imogen! Oh and...
Never Frog Anything on a Friday!
It's been a long week with the stress of work. Leave it alone until Monday, go for a hike instead.