Kal Boxers And Why Progress Sometimes Means You Have Nothing to Show!

Joe Moore's picture

So I had started on the boxers and was working away on the back panel and struggling with the yarn. It seems that even though I'm using the same yarns; the color (red) seems to make this yarn a lot more difficult to work with. So as I worked with it, it would snag my hands and snag on the cable/needle join.

TallGuy sent me a message about gauge and I checked it, sure enough the gauge is wrong and I had holes! Holes in the undies is not a good thing. I guess I was so focused on working the yarn that I didn't notice.

So I ripped it all out and started over again. I did several rows and then went to watch TV and knit. Well, I got engrossed in the show and got into a groove with the knitting. All was going well. Until I looked down and realized that I had been knitting both sides!

It looked nice and I had found my tension and the gauge seemed good, but not stockinette stitch! So I ripped it all out and just finished my show, which is Dead Like Me - go figure.

I also got so frustrated with the yarn, that I ordered some yarn from KnitPicks in case this third time just doesn't work. I'm determined to make it work, but I'm not that stubborn!

So between computer systems (yes, multiple) and people breaking on me, it just seems natural that the knitting would be problematic! ;-)

It's a good thing I do this to practice patience!


hsfg's picture

Moving right along with the

Moving right along with the boxers.....I changed the construction method . I cast on 100 sts and worked for 8.6". I "provisionally" cast on the sts worked for 8.6" and put the last row on waste yarn. The back panel is done ! Hence, I do not need to do the pickup thing. I am working in solid color so the leg seam is not a visual distortion... Sofar, that is the only change. Ha, ...it is working just fine ! When the instructions said to cast on 56 sts ( at the sug gauge = 8.6") instead of the suggested 8" ( shown on diagram.....) That is I came up to the 8.6" .

JuanC1965's picture

I am so glad to know I am

I am so glad to know I am not the only one making slow progress and finding some of the instructions a litlle...
I sure fear the reverse part.
Not to mention the fact that I re-started the project on different yarn.

And when they say reverse,

And when they say reverse, they mean it, the short rows for the wedges will be done on purl rows. I pulled my hair out on that on( not that i have that much to start with). before i started the wedges I counted where the short row turns were and placed markers so i would have to keep counting, went vey fast.

TheKnittingMill's picture

I was wondering about that!

I was wondering about that! I haven't gotten to the second side yet, but when I read ahead I saw that you'd have to do the short rows on the purl side. I'd always just seen and done it on the RS.


scottly's picture

You guys are inspiring me!

You guys are inspiring me! I've got to get three pairs of socks and a lace linnen scarf done by April 10th so as soon as I feel less panicked I'll start on the boxers again with some embelishments for interest. I love all of good advice coming about because of the KAL and this way I can take advantage of it all.

Kenny's picture

oh mill, you went down to a

oh mill, you went down to a 3? I went down to a 2 to get gauge. and really, slipping stitches is pretty, but not useful in this pattern.

TheKnittingMill's picture

The thing is the WAY they

The thing is the WAY they want you to slip stitches leaves a sizable hole. If you look at the pattern closely you can see little gaps underneath the waistband. So, now I'm debating tinking back the side panel to the completion of the wedges which would suck. I have a good portion done and like Kyle alluded to, it seems like an epic piece of stockinette in this yarn weight!

Kenny's picture

depends on how much a

depends on how much a perfectionist you are. if it is going to bother you now, it's going to bother you later. so must as well take care of it now.

for me, I slipped the stitches of the center panel. but I picked up exactly 1 stitch per slipped stitch and added another row of increases.

however for the wedges and the side panel, i ignored the slipped stitches.

and that's all she wrote for now.

Joe Moore's picture

Thanks for everyone's

Thanks for everyone's responses! It helped me feel better about my knitting snafus. The tips will also come in handy. Who knew there was so much to a pair of boxers!

I managed to get a lot done tonight and the rhythm felt good. Some of the colors in the yarn reminded me of my friend's red/orange red hair. He was the typical red-headed Irishman, but he knew he had a temper and he was good at controlling it. He also knew his limitations, but kept trying new things, even those he knew he wasn't good at.

He was a great guy. Perhaps this knitting snafu was a good thing.

I'll try to post a picture tomorrow. I tried uploading from my phone, but kept getting some sort of error.

CRobertK's picture

While I'm not working on the

While I'm not working on the boxers myself, I know the feelings you're experiencing. I finished my first clog a few days back with no problems what-so-ever. Then I started the second one. I finished the inner sole, the upper, and even the cuff. So, this morning I started the outer sole. I was on row 4 of 7 (keep in mind that rows 2 and 4 are made up of several short rows) when I counted my stitches and I was several short. I think the TV distracted me a bit and while on the forth time knitting a sole I should have known to pay attention to my knitting a little closer. So, I frogged the whole thing and tonight I worked rows 1 thru 4 again. I hope to finish the second clog tonight so I can show them to a friend tomorrow before felting them on Friday. Wish me luck! :o)


-- Why live and let live when we can live and help live?

Joe Moore's picture

The clog looks great. I love

The clog looks great. I love the colors. Are they as soft as it looks?
I've noticed that the TV sometimes causes me problems. It probably wouldn't if I was a more experienced knitter.
I hope that your next go at the second clog is a success!

TheKnittingMill's picture

I had to go down to a US 3

I had to go down to a US 3 in order to meet gauge. I ended up not using edge stitches on the center back panel so I had a stitch for every row. When picking up the stitches from the side a 3 stitch to 4 row ratio got me pretty close to 100 stitches (depending on your row gauge). For some reason they don't instruct you to make edge stitches for the leg opening on the first wedge purl rows (slipping last stitch Kwise WYIF), but I did it anyway so it would match the rest of the edges on that side. Lastly, (correct me if I'm wrong Kenny, Kyle, Chris, etc.) I think they have "left needle" and "right needle" mixed up in the "Short row wedge 1" instructions, so reverse them. If you're new to W&T short rows it won't make sense the way it's written. I think that's all I got for now.


Joe Moore's picture

I decided to go ahead with

I decided to go ahead with the edge stitches and figure out how to pick up the stitches on the side when I get to it. I'm going on faith that the pattern is written correctly (could be totally wrong!).

I don't like it when patterns refer to left or right needle because it's depends on what you use either for. I'd prefer working needle or holding needle. This makes it handedness agnostic. (I'm right-handed.)

Once I get to the short rows, I'll re-read the pattern. I find I have to do that, otherwise I miss some nuance of the pattern, or just read it wrong. Sometimes I need time for it to percolate through my brain.

Good luck!

kylewilliam's picture

the slipping the last stitch

the slipping the last stitch WYIF is not totally necessary - it's supposed to make it easier to pick up stitches later when you do the leg opening trim... I actually skipped this stitch and just moved right on... it made life easier for me as far as the knitting...

another hint - once you have knitted the long amount of plain stockinette on one leg, and you start the "word problem" knitting - you know, decrease X stitches Y times, and at the same time, decrease Z stitches X times, etc. etc. - I suggest listing all the stitches out row by row, crossing each row out as you go... then when it comes to the second leg, you're "reversing" the stitches and while doing this, these notes will make it super easy... (I use a highlighter to mark off each row the second time) -

hang in there :)


Joe Moore's picture

I read this and it made no

I read this and it made no sense. Not to worry, I'll re-read it later when I've had some rest and get to the legs.

TheKnittingMill's picture

Great tip about the "word

Great tip about the "word problem" part Kyle! Thanks!!!

The "wedge stitches" will be

The "wedge stitches" will be sewn together, joining the fronts backs and legs. thats why they didnt included the edge stitch

Joe Moore's picture

Yes, thanks!

Yes, thanks!

TheKnittingMill's picture

Stan, you're a genius!

Stan, you're a genius! Thanks!

I found the yarn called for

I found the yarn called for in the pattern "TrekkingXXl" at a LYS here and it is a tad bit thicker than sock yarn, so went down to size 4 needles got guage(using stroll from knitpicks). As long as the back piece is about 8 inches across you will be ok. ( took some measurments off back panel reg boxers. The lenght is going to be ok on the back panel. TIP, pick up the majority of your stitches that will be at the top of boxers, skip more stitches starting about midway and the bottom part, so you have curve. I have sewn boxers and it does help with the fit. have fun, I am enjoying this.

Joe Moore's picture

Thanks for the tip! I'm

Thanks for the tip! I'm beginning to enjoy it again, now that I've made some progress.

DeceptiveCookie's picture

I'm having similar problems

I'm having similar problems with the gauge on the work... with a size 5 I would get 7 stitches per inch... with a 4 I would get 6 stitches per inch... gauge was calling for 6-1/2 stitches per inch... sticking with a size 4 and trying to knit a little looser... Also a little disappointed in how the yarn is knitting up... the Berroco Sox yarn I'm using is not knitting up a softly as I would like... so I'm considering looking for another yarn to go with... or I might just trudge along and pray it softens up when it's washed... I won't be wearing them as actual undies anyways!

Joe Moore's picture

I'm already thinking of them

I'm already thinking of them as house shorts!

scottly's picture

Thanks for sharing you

Thanks for sharing you troubles - it makes me feel better about restarting almost every project three times.

I cast on my boxers and then my brain looked at the pattern and said, "What, no yo's, no ssk's, nary a cable anywhere" and I moaned and my husband said that life is too short to knit something that bores you, so I went back to the lace scarf I was working on.

put cabels in the back

put cabels in the back panel, or do some lace work, It will make them look mighty purty.

Joe Moore's picture

You bet! With everyone's

You bet! With everyone's responses, I didn't feel like such an inadequate knitter! I hope you get back to the boxers!

WillyG's picture

Thanks for the update! My

Thanks for the update! My boxers have been a slow start, too. The gauge seems rather airy...I better go recheck it. I already went down a needle size to get gauge.

Joe Moore's picture

Airy is a good description.

Airy is a good description. That's how I felt my first cast-on/knitting was going. The third time around I wasn't as light on my tension and that seemed to help. I guess I was afraid I'd break the yarn, which is kind of silly.

WillyG's picture

Yeah, I'm trying out 3's

Yeah, I'm trying out 3's now, but I'm comforted to hear Kenny had to use size 2 needles to get gauge. We'll see when I get a bit more. How many times have I started/swatched? Upwards of 5, I'd say, so far.

WillyG's picture

Oy. I checked, and even

Oy. I checked, and even though I had reached gauge before on 4's, now I'm trying out size 3 needles. I'm starting to get used to the fact that when I knit stockinette, I tend to knit looser. So I'll have to stock up on the tiny needles.