Friday, October 8, 2010

The Sweater That Won't Be Knit

Ever have one of those projects that feels like Sysyphus's boulder? You know, just when you've made progress you can see you realize something else has gone wrong and you need to rip, re-figure, re-knit...? Becky is in the final stages of one of those projects, we hope. This is one boulder that has gotten to the top of several hills only to roll back down again.

In an August 12 we post of What's On Our Needles and told you about Karen's backpack, Sherry's Kidsilk Haze Sweater, and Becky's Sweater for her dad. Becky had hoped to finish the sweater in about three weeks. An ambitious deadline, but fairly do-able. Or so she thought...

The sweater is Charles, from the Queensland Collection Book 9. Becky is using Dream In Color's Classy in Black Parade. Charles is a boxy sweater with zero shaping, tons of positive ease, and a turtleneck. She gamely cast the small size according to pattern, and after knitting 15" of the back realized the size small was giving a tad too much positive ease for her dad. So in the company of her Thursday night knitting group took a deep breath and ripped the entire 15" out. Charles went into time-out for 72 hours. You have to give the yarn some time to think about what it did.

Becky did a little math and decided to cast on 100 stitches, which is between the x-small and small size. All went well for the rest of the back. The front was next, and behaved itself. Mostly.

Up next, the sleeves! And this is where things went seriously awry. Becky is not big on modifying patterns so didn't realize what was coming...

She cast on, followed the pattern and knit the sleeves to the noted length. And then realized they would be have to be longer to make up for the narrower body because the dropped shoulders didn't drop as low. So she lengthened them by 5". Without changing the increase shaping.

Next up, she sewed the sleeves to the sweater body and was psyched to be off and running with the finishing work. The end was in sight! And then a sad realization. With the longer sleeves the shaping had to be changed. So she took them off the sweater body, ripped them both out in their entirety and started over.

The sleeves went well except for one small thing. Which wasn't realized until it was completely assembled and displayed in the store! What was wrong? One sleeve is a full 2" longer than the other. What had happened seemed a small frustration at the time, a young someone picked up Becky's row counter (clicker) in the store and started clicking it. Becky thought is was reset to the right row, but now realizes it must have been reset incorrectly and too many rows were knitted.

BIG SIGH. And many bad words.

Up next, Becky will be taking out about 4" of the seam from the cuff and ripping out to reknit the cuff and make the sleeves match. Hopefully. Wish her luck. She needs it.

Ever had a project like this? What did you do? How did you handle it? What did you learn?


  1. I've had too many of these! (And, for the most part, they get frogged and the yarn is abandoned for several years. I forgive it eventually.)

  2. Your dad will love the sweater even more when he hears how many hard working hours you have put into this labor of love. I stopped making sweaters for a few YEARS after too many were made never to fit a human form. You are not alone.